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The four extant genera recognised in this family are all from the New World, mainly the Neotropics. If the fossil species listed here are correctly associated, then the family had a wider distribution at an earlier period.

All but three of the Heterothripidae species breed in flowers, often in the flowers of Malpighiaceae (Pereyra & Cavalleri, 2012), but the five species of Aulacothrips are all ectoparasites on various Hemiptera.

Bhatti (2006) recognised a new family, Aulacothripidae, for the genus Aulacothrips.

Ulitzka & Mound (2017) indicated the possibility that Electrothrips, Eocephalothrips, and Protothrips, also Heterothrips nanus, might not be members of the Heterothripidae.

Click to see a list of the 4 extant genera.

Click to see a list of the 3 fossil genera.

Click to see a list of the 89 species.

Click to see a list of the 4 Fossil species.


Mound LA & Marullo R (1996) The Thrips of Central and South America: An Introduction. Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1-488.

Bhatti JS (2006) The classification of Terebrantia (Insecta) into families. Oriental Insects 40: 339-375.

Pereyra V & Cavalleri A (2012) The genus Heterothrips in Brazil, with an identification key and seven new species. Zootaxa 3237: 1-23.

Ulitzka M & Mound L (2017) The fossil species Merothrips dietrichi (Schliephake) comb.n. redescribed and transferred from the genus Heterothrips (Thysanoptera). Zootaxa 4231 (4): 573-576.

Genera included

Aulacothrips Hood, 1952

† Electrothrips Bagnall, 1924

† Eocephalothrips Bagnall, 1924

Heterothrips Hood, 1908

Lenkothrips De Santis & Sureda, 1970

† Protothrips Priesner, 1924

Scutothrips Stannard, 1972