Biology and distribution
Described from South Australia
Distribution: widespread across central Australia. Carcinothrips leai is found on Acacia kempeana & torulosa.
Females of Carcinothrips leai have the front legs modified into massive chelate structures, with elongate and expanded fore femora bearing a row of stout tubercles, and foreshortened fore tibiae that close onto these tubercles. They secrete a ring of glue from their anus to fix together pairs of Acacia phyllodes. Adults and larvae live within the shallow cell so produced, and feed on the phyllode walls of their domicile.
Moulton D (1929) An interesting new thrips from Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 53 : 264–266.
Crespi BJ, Morris DC & Mound LA (2004) Evolution of ecological and behavioural diversity: Australian Acacia thrips as model organisms. Australian Biological Resources Study & Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia, pp. 1–328.
Holotype ♀: California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.