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Hangehange thrips - Sigmothrips aotearoana

By N A Martin (2017)

Classification

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Class:
Insecta
Order:
Thysanoptera
Family:
Thripidae
Subfamily:
Panchaetothripinae
Scientific Name:
Sigmothrips aotearoana Ward, 1970
  • Adult Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae).  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Adult Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Larvae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Larvae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
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Common Names

Hangehange thrips
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Taxonomic Notes

The endemic Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana Ward, 1970 is one of four species of the subfamily Panchaetothripinae in New Zealand. The other three species are the adventive species, Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Bouche, 1833), Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Bagnal, 1919) and Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae (Heeger, 1854). This subfamily is distinguished from other Thripidae by the dorsal surface of the head and prothorax being covered in reticulate sculpture. The maxillary palp is two segmented and the forewing has the first vein more or less fused to the costa. Another distinguishing feature of the four species in New Zealand is that they feed on mature or almost mature plant leaves.

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Biostatus and Distribution

This endemic species of thrips is widespread in native habitats in New Zealand. It has only been found feeding on native plants.

Conservation status: Widespread in the New Zealand on native plants in native habitats, not threatened.

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Life Stages and Annual Cycle

Life cycle of a plant feeding Terebrantia thrips. © Plant & Food Research Figure 8 from Crop & Food Research Infosheet No3-16.
Life cycle of a plant feeding Terebrantia thrips. © Plant & Food Research Figure 8 from Crop & Food Research Infosheet No3-16.

Hangehange thrips may breed all year in Auckland, but are mostly seen in the spring and summer. They live mainly on the mature or almost mature leaves of their host plants as do the other three species of the subfamily Panchaetothripinae found in New Zealand.

Adults
Adults like the other active stages of Hangehange thrips are relatively long and thin. The body is brown and its surface is strongly sculptured and reticulate. The head has two brown antennae, two compound eyes and on the underside the mouth cone contains a pair of short maxillary stylets and a single stout mandible. The head has distinctive side projections. There are three pairs of brown legs and two pairs of wings that when not used for flying are held over the abdomen. The relatively narrow forewings have a white band near their base and three darker areas. The tip of the abdomen contains the genitalia. The female also has an ovipositor for inserting eggs into leaves. Males are rarely collected.

Eggs and larvae
Eggs are laid in either the upper or underside of the leaf depending on the plants species. A thin larva hatches from the egg. It is the shape of a tiny white wingless adult. Like the adult it has three pairs of legs, a pair of antennae and the same structures for feeding. There are two larval stages. Juvenile thrips, including prepupae and pupae go to the next stage by moulting. This involves the dorsal skin splitting and the next stage pulling itself out of the old skin. The second larva looks like the first larva and may be come yellow-green coloured. The last segment of the abdomen is brown and tubular and has long setae (hairs) around the tip of the anus. These hairs help hold the faecal droplet. At intervals the faecal droplet is probably flicked away. Sometimes the droplet runs over the body.

Prepupa and Pupa
When the larva is fully grown it drops to the ground and hides in the litter or soil. Here it moults into the prepupa, the first of two non-feeding stages. The prepupa looks like a large larva with short wing buds. The tip of the abdomen has three pairs of spine-like setae, two pairs on segment 9 and one pair on segment 10. The prepupa moults into the pupa. The pupa has longer wing buds and the antennae are folded back over the head. It also has the six spines at the tip of the abdomen. It is assumed that the spines on the tip of the abdomen are used for defence. Both the prepupa and pupa can walk around.

Feeding and plant damage
Hangehange thrips feed on mature or almost mature leaves rather than young rapidly expanding leaves. Larvae and adults use the stylets in their mouth cone to feed. They puncture plant cells with their single mandible and suck up the plant cell contents with their maxillary stylets. Their feeding kills the surface cells of the leaves creating distinctive pale areas of dead cells. The larvae carry a dark faecal droplet at the tip of the abdomen, that may run over the body or be flicked away at intervals.

