North American Caliscelidae
Fitchiella robertsoni (Fitch, 1856) (Caliscelidae) photo by Kimberley Shropshire (University of Delaware)
Caliscelidae is a small planthopper family, consisting of approximately 64 genera and 195 species (Bourgoin 2012). Caliscelids were elevated from a subfamily of Issidae to a family by Emeljanov (1999). Subsequently, an expanded family diagnosis and elaboration of tribal features were provided by Gnezdilov and Wilson (2006), although family level features remain incompletely elaborated. Phylogenetic analyses supports Caliscelidae as an independent family (e.g., Yang & Chang 2000, Yeh et al. 2005, Urban and Cryan 2007). At present, Caliscelidae is separated into 2 subfamilies, Caliscelinae with 2 tribes (Caliscelini and Peltonotellini) and Ommatidiotinae with 3 tribes (Ommatidiotini, Augilini and Adenissini) (Gnezdilov and Wilson 2006, Gnezdilov 2011). In the Nearctic, most taxa are in Caliscelini (Caliscelinae), except the adventive Asarcopus palmarum (the date bug) and Papagona in Ommatidiotini (Ommatidiotinae).
Caliscelidae north of Mexico include 6 genera and 53 species, with most of these in the central and southwestern states. Caliscelidae is species rich throughout most of the United States, with highest richness in the southwest and Great Plains. Three genera (Papagona and the adventive Caliscelis and Asarcopus; Quayle 1938, O’Brien 1967) are found only in the west. Papagona, Fitchiella and Bruchomorpha also occur in Mexico (Caldwell 1945, Bartlett et al. in review) and 1 Bruchomorpha is described from from Costa Rica (Schmidt 1927). Aphelonema includes 16 species north of Mexico plus 4 Mexican species and 7 Palearctic species. The fauna north of Mexico were revised by Doering (1939, 1941) (as part of Issidae). Emeljanov (1996c) divided Aphelonema into subgenera and Emeljanov (1996c) redefined Peltonotellus as a Palearctic subgenus of Aphelonema.
Distribution of U.S. Caliscelidae from Bartlett et al. in review.
Caliscelids are small, cryptic in habits, easily mistaken for nymphs (or beetles), and the most commonly encountered genera (Bruchomorpha and Aphelonema) are diverse, leading caliscelids to be undercollected and underreported. Caliscelids are distinctive among the North American fauna by being small, cylindrical planthoppers that are brachypterous (rarely macropterous), with the wings much shorter than the abdomen. Among the North American Issidae and Gaetuliini (Tropiduchidae), only Osbornia may also have wings much shorter than the abdomen, but it has partially reticulated wings. Two genera of Caliscelidae have greatly expanded tibiae (front only in Caliscelis, front and middle in Fitchiella), and two genera (Fitchiella and Bruchomorpha) have the head projected similar to a weevil. Some caliscelids (e.g., Asarcopus, some Aphelonema) have evident sexual dimorphism, but in Caliscelis sexual dimorphism is very striking. Caliscelids have a single lateral spine on the hind tibiae, whereas Issidae and Gaetuliini usually have more. Other morphological features of caliscelids overlap to some degree with Issidae and Gaetuliini.
Caliscelidae is largely grass feeding. The biology of Bruchomorpha oculata was described by Wilson and McPherson (1981). For this species, development from egg to adult averaged 68 days in a laboratory study, but the number of generations per year was unclear.
The classification of Caliscelidae north of Mexico can be summarized as follows:
Caliscelinae Amyot et Serville, 1843
Caliscelini Amyot et Serville, 1843
Aphelonema Uhler, 1876 (Type species Aphelonema simplex Uhler, 1876).
= Peltonotus Mulsant & Rey 1855 (nec. Burmeister 1847) (Type species Peltonotus raniformis Mulsant & Rey 1855).
= Peltonotellus Puton 1886; replacement name for unavailable Peltonotus Mulsant & Rey 1855 (nec. Burmeister 1847); syn. by Melichar 1906: 36, 53; removed from syn. and redefined by Emeljanov 1996: 994.
= Mushya Kato, 1933; syn. by Chan & Yang 1994: 8.
Bruchomorpha Newman, 1838 (Type species Bruchomorpha oculata Newman, 1838).
Caliscelis de Laporte, 1833 (Type species Caliscelis heterodoxa de Laporte, 1833; jr. syn. of Fulgora bonellii Latreille, 1807).
Fitchiella Van Duzee, 1917b (Type species Naso robertsoni Fitch, 1856) (replacement name for unavailable Naso Fitch 1856)
Key to Genera of Caliscelidae north of Mexico.
Note: This key includes Osbornia (Tropiduchidae: Gaetuliini), since this genus can easily be mistaken for a caliscelid.
1. Front tibiae expanded, foliaceous .... 2
1’. Front tibiae not expanded or foliaceous .... 3
2. Front and middle tibiae expanded (slightly in F. robertsoni); head produced into weevil-like snout; frons, vertex, or pronotum pustulate; widespread (most common in southwest) .... Fitchiella Van Duzee
2’. Front tibiae and femora greatly expanded; head not produced into weevil-like snout; no pustules on head or thorax; sexually dimorphic, males black and yellow, females all tan; adventive in California .... Caliscelis de Laporte
Caliscelis bonellii (Latreille, 1807), male (left) and female (right).
3. Frons, vertex, or pronotum with distinct sensory pustules, usually in two or more rows; widespread distribution .... 4
3’. Pustules absent or indistinct; southwestern .... 6
4. Vertex longer than broad, southwestern .... Papagona Ball
4’ Vertex broader than long, widespread .... 5
Papagona succinea Ball, 1935 (ventral view of head, left); photo by Kimberley Shropshire (University of Delaware)
5. Head usually produced and snout-like; vertex crescent shaped, 5-6 times as broad as long .... Bruchomorpha Newman
5’. Head not produced snout-like; vertex usually less than 4 times as broad as long (A. decorata, A. simplex, and A. obscura excepted; these with median tablet of frons circular) .... Aphelonema Uhler
Aphelonema simplex Uhler, 1876 (left) and Bruchomorpha oculata Newman, 1838 (right); photos by Kimberley Shropshire.
6. Forewings touching medially, tightly fitted to body, venation not reticulate; frons slightly anteriorly projected; anterior margin of vertex rounded in dorsal view; usually orangish; adventive, on date palms in California ... Asarcopus Horvath
6’. Forewings slightly separated medially, not touching body along all margin, venation often reticulate, especially distally; vertex varied, either lateral margins dorsally projected (O. cornuta) or medially angular in dorsal view (O. arborea); color dark with pale markings to mostly pale .... Osbornia Ball
Asarcopus palmarum Horváth, 1921 (Caliscelidae) and Osbornia cornuta Ball, 1910 (Tropiduchidae Gaetuliini).
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