SUSTAINING THE WORLD THROUGH SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

North American Acanaloniidae


Overview of the planthopper family Acanaloniidae

 

Acanalonia conica, photo by Doug Tallamy

Acanalonia conica (Photo by Doug Tallamy, University of Delaware)

Acanaloniidae is a small family, consisting at the time of Metcalf (1954) of 13 genera and 81 species, all but 9 of which were New World.  Fennah (1954) subsumed Acanaloniidae into Issidae, and moved Euthiscia into Acanaloniinae.  The familial status of Acanaloniidae was reestablished by Emeljanov (1999), but he included the Old World Trienopinae and Tonginae out of Issidae (following the suggestions of Muir 1930 & Fennah 1954).  Since that time, Tonginae has been transferred to Nogodinidae and Trienopinae to Tropiduchidae (Gnezdilov 2007, 2008), giving Acanaloniidae once again a composition similar to that at the time of Metcalf (1954).  Recently, Gnezdilov (2012a) subsumed  Euthiscia and Galapagosana under Philatis, and Gnezdilov (2012c) described Bulldolonia. Worldwide, Acanaloniidae (until recently) consisted of 11 genera and 82 species (Bourgoin 2014, Gnezdilov 2012); however, Gnezdilov's (2012) review of the family suggests that the Old World taxa do not belong in the family, and has since (Gnezdilov 2013) transferred these genera to Tropiduchidae (or incertae sedis).  Currently there are 5 (or 6) genera and 85 species in Acanaloniidae (including Acanalonia subpellucida transferred by Gnezdilov 2012b).

Acanaloniidae north of Mexico consist of 2 genera and 20 species (all in Acanaloniinae, Acanaloniini).  Acanalonia is widespread and consists of 19 species north of Mexico, Philatis (was Euthiscia) includes a single species north of Mexico known from California and Arizona.

The genera north of Mexico can be recognized as follows:

1. Brown; vertex strongly anteriorly projecting; claval suture reaching to apical margin; uncommon, southwestern ................................................................................................  Philatis Stal, 1862

1’. Green (rarely pink); vertex usually truncate or rounded (in the U.S. except A. conica); claval suture usually not reaching apical margin; common and widespread ..........................................Acanalonia Spinola, 1839

Acanalonia bivittata (Acanaloniidae, Hemiptera)Euthiscia tuberculata (Acanaloniidae, Hemiptera)

Acanalonia bivittata (left) and Philatis tuberculata (right). (All photographs by Kimberley Shropshire, Department of Entomology, University of Delaware, except as noted below).

Acanaloniidae is most diverse in the southwest, with a few widespread species distributed elsewhere.  The family is apparently absent from the northwest.

Distribution of U.S. Acanaloniidae (From Bartlett et al. in review)

Distribution of U.S. Acanaloniidae (From Bartlett et al. 2014).

Map of Acanaloniidae distribution

Point-map of 2,188 georeferenced specimens of Acanaloniidae from the Tri-Trophic Thematic Collection Network database (as of Oct 2, 2015).  The project emphasized specimens north of Mexico, which is why there are limited records in the Caribbean, Central and South America (I have seen specimens from Cuba, but the data on most of these simply reads "Cuba").

 

Acanaloniidae in North America can be recognized by having broad wings with irregular reticulate venation, carried parallel to the body in repose, and lacking the parallel crossveins in the costal area and claval wax pustules of flatids.  The second hind tarsomere bears a pair of spines, a feature found in all higher Fulgoroidea, including Flatidae and Issidae, the families most similar to Acanaloniidae.  Acanaloniids lack lateral spines on the hind tibiae found in Issidae and Gaetuliini (Tropiduchidae).

 

Hind leg of Acanalonia conica (Acanaloniidae)

Hind leg of Acanalonia conica showing absence of lateral spines

 

Keys to species for Acanalonia can be found in Doering (1932) and Freund & Wilson (1995).  A single species of Philatis is found in the U.S.