  • Adult Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae).  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Adult Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Adult Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the sharp lateral projections on the head (white arrow).  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Adult Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the sharp lateral projections on the head (white arrow). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Drawing of head of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the reticulate body sculpture and the angular lateral edges of the head. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 9.
    Drawing of head of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the reticulate body sculpture and the angular lateral edges of the head. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 9.
  • Drawing of the forewing of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the veins setae (hairs) and pigmentation. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 153.
    Drawing of the forewing of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the veins setae (hairs) and pigmentation. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 153.
  • Dorsal (upper) side of the tip of the abdomen of a female Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the capsule in which the ovipositor is held and through which eggs are laid.
    Dorsal (upper) side of the tip of the abdomen of a female Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the capsule in which the ovipositor is held and through which eggs are laid.
  • Ventral, underside of the tip of the abdomen of a female Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the toothed ovipositor that is used to make holes in leaves in which eggs are laid.
    Ventral, underside of the tip of the abdomen of a female Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the toothed ovipositor that is used to make holes in leaves in which eggs are laid.
  • Dorsal (upper) side of the abdomen of a female Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the ornamentation on the posterior edge of the tergites.
    Dorsal (upper) side of the abdomen of a female Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the ornamentation on the posterior edge of the tergites.
  • Dorsal (upper) side of the tip of the abdomen of a male Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing genital capsule.
    Dorsal (upper) side of the tip of the abdomen of a male Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing genital capsule.
  • Ventral, underside of the tip of the abdomen of a male Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the genitalia that have come out of the capsule.
    Ventral, underside of the tip of the abdomen of a male Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the genitalia that have come out of the capsule.
  • Ventral, underside of the abdomen of a male Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the tergites and the pairs of internal structures in each segment.
    Ventral, underside of the abdomen of a male Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the tergites and the pairs of internal structures in each segment.
  • Dorsal (upper) side of the abdomen of a male Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the ornamentation on the posterior edge of the tergites.
    Dorsal (upper) side of the abdomen of a male Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the ornamentation on the posterior edge of the tergites.
  • First instar (stage) larvae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the faecal droplets at the tip of the abdomen. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    First instar (stage) larvae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the faecal droplets at the tip of the abdomen. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Second instar (stage) larvae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the faecal droplets at the tip of the abdomen. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Second instar (stage) larvae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the faecal droplets at the tip of the abdomen. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • First and second instar (stage) larvae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the long anal setae in the faecal droplet of the thrips on the right. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    First and second instar (stage) larvae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the long anal setae in the faecal droplet of the thrips on the right. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Microscope slide preparation of a larva of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note long setae at the tip of the abdomen.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Microscope slide preparation of a larva of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note long setae at the tip of the abdomen. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Dorsal (upper) side of the tip of the abdomen of a larva of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation of the tip of the abdomen showing the pigmentation and shape of the terminal segments, the long setae at the tip of the abdomen and the round stigma (opening to breathing tube) on abdominal segment 8 (black arrow).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Dorsal (upper) side of the tip of the abdomen of a larva of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation of the tip of the abdomen showing the pigmentation and shape of the terminal segments, the long setae at the tip of the abdomen and the round stigma (opening to breathing tube) on abdominal segment 8 (black arrow). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Ventral (under) side of the tip of the abdomen of a larva of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the pigmentation and shape of the terminal segments, the long setae at the tip of the abdomen and the small setae (hairs) and ornamentation on the abdominal segments.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Ventral (under) side of the tip of the abdomen of a larva of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the pigmentation and shape of the terminal segments, the long setae at the tip of the abdomen and the small setae (hairs) and ornamentation on the abdominal segments. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Dorsal (upper) side of larva of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation with black arrows pointing to the stigmata (opening to breathing tubes) of the first abdominal segment (right) and the thorax (right).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Dorsal (upper) side of larva of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation with black arrows pointing to the stigmata (opening to breathing tubes) of the first abdominal segment (right) and the thorax (right). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Prepupae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on a dead leaf: note the short wing buds. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Prepupae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on a dead leaf: note the short wing buds. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Pupae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on a dead leaf: note the long wing buds and folded antennae. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Pupae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on a dead leaf: note the long wing buds and folded antennae. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Microscope slide preparation of a prepupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note the short wing buds and spine-like setae at the tip of the abdomen.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Microscope slide preparation of a prepupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note the short wing buds and spine-like setae at the tip of the abdomen. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Microscope slide preparation of a pupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note the long wing buds, folded antennae and spine-like setae at the tip of the abdomen.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Microscope slide preparation of a pupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note the long wing buds, folded antennae and spine-like setae at the tip of the abdomen. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Dorsal (upper) side of the tip of the abdomen of a pupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the three pairs of spine-like setae on segment 9 and 10. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Dorsal (upper) side of the tip of the abdomen of a pupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the three pairs of spine-like setae on segment 9 and 10. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Side view of the tip of the abdomen of a pupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the spine-like setae on segment 9 and 10. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Side view of the tip of the abdomen of a pupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the spine-like setae on segment 9 and 10. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Dorsal (upper) side of the middle part of a pupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the wing bud with a few fine setae (hairs) on the outer edge of the wing bud and the adult wing inside. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Dorsal (upper) side of the middle part of a pupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the wing bud with a few fine setae (hairs) on the outer edge of the wing bud and the adult wing inside. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Dorsal (upper) side of the abdomen a pupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the tiny stigma (opening to breathing tubes) on abdomenal segment one. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Dorsal (upper) side of the abdomen a pupa of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the tiny stigma (opening to breathing tubes) on abdomenal segment one. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
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Recognition

