Gynaikothrips microchaetus, Ananthakrishnan and Jagadish, 1969

SHYAM, M., JOHNSON, TH., RACHANA, R. R., VARATHARAJAN, R. & MOUND, L. A., 2019, Redescription and lectotype designation of Gynaikothrips microchaetus Ananthakrishnan & Jagadish (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae), Zootaxa 4701 (6), pp. 588-590: 590

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Gynaikothrips microchaetus


Distinguishing microchaetus   from ficorum   and uzeli  

Ananthakrishnan and Sen (1980) differentiated microchaetus   from uzeli   based on lengths of post ocular, prothoracic and epimeral setae in their key to nine species of Gynaikothrips   from India. However, our observations indicated that ficorum   , microchaetus   and uzeli   are very similar in structure. Moreover, ficorum   and uzeli   are both highly variable, both within and particularly among populations around the world (based on series in the Australian National Insect Collection). These three species may be distinguished as follows:

1. Pronotum with pa setae small and acute, only epim setae elongate ( Fig 2 View FIGURES 1–9 ); four postocular setae all finely pointed and shorter than width of fore tibiae ( Fig. 1 View FIGURES 1–9 ); fore wing sub-basal setae acute, shorter than half of wing width ( Fig. 5 View FIGURES 1–9 ); male sternite VIII with large pore plate ( Fig. 9 View FIGURES 1–9 ) that occupies entire sternite and extends fully across tergite VIII except for a triangular area anteromedially ( Fig. 8 View FIGURES 1–9 )......................................................................... microchaetus  

-. Pronotum with pa setae variable in length, commonly prominent and half as long as epim setae; postocular setae variable but commonly weakly capitate and as long as width of fore tibiae; fore wing sub-basal setae longer than half of wing width and usually capitate or bluntly pointed; male sternite VIII pore plate variable, usually sub-circular medially but sometimes extending onto lateral margins of tergite......................................................................... 2

2. Pronotum with two pairs of prominent setae on posterior angles of pronotum, pa setae at least 70% as long as epim setae uzeli  

-. Pronotum with pa setae variable, usually short and acute but never more than 50% as long as epim setae........... ficorum  

Comments. The lack of strong character states in the original description, together with the unknown type depository, have necessitated for this species a redescription and Lectotype designation. Gynaikothrips microchaetus   is unique among its congeners in having the male pore plate fully occupying both the sternal and tergal surfaces of abdominal segment VIII. Gynaikothrips uzeli   seems to be associated with Ficus benjamina   , and G. ficorum   with both F. microcarpa   and F. benjamina ( Tree et al. 2015)   . But G. microchaetus   was collected and described by Ananthakrishnan and Jagdish (1969) from galls on an unknown Ficus   plant. In the present study, this thrips species has been observed thriving beneath spider webbing on the leaf surface of F. curtipes   . The leaves of this plant are rather thick and possibly not suitable for gall formation. Thus G. microchaetus   , although probably confined to species of the genus Ficus   , is apparently not specific to any particular species within that large genus. Based on our observations over the past two years, G. microchaetus   has maintained a continuous aggregation on F. curtipes   under the abandoned silken webs produced by spiders.