EPPO Alert List Selenothrips rubrocinctus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)

Red-banded thrips



Selenothrips rubrocinctus is a damaging thrips species with a wide host range in tropical and subtropical countries. It was recently recorded as established for the first time in the EPPO region, in Italy (EPPO RS 2022/106). Considering its potential damage and the fact that it had been intercepted in trade, the EPPO Secretariat decided to add it to the Alert List.


Selenothrips rubrocinctus  male (left) and female (right) – Wikimedia Commons



S. rubrocinctus is widespread in tropical and subtropical countries. Its native range is uncertain and it is considered to originate either from northern South America or Africa.

EPPO Region: Italy.

Africa: Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Reunion, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda.

Asia: Bangladesh, China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shanghai, Xianggang (Hong Kong), Yunnan, Zhejiang), India (Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal), Indonesia (Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi), Iran, Japan (Honshu, Kyushu), Malaysia (Sarawak), Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand.

North America: Mexico, USA (Florida, Hawaii).

Central America and Caribbean: Bahamas, Barbados, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, St Kitts-Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.

South America: Brazil (Bahia, Ceara, Espirito Santo, Maranhao, Para, Parana, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia, Sao Paulo), Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela.

Oceania: Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland), Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna Islands.


On which plants

S. rubrocinctus is polyphagous and can be found on a wide range of fruit and ornamental trees and shrubs. It is a pest on avocado (Persea americana), cashew (Anacardium occidentale), cocoa (Theobroma cacao), grapevine (Vitis vinifera), mango (Mangifera indica).



Damage is caused by nymphs and adults feeding on leaves and fruit. In the early stages, feeding damage is seen as a silvery sheen on the leaves and skin of fruit or as chlorotic spots. In severe infestations, leaves take on a brown sun-scorched appearance and may drop, while the skin of fruit becomes covered in silvery or brown scars, making it unmarketable. S. rubrocinctus is not recorded as a virus vector.

Adult thrips are dark brown to black in colour and about 1.2 mm long. The nymphal stages are light yellow with two characteristic bright red bands around the abdomen (hence its name ‘red-banded thrips’. This is the only species in the genus. There are several generations per year (3 in Florida, 8 in Southern China).



Adults have wings and can move between plants. They may be transported by wind. Over long distances, all stages can be transported on infested plant material.



Plants for planting, cut flowers, or cut foliage, fruit. S. rubrocinctus has been intercepted several times in international trade by European plant health authorities on plants and fruit.


Possible risks

S. rubrocinctus is a damaging thrips species which can have negative impacts on yield and quality of fruit and plants. It has a wide host range including species that are important in the EPPO region both for fruit production and as ornamentals. Although of tropical origin, it has adapted to more temperate zones and has established in Italy. It could therefore be a threat for the Southern part of the EPPO region, as well as for glasshouses production.



Brown H, Chin D (2013) Red-banded thrips on fruit trees. Northern Territory Government 134, 3pp. Available at: https://dpir.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/233614/719.pdf

CABI (2022) Datasheet for Selenothrips rubrocinctus (red-banded thrips). https://www.cabi.org/cpc

Mirab-balou M, Tong XL, Feng JN, Chen XX (2014) Thrips species diversity in urban green spaces of Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province), China. Journal of Entomological and Acarological Research 46(3), 85-89.

Taddei A, Vono G, Vierbergen G, Wojnar A, Zugno M, Marullo R (2021) First field record of the tropical red-banded thrips Selenothrips rubrocinctus (Thripidae: Panchaetothripinae) in Europe. Forests 12(11),1484. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111484


EPPO RS 2022/129