Hangehange thrips are found on mature or almost mature leaves of host plants with typical thrips feeding damage. With the aid of a strong magnifying glass, they can be distinguished from the other three species in the subfamily Panchaetothripinae. The dorsal surface the head and prothorax of adults of the New Zealand species in this subfamily is strongly sculptured and reticulate.

Adult Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana body is dark brown and it has narrow wings with dark and pale areas. The wings are similar to those of the banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicintus, but different from Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae, which has broad wings. Adult Hangehange thrips and banana silvering thrips are best distinguished by the shape of the head. The lateral margins of the head of the Hangehange thrips have prominent angular projections whereas the lateral margins of the banana silvering thrips head appear smooth. The Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis, has white bases to its wings and white legs, whereas the Hangehange thrips has brown legs.

Colonies of Hangehange thrips can easily distinguished from colonies of two species of Panchaetothripinae. Only adults and larvae are present on leaves in colonies of Hangehange thrips and banana silvering thrips, whereas colonies of Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis, and Palm thrips may have prepupae and pupae present as well as adults and larvae.

If adults are absent, colonies of Hangehange thrips and banana silvering thrips can be distinguished if you have access to a binocular microscope. Look at the tip of the abdomen of the larvae. The Hangehange thrips larvae have long setae, but the banana silvering thrips larvae have no setae around the opening. This is the reason larvae are more likely to be covered by dark faecal matter. If the last two abdominal segments are visible, the terminal segment of the Hangehange thrips is almost as wide at the tip as it is at the base, whereas the segment in the banana silvering thrips is almost conical.

