North American Tropiduchidae
Pelitropis rotulata (Tangiini) from North Carolina (photo by Kimberley Shropshire, University of Delaware, Department of Entomology)
Tropiduchidae is a relatively small, advanced planthopper family consisting of 135 genera and 436 species (Bourgoin 2012). Tribes of Tropiduchidae were revised by Fennah (1982), and these were implicitly placed in the subfamilies of Metcalf (1954). Recent investigation of the relationships and composition of higher planthoppers has resulted in the transfer of taxa into Tropiduchidae, including Gaetuliina (from Nogodinidae, Bladinini; originally in Issidae) and Trienopinae (transferred from Acanaloniidae, originally in Issidae) (Gnezdilov 2007).
Similar to other advanced families of planthoppers, Tropiduchidae have the teeth on the second tarsomere of the hind leg reduced to a lateral pair. Tangiini and Remosini tend to be flattened with a distinct nodal line on the wing, with the venation reticulate distad of the nodal line. Some Tropiduchidae (Gaetuliini) superficially resemble dictyopharids, but are readily separated by the distinct nodal line and the lack of intermediate carinae on the frons. Gaetuliini is similar to Issidae, and both have 1-4 lateral spines (usually 2-3, but 1 in Osbornia cornuta and some Dictyssa, and 4 in Danepteryx and Misodema) on the hind tibiae and wings (usually) covering the abdomen. They can be separated by having reticulate venation (shared with the issids Paralixes and Traxus) with some cells membranous.
North American Tropiduchidae as traditionally defined (i.e., Tangiini and Remosini among U.S. taxa) were reviewed by O’Brien (1992) and are represented in the United States by 2 species in 2 genera (Pelitropis rotulata and Tangia breviceps) from the southeast, with two other species (Monopsis tabida and Neurotmeta sponsa) reported but unverified by specimens (O’Brien 1992). Spinola (1839: 302-304) described Monopsis tabida from “Des États-Unis de l’Am.-Sept.”, subsequently (Uhler 1884, Swezey 1904, Van Duzee 1908) annotated as Florida, but this species was not confirmed from the United States (O’Brien 1992). Neurotmeta sponsa was reported from southern Florida by Uhler (1884) (described from Cuba) but also was not confirmed from the U.S. (O’Brien 1992). All 4 of these genera have additional species in the Neotropics.
Gaetuliini (sensu Gnezdilov 2007) include 10 genera and 62 species north of Mexico, all of which are southwestern, with 8 genera and 55 species from California. Only 1 species in this tribe, Misodema dubia Caldwell, 1945, has not been reported north of Mexico. Gaetuliini were moved from Issidae to Nogodinidae by Fennah (1984, as a subtribe of Bladinini), following his review of nogodinid higher classification (Fennah 1978). Emeljanov (1999) agreed with Fennah’s (1984) placement of the tribe; however, Gaetuliini did not group with Nogodinidae in the molecular phylogeny of Urban and Cryan (2007). Subsequently Gaetuliini were transferred to Tropiduchidae by Gnezdilov (2007). Dictyssonia beameri was not treated by Fennah (1954), but appears to be closely allied with Gaetuliini, and is treated as such here. Therefore, as currently defined, Tropiduchidae north of Mexico consist of 12 genera and 64 species.
Distribution of Tropiduchidae north of Mexico (from Bartlett et al. in review)
Gaetuliini was included within Doering’s revision of Issidae (Doering 1936, 1938, 1940, and 1941), which should be consulted for the identification of these species. O’Brien (1988) presented an updated version of Doering’s (1938) key that includes Gaetuliini, Issidae, Caliscelidae, and Euthiscia (Acanaloniidae).
The majority of tropiduchids are found on above-ground portions of woody dicots (Wilson et al. 1994). Wilson & Wheeler (1984) record Pelitropis rotulata from 19 woody host plants and described immatures. This species appeared to be univoltine in North Carolina. Tangia breviceps has been recorded from Cocoloba uvifera (O’Brien 1992) and Neurotmeta sponsa from guava and coffee (Metcalf & Bruner 1930, Fennah 1982). Life history has not been studied in detail for any Gaetuliini. They feed mostly on shrubs, particularly from the Asteraceae, Rosaceae, and Ericaceae (Wilson et al. 1994).
Synopsis of the Tropiduchidae (sensu Gnezdilov 2007) north of Mexico
Tambiniinae Kirkaldy, 1907
Remosini Fennah, 1982
Monopsis Spinola, 1839 (Type species Monopsis tabida Spinola, 1839).
Neurotmeta Guérin-Méneville, 1856 (Type species Fulgora sponsa Guérin-Méneville, 1856).
= Tangia Stål, 1859 (Type species Monopsis viridis Walker, 1851); syn. by Van Duzee 1917b: 739; removed from syn. by Fennah 1965a: 100.
Tangiini Melichar, 1914
Pelitropis Van Duzee, 1908 (Type species Pelitropis rotulata Van Duzee, 1908).
Tangia Stål, 1859 (Type species Monopsis viridis Walker, 1851).
Gaetuliini Fennah, 1978 (sensu Gnezdilov 2007)
Danepteryx Uhler, 1889 (Type species Danepteryx manca Uhler, 1889).
