Podothrips: first record from Iran with a new species (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae)

Turkish Journal of Zoology Turk J Zool
(2015) 39: 958-961
Podothrips: first record from Iran with a new species (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae)
Kambiz MINAEI*
Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
* Correspondence: kminaei@shirazu.ac.ir
Fourteen families of thrips are recognized in the insect
order Thysanoptera, including 5 fossil families (Mound,
2013). Among them, Phlaeothripidae, with 2 subfamilies
(Idolothripinae and Phlaeothripinae), is the most speciesrich family, with 3550 species assigned to some 460
genera (ThripsWiki, http://thrips.info/wiki/). Members of
subfamily Idolothripinae feed on fungal spores (Mound
and Palmer, 1983). The members of the subfamily
Phlaeothripinae exhibit a wide range of biologies, ranging
from fungus feeding (Mound and Marullo, 1996; Minaei,
2013a; Dang et al., 2014), to phytophagy (Minaei and
Mound, 2008), to feeding on mosses (Mound, 1989), to
pollinators on particular plants (Moog et al., 2002). A few
species are obligate predators of other small arthropods
on leaves (zur Strassen, 1995) or on the bases of grasses
(Palmer and Mound, 1991). One unusual Haplothripini
species has been demonstrated to be a predator of eggs of
social wasps (Cavalleri et al., 2013).
The predatory species of phlaeothripids are mainly
within the Haplothrips lineage, or tribe Haplothripini. One
haplothripine species, Karnyothrips flavipes (Jones), has
a worldwide distribution and is known to be a predator
on scale insects (Okajima, 2006), and several species in
Haplothrips are known to be predators on mites or small
arthropods (Bailey and Caon, 1986; zur Strassen, 1995;
Kakimoto et al., 2006). Similar predatory habits are
characteristic of species of Podothrips that live on grasses;
these thrips are reported to feed on coccoids (Ritchie, 1974;
Palmer and Mound, 1991). The geographical distribution
of the genus is mainly tropical and subtropical.
A review of 18 species in this genus was provided by
Ritchie (1974); subsequently, 4 species were described
from southeast Asia including India (Bhatti, 1978;
Okajima, 1978), and 2 from New Zealand (Mound and
Walker, 1986). In the most recent treatment of this genus,
Mound and Minaei (2007) described another 6 species
from Australia. Thus, the genus now comprises 30 species
The objective of this paper is to record the genus
Podothrips for the first time and to describe a new species
of Podothrips, collected from the bases of grasses in Fars
Province, southern Iran. Full nomenclatural information
on the genus Podothrips is available on the web (ThripsWiki,
The specimens discussed in this study were collected in
Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran, by beating the bases of grasses
onto a plastic tray. The specimens were collected with a fine
brush into a collecting vial containing 95% ethyl alcohol.
Thrips specimens were mounted onto slides in Canada
balsam after dehydration through a series of ethanols,
using a form of the protocol given by Mound and Marullo
(1996). The photomicrographs and measurements were
obtained using a Motic BA310 microscope with an attached
camera. The terminology follows Ritchie (1974), Mound
and Minaei (2007), and Minaei and Mound (2008). The
holotype of the new species and a male were deposited in
the Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt, Germany.
Two paratype specimens (1 female and 1 male) were
deposited in the Australian National Insect Collection,
Canberra, Australia. The other materials were deposited
in the collection of the Department of Plant Protection,
College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.
Abstract: Podothrips erami Minaei sp. nov. is described and illustrated from Fars Province in southern Iran. This is the first record of
the genus from Iran. The new species is bicolored and conforms with P. denticeps Hood and P. distinctus Ananthakrishnan in bearing a
lateral forward-directed tooth behind the compound eyes.
Key words: Fars Province, Haplothripini, new record, new species, Podothrips
Received: 24.09.2014 Accepted/Published Online: 24.04.2015 Printed: 30.09.2015
Short Communication
MINAEI / Turk J Zool
Podothrips erami sp. nov. Minaei
Material studied. Holotype female, IRAN, Fars
Province, Shiraz, from grass (Poaceae), 15.viii.2014 (KM
Paratypes, 1 female, 1 male, taken with holotype. 1
male, same place, same plant, 23.ix.2011 (KM 562); 3
females, 25.viii.2014 (KM 1249); 4 males, 29.viii.2014 (KM
Description: Female
Macroptera. Bicolored; head, antennal segment I, and
most of II brown (Figure 1); abdominal segments I–II
yellow, III–VII with a brown area on the anterior, VIII–X
brown (Figure 2); forewing pale, major setae on prothorax
and abdominal tergites yellow, postocular setae brownishyellow; rest of body and legs yellow.
Antennae 8 segmented (Figure 1); segment II with
campaniform sensilla situated between middle and apex
of the segment; segments III and IV each with 2 sense
cones, the inner one on III is small, about half as long as
the outer one. Head longer than broad, without distinct
sculpture, with a pair of well-developed and weakly
capitate postocular setae, ocellar setae minute; cheeks
without stout setae, with a distinct tooth just behind eyes
(Figure 3). Mouth-cone short and rounded; maxillary
stylets not retracted to base of postocular setae, about
one-third of head width apart, maxillary bridge present.
