Saturday, 7 October 2017

Terthrothrips levigatus & Terthrothrips trigonius: Two new species of Thrips from south China.

Thrips are tiny (usually less than one millimetre) Insects with greatly reduced wings that resemble feathery stubs. They are plant-parasites, with some species being significant agricultural pests, but due to their small size are often overlooked, and apart from a few species with major economic impact, are not well studied. The genus Terthrothrips are fungivorous Thrips found predominantly in the tropical forests of Central and South America, though five species have been found in Asia, four of them in China.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 25 September 2017, Chao Zhao and Xiaoli Tong of the Department of Entomology at South China Agricultural University, describe two new species of Terthrothrips from China.

The first new species is named  Terthrothrips levigatus, meaning smooth, referring to an absence of ornamentation on parts of the thorax where ornamentation is found in other species of the genus. The species is described from a female collected in the Shimen National Forest Park, and a male and female collected in the Dinghushan National Nature Reserve, both in Guangdong Province. One of the females was measured at 1725 μm in length, while the male was 1300 μm. All specimens are brown in colour.

Terthrothrips levigatus, female (left) and male (right). Zhao & Tong (2017).

The second new species is named Terthrothrips trigonius, meaning 'triangular' in reference to the shape of the pelta (a shield-like structure on the top of the thorax). This species is described from two female and five male specimens collected from Guangdong, Hunan and Guizhou provinces in south China. One of the female specimens was measured at 1720 μm in length, while the male was 1470 μm. This species is also brown in colour.

Terthrothrips trigonius, female (left) and male (right). Zhao & Tong (2017).

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