The subfamily Panchaetothripinae, comprising 35 genera and 98 species, includes several pest species of which the most notorious is the greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis. In an attempt to establish the sister-group of Heliothrips, the relationships of this genus to 31 of the other genera in the subfamily were examined cladistically, using 35 parsimony-informative morphological characters. The analysis indicated that there was no support for two of the three tribes into which this subfamily is customarily arranged, the Monilothripini and the Panchaetothripini, but weak support for the tribe Tryphactothripini. No clear sister-group relationship could be identified for the New World genus Heliothrips, although it grouped with three old world genera Australothrips, Retithrips and Rhipiphorothrips. It is concluded that a morphological data set is not capable of producing a robust phylogeny of the Panchaetothripinae, and that the subject requires re-examination using molecular data.