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Inquilines or kleptoparasites? New phlaeothripine Thysanoptera associated with domicile-building thrips on Acacia trees

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Five new species of phlaeothripine Thysanoptera are described in three new genera. These thrips all live in association with other, as yet undescribed, phlaeothripine species that construct, and breed within, domiciles on the phyllodes of Acacia trees in the arid areas of Australia. The new species all have particularly unusual structures at the anterior end of the body. Crespithrips enigmaticus gen. et sp. n. and Crespithrips hesperus sp. n. both have the inner margin of antennal segment I produced into a long bifurcate tooth and the median antennal segments bear an unusual array of supernumerary small sense cones. Crespithrips enigmaticus has been found breeding within domiciles comprising pairs of glued phyllodes. These domiciles were produced on different species of Acacia by two undescribed species of an undescribed genus related to Dunatothrips Moulton. Schwarzithrips zammit gen. et sp. n. and Schwarzithrips glyphis sp. n. have the external margin of antennal segment II produced into a narrow blade, but have antennal sensoria typical of other phlaeothripines of the Liothrips-lineage. These species have been taken within tent-like domiciles that are woven on the flat phyllodes of Acacia catenulata and a related species, by two undescribed species of Dunatothrips. The species pairs in these two new genera have vicariant distributions between central and western Australia. Vicinothrips bullatus gen. et sp. n. is based on a single unusual specimen from Queensland with antennal segment II uniquely swollen and rounded.
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Keywords: domicile creation; inquiline; kleptoparasitism; new genera

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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