Eyes normal; ocelli well developed, posterior pair far apart
from each other. Pronotum well developed, longer than
broad, all major setae (except anteromarginal setae) well
developed and apically capitate or blunt, anteromarginal
Figures 1–6. Podothrips erami sp. nov. (1) Antenna (female); (2) Abdominal tergites
VI–X (female); (3) Head (female); (4) Fore tibia and tarsus (female); (5) Fore tibia and
tarsus (male); (6) male.
MINAEI / Turk J Zool
setae reduced, no longer than discal setae, apically acute;
notopleural sutures complete. Surface of mesonotum
and metanotum weakly sculptured, median setae on
metanotum small. Fore tarsal tooth with pronounced tooth;
fore tibia with subapical tubercle, fore femora stout (Figure
4). Basantra well developed, longer than broad; ferna and
prospinasternum moderately developed; mesopresternum
complete, boat-shaped. Metathoracic sternopleural
sutures present. Forewing slightly constricted medially,
with 2–3 duplicated cilia; sub-basal setae S1, S2 capitate,
S3 blunt. Pelta bell-shaped. Abdominal tergites II–VII
with 2 pairs of sigmoid wing-retaining setae, the posterior
pair on tergite VII straight. Two campaniform sensilla on
tergite VII close with 2 microsetae laterally, tergite VIII
campaniform sensilla further apart, the microsetae almost
located between them. Tube shorter than head, about
twice as long its basal width; anal setae longer than tube.
Measurements (holotype female in microns). Body
length 2255. Head, length 300, maximum width 186,
postocular setae 39. Pronotum, length 223, median
width 332; epimeral setae, 50. Forewing length 800. Pelta
length 67, maximum width 116, tergite IX setae S1 118.
Tube length 123, basal width 64; anal setae 250. Antennal
segments I–VIII lengths 26, 43, 50, 46, 48, 44, 49, 38.
Male macroptera. Color and structure generally similar
to female but smaller (Figures 5, 6). Sternal pore plates
absent; S2 setae on tergite IX short. Aedeagus spoonshaped at apex.
Measurements (male, in micrometers). Body length
1840. Head, length 185, maximum width 161, postocular
setae 33. Pronotum, length 148, median width 263;
epimeral setae, 43. Fore wing length 720. Pelta length 60,
maximum width 97, tergite IX setae S1 98. Tube length
112; basal width 48; anal setae 120. Antennal segments I–
VIII lengths 21, 36, 43, 41, 46, 42, 41, 36.
Comments. P. erami is apparently close to P. denticeps
Hood and P. distinctus Ananthakrishnan, having a
pronounced lateral forward-directed tooth behind the
eyes. The new species has duplicated cilia on the forewing in
comparison to the other 2 species. Moreover, denticeps has
only 1 sense cone while erami has 2 on antennal segment
III. In distinctus as in erami, there are 2 sense cones on
antennal segment III, but the 2 species are different in
their major setae (acute in distinctus, blunt or capitate in
erami). Only 2 species have been recorded from Europe, as
well as from Egypt (Priesner, 1964, 1965; see also Marullo
and Grazia, 2013): P. graminium Priesner and the type
species of the genus, P. semiflavus Hood. The new species
is different from both of these in having duplicated cilia on
the forewing. The coloration also differs in these 3 species.
P. graminum is unicolorous brown, but the other 2 are
bicolored. However, abdominal segments I–II are yellow
in erami, while they are brown in semiflavus.
Etymology. The name of the species refers to Eram, a
historical Persian garden in Shiraz, Iran.
With the record of Podothrips, 7 genera of Haplothripini
including Bagnalliella Karny, Dolicholepta Priesner,
Haplothrips Amyot & Serville, Karnyothrips Watson,
Neoheegeria Schmutz, Plicothrips Bhatti, and Podothrips
have been recorded from Iran (see also Miramirkhani et
al., 2014). Consequently, the number of recorded genera
of Phlaeothripidae for Iran now totals 21 (see also Minaei,
2013b; Mirab-balou, 2014). The grasses examined in this
survey were infested by mites, and no scale species were
detected. Of the 7 genera mentioned above, the members
of 4 genera are exclusively phytophagous, but members of
Podothrips and Karnyothrips as well as several species in
Haplothrips are predatory.
The presence of Podothrips in Iran is remarkable as
there are no records of the genus in neighboring countries
such as Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. However,
this is probably a consequence of inadequate surveys
in these countries, rather than a reflection of the real
distribution of the genus.
During a short visit to Shiraz in August 2012, Dr Laurence
Mound (Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO,
Canberra), on the basis of the only male that was available
at that time, confirmed the generic assignment of the new
species discussed in this paper.
Thanks to Dr Alice Wells (Australian Biological
Resources Scientific, Canberra, Australia) for her editorial
help and critical comments. The manuscript was improved
through the advice and criticism provided by 2 anonymous
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