Thrips are small insects, typically only a few millimeters long. The wings, fringed with setae, small hairs which are distinctive for the group and give it its name, which means "fringe-wing." Some thrips are predaceous, but many feed by sucking plant juices, and may be agricultural pests.

Most fossil thrips have been found in amber, where they are fairly common. The oldest fossil thrips are Permian.

This image of thysanopterans has been graciously provided by the University of Illinois Department of Entomology; thanks to David Lampe for making them available to us.

More information on living thrips is avilable from the Tree of Life at the University of Arizona.


Carpenter, F. M. 1992. Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. Part R. Arthropoda 4, Volume 3: Superclass Hexapoda. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas, Boulder, Colorado and Lawrence, Kansas.