Temporal range: Permian - Recent
Thrips are an order of insects, the Thysanoptera. They are tiny, slender insects with fringed wings.
Other common names for them are thunderflies, thunderbugs, storm flies, thunderblights, and corn lice. The scientific name for the order Thysanoptera comes from the Greek thysanos (fringe) and pteron (wing).
Thrips feed on a large variety of plants and animals by puncturing them and sucking up the contents. Thrips species are pests if they feed on plants with commercial value.
Thrips found in the British Isles are tiny insects, just 1-2mm long, but in other parts of the world they can be up to 14 mm. They have two pairs of narrow, fringed wings, although some are wingless. More than 6,000 species of thrips are known around the world, with over 300 of these in Europe and about 150 native to Britain.