Merothripidae: Merothrips floridensis

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female apterous or macropterous; antennae 8-segmented, III and IV with transversely oval sensorium; Head smaller than pronotum, vertex with pair of long ocellar setae. Pronotum trapezoidal, posterior area with some weak sculpture lines; paired longitudinal sutures laterally, one pair of long posteroangular setae. Mesonotum, metanotum and tergites with faint sculpture lines. Tergite IX median setae longer than sub-median pair; tergite X trichobothria larger than spiracle on tergite VIII, axial seta as long as tergal major setae. Macroptera with large compound eyes; forewing second vein extending bsad from cross vein. Male apterous, vertex developed as extensive pore plate; antennal sensoria smaller than those of female; fore legs enlarged in large males, with pointed tubercle at inner apex of tibia; mesonotum, metanotum and tergites with several transverse lines of sculpture.

Related and similar species

About 15 species are currently included in the genus Merothrips, most being from the Neotropics (Mound & O'Neill, 1974).

Distribution data

Described from Florida, this species has been recorded widely around the world, including U.S.A. (Florida, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, California) Bermuda, Panama, Trinidad, Colombia, Brazil, Azores, France, Japan, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, A.C.T., South Australia).

Biological data

Host plants

Fungus-feeding

Life history

Breeding on dead leaves and dead branches, sometimes in large populations

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

  • Merothrips floridensis Watson

Original name and synonyms

  • Merothrips floridensis Watson, 1927
  • Merothrips capensis Faure, 1938
  • Merothrips plaumanni Crawford, 1942
  • Merothrips xylophilus zur Strassen, 1959
  • Merothrips priesneri Bournier, 1960
  • Merothrips zondagi Ward, 1969

Australian Species A-Z