Katothrips Mound,

Mound, Laurence A. & Wells, Alice, 2020, Host-shifts at family level in the Australian Acacia-thrips lineage (Thysanoptera Phlaeothripinae) with two new species, Zootaxa 4816 (2), pp. 202-208: 205

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Katothrips Mound


Katothrips Mound 

This genus was erected for six species from Acacia  trees in Australia ( Mound 1971), but Crespi et al. (2004) subsequently included 35 species in the genus. However, judging from the available slide collections there are at least a further 15 undescribed species. These thrips all live in cryptic situations on various Acacia  species, such as in abandoned leaf-mines and galls. They exhibit a high degree of host-plant specificity, and the species considered to be members of this genus exhibit considerable structural diversity. In the absence of any molecular data there is no clear evidence that these species represent a single lineage, but generally they have the antennal sense cones in an unusual ventral rather than lateral position. Some of them are similar in structure to species of Dactylothrips  with strongly reinforced posterior segments to the abdomen. However, they lack the elongate mandible found in Dactylothrips  species, and the similarities presumably represent convergence due to occupying similar niches on Acacia  trees and having similar behaviour for avoiding ant predation.