  • Adult Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the sharp lateral projections on the head (white arrow).  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Adult Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the sharp lateral projections on the head (white arrow). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Drawing of head of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the reticulate body sculpture and the angular lateral edges of the head. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 9.
    Drawing of head of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the reticulate body sculpture and the angular lateral edges of the head. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 9.
  • Drawing of the forewing of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the veins setae (hairs) and pigmentation. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 153.
    Drawing of the forewing of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the veins setae (hairs) and pigmentation. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 153.
  • First and second instar (stage) larvae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the long anal setae in the faecal droplet of the thrips on the right. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    First and second instar (stage) larvae of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae): note the long anal setae in the faecal droplet of the thrips on the right. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Microscope slide preparation of a larva of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note long setae at the tip of the abdomen.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Microscope slide preparation of a larva of Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note long setae at the tip of the abdomen. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Adult Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on underside of a leaf of Night-scented Jessamine, Cestrum nocturnum (Solanaceae).  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Adult Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on underside of a leaf of Night-scented Jessamine, Cestrum nocturnum (Solanaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Drawing of head of Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the reticulate body sculpture and the relatively smooth lateral edges of the head. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 8.
    Drawing of head of Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the reticulate body sculpture and the relatively smooth lateral edges of the head. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 8.
  • Drawing of the forewing of Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the veins setae (hairs) and pigmentation. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 150.
    Drawing of the forewing of Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) showing the veins setae (hairs) and pigmentation. © Drawing published in Fauna of New Zealand Number 1. Figure 150.
  • First and second instar (stage) larvae of Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on underside of a leaf of Tecomanthe speciosa (Bignoniaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    First and second instar (stage) larvae of Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on underside of a leaf of Tecomanthe speciosa (Bignoniaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Second instar (stage) larvae of Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on underside of a leaf of Night-scented Jessamine, Cestrum nocturnum (Solanaceae): note the conical shape of the segments at the tip of the abdomen (black arrow). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Second instar (stage) larvae of Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on underside of a leaf of Night-scented Jessamine, Cestrum nocturnum (Solanaceae): note the conical shape of the segments at the tip of the abdomen (black arrow). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Microscope slide preparation of a larva of Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note the short conical terminal segments of the abdomen.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Microscope slide preparation of a larva of Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note the short conical terminal segments of the abdomen. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Adult Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the upper side of a leaf of Pigeonwood, Hedycarya arborea (Monimiaceae).  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Adult Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the upper side of a leaf of Pigeonwood, Hedycarya arborea (Monimiaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Adult and prepupa of Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on leaf of Three Kings cabbage tree, Cordyline obtecta (Asparagaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Adult and prepupa of Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on leaf of Three Kings cabbage tree, Cordyline obtecta (Asparagaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Larvae of Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the upper side of a leaf of Pigeonwood, Hedycarya arborea (Monimiaceae).  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Larvae of Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the upper side of a leaf of Pigeonwood, Hedycarya arborea (Monimiaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Pupa of Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on a leaf of Tecomanthe speciosa (Bignoniaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Pupa of Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on a leaf of Tecomanthe speciosa (Bignoniaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Dorsal (upper) side of the tip of the abdomen of a larva of Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the setae (hairs) with expanded tips and the round stigma (opening to breathing tube) on abdominal segment 8 (black arrow).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Dorsal (upper) side of the tip of the abdomen of a larva of Palm thrips, Parthenothrips dracaenae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): microscope slide preparation showing the setae (hairs) with expanded tips and the round stigma (opening to breathing tube) on abdominal segment 8 (black arrow). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
  • Adult Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the underside of a leaf.  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Adult Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the underside of a leaf. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Larvae of Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the underside of a leaf of Small-flowered mistletoe, Ileostylus micranthus (Loranthaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Larvae of Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the underside of a leaf of Small-flowered mistletoe, Ileostylus micranthus (Loranthaceae). Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Adult and juvenile Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the underside of a leaf of Puka, Meryta sinclairii (Araliaceae): note the colour of the larvae, prepupae and pupae. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Adult and juvenile Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the underside of a leaf of Puka, Meryta sinclairii (Araliaceae): note the colour of the larvae, prepupae and pupae. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Three pupae of Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the underside of a leaf of Whau, Entelea arborescens (Malvaceae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Three pupae of Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on the underside of a leaf of Whau, Entelea arborescens (Malvaceae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Microscope slide preparation of a larva of Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note the short terminal segment of the abdomen and short anal setae (hairs).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
    Microscope slide preparation of a larva of Greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): note the short terminal segment of the abdomen and short anal setae (hairs). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Landcare Research
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Natural Enemies

No natural enemies have been recorded for this endemic thrips. It is probably eaten by spiders and insect predators. There may also be an egg parasitoid.

The Hangehange thrips prepupae and pupae live in the litter or soil. They both have six spine-like seate at the tip of their abdomen. It is assumed that these spines are used for defence.

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Host Plants

Hangehange thrips only feeds on native plants. They feed on mature or almost mature leaves of trees, shrubs and herbs. The adults and larvae often feed on the upper side of leaves.

Feeding and plant damage
Hangehange thrips feed on mature or almost mature leaves rather than young rapidly expanding leaves. Larvae and adults use the stylets in their mouth cone to feed. They puncture plant cells with their single mandible and suck up the plant cell contents with their maxillary stylets. Their feeding kills the surface cells of the leaves creating distinctive pale areas of dead cells. The larvae carry a dark faecal droplet at the tip of the abdomen, which is probably flicked away at intervals. There are usually dried black faecal droplets on leaves where the thrips have been feeding.

