Genus Tumidagena McDermott, 1952
Distribution: East and Gulf coast of the US.
Type species: Tumidagena minuta McDermott, 1952.
Three valid species as follows:
minuta McDermott, 1952 - USA: Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York.
Tumidagena propinqua McDermott, 1952 - USA: Louisiana, Mississippi.
Tumidagena terminalis (Metcalf, 1923) - USA: Florida, North Carolina, Texas.
Tumidagena minuta is the most northern species and T. propinqua and T. terminalis found in the southern parts of the genus range. Collectively these species can be expected to be found in salt marshes from southern New England to Florida and the Gulf Coast, probably including the Mexican Gulf Coast.
All species in coastal marshes, expected to be Spartina feeders.
Tumidagena minuta - Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl. (saltmeadow cordgrass)
Economic Importance: Limited.
Unusual, fragile appearing, pale species. Locally abundant in coastal marshes and ecological features noted in passing in a number of publications by Denno and colleagues (e.g., Raupp and Denno 1979, Denno 1980), although these publications primarily target Prokelisia spp. Macropterous forms unknown, but probably occur. All there species pale with dark markings at the end of the tegmina and a dark pygofer in males; females completely pale. Tumidagena minuta with a relatively short head, much longer in the remaining two species. The genus name Tumidagena reflecting the subtle lateral expansion of the head in front of the eyes in dorsal view.
Most similar to Neomegamelanus and Prokelisia, with which it shares the coastal marsh habitat, and is generally less often encountered. Superficially, the coloration of the males is distinctive. Tumidagena lacks the lateral carinae of the head (extending from the tope of the compount eye to the lateral carinae of the frons) that is found in Neomegamelanus. Prokelisia does not have the forward-projecting head, and brachypters have the wings extending to the time of the abdomen.
Genbank has microsatellite data for Tumidagena minuta (here). BOLD has no barcode data for this genus. Urban et al. (2010) extracted 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, wingless, and cytochrome oxidase I from Tumidagena minuta for their analyses.
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.
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