I found my study species

Landscape near Broken Hill NSW

I returned from a great initial field trip to the outback, thrips-hunting and plant-sampling. I found my study species, Dunatothrips aneurae,  in adequate numbers and watched them building colonies.

Thrips colonies along a branch

Excitingly I also found colonies of a related species (D. vestitor) that spins conjoined silken colonies all down a branch (see photo; click for larger image).