Limothrips Haliday,

Mound, Laurence A., 2011, Grass-dependent Thysanoptera of the family Thripidae from Australia, Zootaxa 3064, pp. 1-40: 22

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.200567

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scientific name

Limothrips Haliday


Limothrips Haliday 

This is a European genus that includes eight species, although two of these are of doubtful validity. A key to the six species that can be recognised is provided by zur Strassen (2003), and three of these are recorded from southern Australia. The biology of these thrips is unusual amongst grass-living Thripidae  , in that Limothrips  species apparently feed both on the leaves and in the florets of grasses. Lewis (1959) indicated that L. cerealium  oviposits in leaf sheaths, and feeds on very young leaves, and Rao et al. (2010) stated that adults and larvae of this species move to the florets and feed on the developing embryo. However, there is no evidence that these thrips feed on grass pollen. Damage by L. cerealium  to the developing seeds of wheat and barley can make these unsuitable for brewing beer. Known as thunderflies in northern Europe, the large numbers of adults that appear in summer storms ( Kirk, 2004) can cause problems by entering and triggering smoke detectors in buildings ( Lewis, 1997). Two other Limothrips  species occur in southern Australia, but these are less common than cerealium  . They are readily distinguished, because in L. angulicornis  the second antennal segment has the apical external margin prolonged into tooth, whereas in L. denticornis  it is the third segment that is thus prolonged. Although all three of these species feed and breed on the leaves and in the florets of grasses and cereals, in Australia they have been found only on introduced species of Poaceae  .