Aeolothrips eremicola Priesner,

Alavi, Jalil, Fekrat, Lida, Awal, Mehdi Modarres, Zolfaghari, Maryam & Minaei, Kambiz, 2013, Aeolothrips eremicola (Thysanoptera, Aeolothripidae): first record of the male from Iran, Zootaxa 3683 (3), pp. 289-291: 289-291

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Aeolothrips eremicola Priesner


Aeolothrips eremicola Priesner 

Female macroptera. Body brown, antennal segments III –IX yellowish brown, III and IV yellow in basal part; all tarsi and distal part of tibiae pale ( Fig. 4View FIGURES 1 – 5); fore wings with two cross bands that are connected medially by a narrow longitudinal band. Antennal segment III with linear sensorium about 0.3 as long as segment; IV with linear sensorium 0.5–0.6 as long as segment, slightly curved and wider at apex. Tergite IX setae S 1 about as long as length of tergite; all abdominal sternites without discal setae, sternite VII with 2 pairs of supernumerary paired setae arranged one in front of the other and well in front of margin ( Fig. 5View FIGURES 1 – 5).

Measurements (female from Isfahan, in microns). Body distended length 1996. Head length (width) 173 (209). Pronotum length (width) 170 (235). Fore wing length (median width) 868 (115). Tergite IX S 1 setae 127. Antennal segments I –IX length (width) 34 (35); 53 (29); 93 (25); 78 (23); 57 (23); 18 (18); 18 (18); 20 (9); 9 (5).

Male macroptera. Colour and structure generally similar to female but paler and smaller. Antennal segments I –II pale; III pale in basal third, IV –IX yellowish brown ( Fig. 1View FIGURES 1 – 5); all legs pale but all coxae as well as basal part of mid and hind tibiae are brown. Abdominal tergite I with two longitudinal ridges, tergites without tubercles ( Fig. 2View FIGURES 1 – 5); tergite IX without claspers or stout curved setae ( Fig. 3View FIGURES 1 – 5). Sternite VII without sub-median accessory setae.

Measurements (male, in microns). Body distended length 1220. Head length (width) 152 (174). Pronotum length (width) 130 (190). Fore wing length (median width) 620 (100). Antennal segments I –IX length (width) 32 (33); 45 (26); 87 (25); 68 (23); 57 (24); 11 (14); 10 (13); 15 (9); 10 (5).

Material studied. IRAN, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Zabol (Pole-nahrab), 1 female, 1 male from Triticum aestivum  , 13.iv. 2010 (M. Zolfaghari); Isfahan Province, Kabootar-abad, 1 female from Allium cepa  , 20.x. 1997 (M.R. Bagheri).

Comments. A. eremicola  is a member of the versicolor -group in which the fore wing bears two cross bands connected by a longitudinal dark area along the posterior margin. In addition to eremicola  and versicolor, four other species fall into this group: insularis, melaleucus, pulcher and wittmeri. All six species in this group are distributed around the Palaearctic Region, and all except eremicola  are recorded from Europe (zur Strassen 2003). However melaleucus and versicolor are also found in North America ( Hoddle et al. 2013), although the latter is there considered to be rare ( Bailey 1951). A. eremicola  is distinguished in both sexes from insularis, melaleucus and versicolor by the narrow form of the band along the fore wing posterior margin between the two cross bands, in contrast to the other three species that have a wider band. The pigmentation of the fore wings is very similar in eremicola  , pulcher and wittmeri, but eremicola  differs from these two species in the colour of tergites II –V or II –VI (brown versus yellow).

The male is not described for pulcher. In the male of eremicola  , the tergites are without tubercles and tergite IX lacks claspers and stout setae. In contrast, both insularis and melaleucus have paired tubercles on tergites IV –V, and tergite IX has non-bifurcate claspers. Of the remaining two species in the group, the male of eremicola  is distinguished from wittmeri by the lack of a pair of stout setae on the hind margin of tergite IX (see zur Strassen 2003, page 55). The abdomen is similar in structure to versicolor, but these species differ in the pigmentation of the fore wings as indicated above. Moreover, antennal segment III in eremicola  is brown in the apical two-thirds, but only the apical one third in versicolor.

The small number of collected specimens on various plants suggests this species is a predator, but further investigations with a good series of specimens are needed.