Table: Host plants of the Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) from Plant-SyNZ database (30 June 2017). The reliability score shows the quality of evidence for the host association (1-10, 10=high).
Common Name(s)Scientific NameFamilyReliability IndexBiostatus
New Zealand bitter cress, PanapanaCardamine debilis Banks ex DC.Cruciferae10endemic
Centella, Gotu colaCentella uniflora (Colenso) Nannf.Umbelliferae9indigenous, non-endemic
Kākawariki, Kanono, Kapukiore, Karamū-kueo, Kueo (fruit), Manono, Pāpāuma, Raurēkau, ToherāoaCoprosma grandifolia Hook.f.Rubiaceae10endemic
Large seeded coprosma, Kākaramū, Kākarangū, Karamū, Kāramuramu, KarangūCoprosma macrocarpa CheesemanRubiaceae10endemic
Glossy karamu, Kākaramū, Kākarangū, Karamū, Kāramuramu, KarangūCoprosma robusta RaoulRubiaceae10endemic
Round-leaved coprosmaCoprosma rotundifolia A.Cunn.Rubiaceae8endemic
Dwarf cabbage tree, Short-stemmed cabbage tree, Ti rauriki, Kōpuapua, Korokio, Mauku, Tī awe, Tī kapu, Tī koraha, Tī kupenga, Tī papa, Tī raurikiCordyline pumilio Hook.f.Asparagaceae10endemic
Spider orchidCorybas sp. (Hook.f.) Rchb.f.Orchidaceae7unknown
 Corybas trilobum (Hook.f.) Rchb.f.Orchidaceae10endemic
Tree fuchsia, Hōnā (fruit), Kōhutuhutu, Kōnini (fruit), Kōtukutuku, Māti (fruit), Tākawa (fruit)Fuchsia excorticata (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) L.f.Onagraceae10endemic
New Zealand privet, Hangehange, Hengahenga, Pāhengahenga, Pāpā, Pāpāhenga, Pāpāuma, WhangewhangeGeniostoma ligustrifolium A.Cunn. var. ligustrifoliumLoganiaceae10endemic
Shrubby haloragis, ToatoaHaloragis erecta (Banks ex Murray) OkenHaloragaceae9endemic
Pigeonwood, Kaiwhir, Kaiwhiria, Kōporokaiwhiri, Pōporokaiwhiri, Pōporokaiwhiria, Porokaiwhiri, Porokaiwhiria, PoroporokaiwhiriaHedycarya arborea J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Monimiaceae10endemic
 Hydrocotyle elongata A.Cunn.Araliaceae10endemic
New Zealand lobelia, Shore lobelia, Punakuru, Pūrao, Waewae-koukouLobelia anceps L.f.Campanulaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
Panakeake, PānakenakeLobelia angulata G.Forst.Campanulaceae5endemic
Narrow-leaved mahoe, Willow-leaved mahoe, Kaiwētā, Māhoe-wao, TārangaMelicytus lanceolatus Hook.f.Violaceae10endemic
Whiteywood, Hinahina, Inaina, Inihina, Māhoe, Moeahu, KaiwetaMelicytus ramiflorus J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Violaceae10indigenous, non-endemic
TutukiwiPterostylis banksii A.Cunn.Orchidaceae10endemic
Seven-finger, Kohi, Kotētē, Patate, Patatē, Patē, PatētēSchefflera digitata J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.Araliaceae10endemic
New Zealand chickweedStellaria parviflora Banks et Sol. ex Hook. f.Caryophyllaceae8indigenous, non-endemic
  • Upper side of leaves of Coprosma grandifolia (Rubiaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
    Upper side of leaves of Coprosma grandifolia (Rubiaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
  • Underside of a leaf of Shrubby haloragis, Haloragis erecta (Haloragaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
    Underside of a leaf of Shrubby haloragis, Haloragis erecta (Haloragaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
  • Leaves of Tutukiwi, Pterostylis banksii (Orchidaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
    Leaves of Tutukiwi, Pterostylis banksii (Orchidaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
  • Upper side of a leaf of Corybas sp. (Orchidaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and adult thrips present. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
    Upper side of a leaf of Corybas sp. (Orchidaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and adult thrips present. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
  • Upper side of a leaf of Corybas sp. (Orchidaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
    Upper side of a leaf of Corybas sp. (Orchidaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
  • Upper side of a leaf of Mahoe, Melicytus ramiflorus (Violaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
    Upper side of a leaf of Mahoe, Melicytus ramiflorus (Violaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
  • Leaves of Centella uniflora (Umbelliferae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
    Leaves of Centella uniflora (Umbelliferae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
  • Underside of leaves of Corybas trilobum (Orchidaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Underside of leaves of Corybas trilobum (Orchidaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaves of New Zealand lobelia, Lobelia anceps (Campanulaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaves of New Zealand lobelia, Lobelia anceps (Campanulaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaves of New Zealand chickweed, Stellaria parviflora (Caryophyllaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaves of New Zealand chickweed, Stellaria parviflora (Caryophyllaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaves of Hydrocotyle elongata (Araliaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaves of Hydrocotyle elongata (Araliaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Upper side of a leaf of Dwarf cabbage tree, Cordyline pumilio (Asparagaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Upper side of a leaf of Dwarf cabbage tree, Cordyline pumilio (Asparagaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Upper and underside of a leaf of Glossy karamu, Coprosma robusta (Rubiaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Upper and underside of a leaf of Glossy karamu, Coprosma robusta (Rubiaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Upper side of a leaf of Hangehange, Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Loganiaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
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Additional Information

