Genus Neomegamelanus McDermott, 1952
Distribution: East and Gulf coast of the US and Mexico; Bermuda, Caribbean.
Type species (in original combination): Megamelanus lautus Metcalf, 1923 .
Five valid species plus one species as follows:
Neomegamelanus dorsalis (Metcalf, 1923) - see N. spartini
Neomegamelanus elongatus (Ball, 1905) - USA: Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Virginia; Bahamas (Abaco Cay, Andros, Barry, Eleuthera. Exuma Cays, San Salvador)
Neomegamelanus elongatus reductus (Caldwell, 1951) - Puerto Rico, Vieques Is
Neomegamelanus graminicola (Muir, 1928) - Bermuda
Neomegamelanus lautus (Metcalf, 1923) - Mexico: Vera Cruz; USA: Texas
Neomegamelanus penilautus McDermott, 1952 - USA: Florida
Neomegamelanus spartini (Osborn, 1905) - USA: Connecticut,Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Virginia
= Neomegamelanus dorsalis (Metcalf, 1923); syn. by Kennedy et al. 2012.
All appear to be in coastal marshes, expected to be Spartina feeders.
Neomegamelanus spartini (as dorsalis) - Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl. (saltmeadow cordgrass)
Neomegamelanus elongatus - Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl.
Neomegamelanus elongatus reductus- Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth (seashore dropseed)
Economic Importance: Limited.
Unusual fragile appearing, long-headed species. The head bears a unique carina between the top of the compound eye, across the temple, to the lateral carina of the frons, which is absent in the similar Tumidagena. All species in coastal marshes where they are often abundant. Ecological aspects of Neomegamelanus species frequently noted in work by Denno and colleagues, although most of this literature relates more directly to Prokelisia species.
Neomegamelanus spartini (male, female is not as dark; note dark legs)
(below: Male left, female right)
Neomegamelanus spartini (female, note dark legs)
Neomegamelanus elongatus (females are paler; note pale legs)
At this time neither Genbank or BOLD provides molecular data for this genus. Urban et al. (2010) extracted 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, wingless, and cytochrome oxidase I from Neomegamelanus elongatus for their analyses.
Ball, E. D. 1905a. Some new Homoptera from the south and southwest. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 18: 117-120.
Cummins, J. D.; S. W. Wilson, P. D. Calvert, and J. H. Tsai. 1988. Neomegamelanus elongatus (Homoptera: Delphacidae): descriptions of immatures. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 96(3): 260-265.
Denno, R. F. 1980. Ecotope differentiation in a guild of sap-feeding insects on the salt marsh grass, Spartina patens. Ecology 61(3):702-714.
Kennedy, A. C., C. R. Bartlett, and S. W. Wilson. 2012. An annotated checklist of the delphacid planthoppers (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) of Florida with the description of three new species and the new genus, Meristopsis. Florida Entomologist 95(2): 395-421.
McCoy, E. D. and J. R. Rey. 1981. Patterns of abundance, distribution, and alary polymorphism among the salt marsh Delphacidae (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea) of northwest Florida. Ecological Entomology 6(3): 285-291.
McDermott, B. T. 1952. A revision of the genus Megamelanus and its allies (Homoptera, Fulgoroidea, Delphacidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 25: 41-49.
Raupp, M. J. and R. F. Denno. 1979. The influence of patch size on a guild of sap-feeding insects that inhabit the salt marshed grass Spartina patens. Environmental Entomology 8(3): 412-417
Wilson, M. R. and D. J. Hilburn. 1991. Annotated list of the Auchenorrhynchous Homoptera (Insecta) of Bermuda. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 84(4): 412-419.