Female micropterous or macropterous. Body, legs and antennae largely brown, tarsi yellow, also apex of tibiae and base of mid and hind femora; antennal segment III almost yellow; forewing pale, posterior margin weakly shaded.
Head longer than wide; ocellar setae pair III prominent, on anterior margin of ocellar triangle; vertex with many transverse lines; second maxillary palp segment not subdivided. Antennae 9-segmented, VII–IX forming a unit; sensorium on III–IV broadly transverse at apex. Pronotum with 1 pair of long posteroangular setae, 2 (or 3) pairs of posteromarginals. Mesonotum with one pair of setae medially, without microtrichia on sculpture lines. Metanotal sculpture elongate reticulate/striate in macropterae, irregular in micropterae; median setae near posterior margin. Abdominal tergites with transverse reticulation; trichobothria on X about as large as major setal bases. Sternites III–VII usually with 3 pairs of posteromarginal setae, laterally with 1 or 2 pairs of discal setae.
Male similar to female; tergite I with pair of short longitudinal ridges, scarcely one third as long as tergite; sternite IX without discal setae.
The genus Rhipidothrips currently includes six species, with a natural distribution in western Europe between Finland and the Mediterranean including the Canary Islands. An identification key to these species is provided by zur Strassen (2003), and two of the species have been introduced to a few other parts of the world (Hoddle et al., 2009).
Described originally from Europe, where it is recorded widely between Finland and the Mediterranean, and described under the synonymic name from Egypt, this species is known also from California as well as Australia.
Apparently established in Western Australia, in the vicinity of Perth.
Breeding in one or more species of Poaceae, apparently preferring moist situations
Adults of both sexes, including winged and wingless females, have been found on several occasions at Gingin, a site about 50km north of Perth; winged adults have also been taken from the canopy of Eucalyptus trees near Narrogin 100km south east of Perth.