Reproduction and Parthenogenesis in Thysanoptera
In Thysanoptera, females are diploid (2 sets of chromosomes) and males are haploid (one set of chromosomes). Males are produced from unfertilised eggs. This type of reproduction is called Arrhenotoky. The proportion of males to females in a population is variable. In Palm thrips this appears to be related to temperature. In a warm greenhouse (25-28°C) there are very few males, 6-7 per 100 females, while in a cooler greenhouse (18-20°C) there are more males. Where there are very few or no males, females can reproduce without fertilisation. This is called Thelotoky, form of parthenogenesis. In populations where there are very few males there are probably two types of female present, Arrhenotokous and Thelotokous.

Palm thrips is the first species from the Thysanoptera order that was found to be capable of thelytokous parthenogenetic reproduction. This characteristic is contained in the Latin name of the genus, Parthenothrips.

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Information Sources

Lewis T. 1973. Thrips their biology, ecology and economic importance. Academic Press, London, UK. Pp. 1-349.

Martin NA. 2016. Distinguishing feature of immature stages of Panchaetothripinae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) known in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 43 (4): 1-8.

Martin NA. 2017. Host plants of Panchaetothripinae (Thysanoptera: Terebrantia: Thripidae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 44 (1): 1-8.

Martin NA, Mound LA. 2004. Host plants for some New Zealand thrips (Thysanoptera: Terebrantia). New Zealand Entomologist. 27: 119-123.

Mound LA, Walker AK. 1982. Terebrantia (Insecta: Thysanoptera). Fauna of New Zealand. 1: 1-113.

Plant-SyNZ: Invertebrate herbivore-host plant association database. plant-synz.landcareresearch.co.nz/

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Acknowledgements

The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited (Plant & Food Research) for permission to use photographs.

Landcare Research New Zealand Limited (Landcare Research) for permission to use photographs.

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Other Images

  • Upper side of leaves of Lobelia angulata (Campanulaceae) with damage probably from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
    Upper side of leaves of Lobelia angulata (Campanulaceae) with damage probably from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
  • Leaves of New Zealand chickweed, Stellaria parviflora (Caryophyllaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaves of New Zealand chickweed, Stellaria parviflora (Caryophyllaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Upper side of a leaf of Mahoe, Melicytus ramiflorus (Violaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
    Upper side of a leaf of Mahoe, Melicytus ramiflorus (Violaceae) with damage from feeding by Hangehange thrips, Sigmothrips aotearoana (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Rsearch
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Suggested Citation

Martin NA. 2017. Hangehange thrips - Sigmothrips aotearoana. Interesting Insects and other Invertebrates. New Zealand Arthropod Factsheet Series Number 103. http://nzacfactsheets.landcareresearch.co.nz/Index.html. Date Accessed. ISSN 1179-643X.

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