= Epidanepteryx Bliven 1966: syn. by O’Brien 1988: 867.
Dictyssonia Ball, 1936 (Type species Dictyssonia beameri Ball, 1936).
Dictyobia Uhler, 1889 (Type species Dictyobia permutata Uhler, 1889; jr. syn. of Hysteropterum semivitreum Provancher, 1889).
Dictyonia Uhler, 1889 (Type species Dictyonia obscura Uhler, 1889).
Dictyonissus Uhler, 1876 (Type species Dictyonissus griphus Uhler, 1876).
Dictyssa Melichar, 1906 (Type species Dictyssa areolata Melichar, 1906).
Dyctidea Uhler, 1889 (Type species Dyctidea angustata Uhler, 1889).
= Dictydea Uhler, 1889: 37; missp. by Uhler 1889: 39; Van Duzee 1938: 33; Doering 1938: 449; 1939: 88; O’Brien 1986: 68; 1988a: 868.
Misodema Melichar, 1907 (Type species Misodema reticulata Melichar, 1906 as Rileya reticulata Melichar, 1906); replacement name for unavailable Rileya Melichar, 1906).
= Rileya Melichar, 1906 (nec. Huene 1902).
Neaethus Stål, 1861b (Type species Hysteropterum vitripenne Stål, 1854).
=Issovarcia Bliven, 1966; syn. by O’Brien 1988a: 867.
Osbornia Ball, 1910 (Type species Osbornia cornuta Ball, 1910).
Key to U.S. Tropiduchidae (Tangiini & Remosini, from O’Brien, 1992).
1. Median carina of frons absent; veins of forewings spotted with brown, lateral fields of pronotum narrower than medial fields.... Pelitropis rotulata Van Duzee
1.’ Median carina of frons present; veins of forewings not spotted with brown, lateral fields of pronotum about as wide as median fields .... 2
2. Vertex longer than broad .... 3
2.’ Vertex broader than long.... Tangia breviceps M&B
3. Forewings with M forking 1/3 from base (not verified in U.S.) .... Monopsis tabida Spinola
3.’ Forewings with M forking at level of or behind Cu fork (not verified in U.S.) .... Neurotmeta sponsa (Guérin-Méneville)
Tropiduchidae: Tangiini & Remosini. Neurotmeta viridis (top, Guana Island, BVI), Tangia breviceps (middle, Martin Co., Florida), and Kallitaxila granulata (bottom, Oahu, Hawaii) (photos by Kimberley Shropshire, Dept. Entomology, University of Delaware).
Key to Tropiduchidae (Gaetuliini) north of Mexico (draft)
1. Forewing short, leaving several abdominal segments exposed from above ... (in part) Osbornia Ball
1.’ Forewing reaching or exceeding end of abdomen .... 2
Osbornia (left), Daneopteryx (middle), and Dyctidea (right)
2. Forewing strap-like, much longer than wide; ventral half of abdomen evident in lateral view .... 3
2.’ Forewing wider; abdomen hidden, or mostly hidden, by wing in lateral view .... 4
3. Vertex much wider than long, head not projecting; 1-3 lateral spines on hind tibiae ... Dyctidea Uhler
3.’ Vertex nearly as long as wide, head projecting anteriorly in lateral view; 4 lateral spines on hind tibiae ... Danepteryx Uhler
Dyctidea (left), Danepteryx (middle), and Neaethus (right)
4. Forewing nearly as wide as long and semicircular in shape, costal margin decidedly rounding; forewing partly opaque, usually with an oblique hyaline band across clavus and corium ... 5
4.’ Forewing more elongate, costal margin nearly straight, or if rounding, with a distinct bulla present at base of each wing .... 6
Dictyonia (left) and Dictyonissus (right)
5. Forewing semicircular in shape, not closely appressed to body, veins of corium forming small irregular cells, some of which usually (not always) are vitreous or light colored ... Dictyssa Melichar
5.’ Forewing almost as broad as long, held almost vertically, cells of corium exceptionally few and large and distinctly angular .... Dictyonia Uhler
6. Vertex obtusely produced for distance nearly equal to width of eye ... 7
6.’ Vertex not obtusely produced, distance from eye to apex of head much less than width of eye ... 8
Dictyonissus (left), Dictyssonia (middle) and Osbornia (right)
7. Forewing opaque, with few setae, hind tibiae with 4 lateral spines ... Misodema Melichar
7.’ Forewing clear, hispid, hind tibiae with 3 lateral spines ... Dictyonissus Uhler
8. Posterior tibiae with 2-3 lateral spines; forewing with distinct bulla at outer angles of the corium ... Dictyssonia Ball
8.’ Posterior tibiae with 1-2 lateral spines; forewing without bulla ... 9
9. Head including eyes narrower than pronotum; forewing twice longer than wide, more reticulate in apical half ... (submacropters) Osbornia Ball
9.’ Head including eyes wider than pronotum; forewing wider, reticulate throughout ... 10
Tropiduchidae (Gaetuliini); Danepteryx lurida (top, left), Dictyssa munroviana (top right), Misodema reticulata (bottom left), Neaethus sinehamatus (bottom right); photos by Kimberley Shropshire, Dept. Entomology, University of Delaware.
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