Franklinothrips vespiformis (predator)

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Franklinothrips vespiformis (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Mark S. Hoddle, University of California
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Franklinothrips vespiformis (predator) (D.L. Crawford, 1909)

This ant-like thrips is believed to be native to Central America and adjacent parts of North- and South America. It is also found in other tropical and subtropical regions including parts of eastern Asia, Australia, and the Pacific. F. vespiformis is a polyphagous predator of small arthropods, and can be also cannibalistic when crowded together. It is regarded as a useful natural enemy of pest thrips and other small pest arthropods like spider mites.

The adults are around 2½ to 3 mm long, with long legs and a constricted waist. They move swiftly and have a dark brown to black colour, with white bands on the wings, legs and the base of the abdomen. The nymphs are yellowish to bright orange red. When pupating, they construct a semi-transparent silken cocoon.

Aeolothrips vespiformis