Aulacothrips Hood, 1952 is a remarkable South American genus of ectoparasitic thrips which feed on gregarious ant-tended hemipterans (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). Here we describe two new species of this genus infesting membracid treehoppers in Colombia and Brazilian Amazon, and provide a key to the five Aulacothrips spp. now recognised. Aulacothrips levinotus n. sp. is unique in having pronotum with only two pairs of major setae; and Aulacothrips tenuis n. sp. has unusually long abdominal tergite IX. These findings will be helpful for understanding the species diversification in this genus, bringing a new perspective on the diversity of Aulacothrips spp. and their myrmecophilous hemipteran hosts.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Alves-Silva, E., & Del-Claro, K. (2011). Ectoparasitism and phoresy in Thysanoptera: the case of Aulacothrips dictyotus (Heterothripidae) in the Neotropical savanna. Journal of Natural History, 45, 393–405.
Cavalleri, A. (2012). Natural history of Aulacothrips (Thysanoptera: Heterothripidae) and effects of ectoparasitism on hemipteran trophobionts (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). PhD thesis, Porto Alegre, Brazil, Universidade Federal do Grande do Sul, 136 pp (In Portuguese).
Cavalleri, A., Kaminski, L. A., & Mendonça, M. S, Jr. (2010). Ectoparasitism in Aulacothrips (Thysanoptera: Heterothripidae) revisited: host diversity on honeydew-producing Hemiptera and description of a new species. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 249, 209–221.
Cavalleri, A., Kaminski, L. A., & Mendonça, M. S, Jr. (2012). A new ectoparasitic Aulacothrips from Amazon rainforest and the significance of variation in antennal sensoria (Thysanoptera: Heterothripidae). Zootaxa, 3438, 62–68.
Del-Claro, K., Marullo, R., & Mound, L. A. (1997). A new Brazilian species of Heterothrips (Insecta: Thysanoptera) interacting with ants in Peixotoa tomentosa flowers (Malpighiaceae). Journal of Natural History, 31, 1307–1312.
Fiedler, K. (2001). Ants that associate with Lycaeninae butterfly larvae: diversity, ecology and biogeography. Diversity and Distributions, 7, 45–60.
Izzo, T. J., Pinent, S. M. J., & Mound, L. A. (2002). Aulacothrips dictyotus (Heterothripidae), the first ectoparasitic thrips (Thysanoptera). Florida Entomologist, 85, 281–283.
Kaminski, L. A., Mota, L. M., Freitas, A. V. L., & Moreira, G. R. P. (2013). Two ways to be a myrmecophilous butterfly: natural history and comparative immature-stage morphology of two species of Theope (Lepidoptera: Riodinidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 108, 844–870.
Mound, L. A., & Marullo, R. (1996). The Thrips of Central and South America: An Introduction. Memoirs on Entomology International, 6, 1–488.
Ribeiro, S. P., Espírito-Santo, N. B., Delabie, J. H. C., & Majer, J. (2013). Competition, resources and the ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) mosaic: A comparison of upper and lower canopy. Myrmecological News, 18, 113–120.
Wood, T. K., & Olmstead, K. L. (1984). Latitudinal effects on treehopper species richness (Homoptera: Membracidae). Ecological Entomology, 9, 109–115.
We are grateful to Sebastian Sendoya for his help in the field work in Colombia, and to Olivia Evangelista for her help with treehopper identifications. Financial support was provided by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul. LAK was supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP 10/51340-8) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES 3200-14-0).
About this article
Cite this article
Cavalleri, A., Kaminski, L.A. Two new ectoparasitic species of Aulacothrips Hood, 1952 (Thysanoptera: Heterothripidae) associated with ant-tended treehoppers (Hemiptera). Syst Parasitol 89, 271–278 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11230-014-9526-z