Acanalonia conica is adventive in Europe (D’Urso & Uliana 2004, 2006).  Acanalonia excavata was recently adventive into southern Florida, evidently from Nicaragua (Halbert 1997, 2000; Halbert et al. 2007).  The life history of Acanalonia conica and A. bivittata were described by Wilson & McPherson (1981b), host plants and immatures of A. pumila were described by Wheeler & Hoebeke (1982).  Acanaloniids are feeders on woody and semi-woody plants, with both adults and nymphs on above-ground portions of plants and a single generation per year in the studied species.  The male and female anatomy of U.S. species was described by Freund & Wilson (1995).

Philatis signata (Van Duzee, 1923) from Mexico (Baja California).

Philatis signata Van Duzee, 1923  (Acanaloniidae)

Philatis signata Van Duzee, 1923  (Acanaloniidae)

Philatis signata Van Duzee, 1923  (Acanaloniidae)

Worldwide, there are 11 genera of Acanaloniidae as follows

Acanalonia Spinola, 1839 - Nearctic & Neotropics, 63 species.

  = Chlorochara Stål, 1869; syn by Caldwell & Martorell, 1951 (type species subsumed under Acanalonia); genus subsequently recognized as valid (e.g., Gnezdilov 2012a, Bourgoin 2014), but its composition is incomplete.

Batusa Melichar, 1901 - Neotropical, 4 species.

Bulldolonia Gnezdilov, 2012 - Caribbean, 3 species.

Philatis Stål, 1862, 11 species, mostly Galapagos.

  = Galapagosana Distant, 1909; synonym by Gnezdilov (2012 645).
   = Euthiscia Van Duzee, 1923 synonym by Gnezdilov (2012: 645)
Thiscia Stål, 1862 - Neotropical (Brazil), 4 species.

The following genera were recently transferred from Acanaloniidae to Tropiduchidae (Elicinae) by Gnezdilov (2013)

Hemithiscia Schmidt, 1912: 95 - Africa, 3 species.

  = Thinea Melichar, 1914
Paraphilatis Melichar, 1912 - Africa, 1 species.
Parathiscia Melichar, 1901 - Africa, 2 species.
Pseudothiscia Schmidt, 1912: 93 - Africa, 1 species.

The following genus was in Acanaloniidae but is now incertae sedis:

Aylaella Demir & Özdikmen, 2009 - Africa, 1 species.

  = Perinetia Lallemand & Synave, 1954 (preoccupied).

Aside from Acanalonia and Philatis, the other genera are (distribution primarily from Metcalf 1954, also Fennah 1949, Caldwell & Martorell 1951, Bartlett 2000):

Batusa Melichar, 1901 (Type species Acanalonia producta Stål, 1864).

   Batusa agilis Melichar, 1901 - Puerto Rico (inc. subspp. maricensis Caldwell & Martorell 1951).
   Batusa conata Melichar, 1901 - Brazil.
   Batusa pinniformis (Fowler, 1900) - Mexico (Tabasco).
   Batusa producta (Stål, 1864) - Mexico (Jalisco).

Bulldolonia Gnezdilov, 2012 (Type species Acanalonia depressa Melichar, 1901).

      Bulldolonia brevifrons (Muir, 1924) - Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Anegada, Mona.
   Bulldolonia depressa (Melichar, 1901) - Anegada, St. Croix, St. John, Jost Van Dyke Island (and "St. Jean"), Puerto Rico?.
   Bulldolonia impressa (Metcalf & Bruner, 1930) - Cuba.

Thiscia Stål, 1862 (type species Thiscia semicircularis Stål, 1862).
   Thiscia jaraguensis Schmidt, 1932 - Brazil (Santa Catarina).
   Thiscia melichari Schmidt, 1932 - Brazil (Rio de Janeiro).
   Thiscia ohausi Schmidt, 1932 - Brazil (Sao Paulo).
   Thiscia semicircularis Stål, 1862 - Brazil (Rio de Janeiro).

I now have photos of representatives of the genera of Acanaloniidae and hope to work on a revision of the group in the near(ish) future.

Philatis breviceps Van Duzee, 1933 (Acanaloniidae)

Philatis breviceps Van Duzee, 1933 (image courtesy Mike Wilson, National Museum of Wales; specimen collected by Charles Darwin)

 

References

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