Orthopagus exoletus (Melichar, 1903), comb. n.

Song, Zhi-Shun, Malenovsky, Igor, Chen, Jian-Qin, Deckert, Juergen & Liang, Ai-Ping, 2018, Taxonomic review of the planthopper genus Orthopagus (Hemiptera, Fulgoromorpha, Dictyopharidae), with descriptions of two new species, Zoosystematics and Evolution 2, pp. 369-391: 371-373

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Orthopagus exoletus (Melichar, 1903), comb. n.

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Orthopagus exoletus (Melichar, 1903), comb. n.  stat. rev. Figs 2 C–D, 3B, 5 A–I

Udugama exoleta  Melichar, 1903: 28, Pl. I, figs 7, 7 a–b. Syntypes: 5 females, Moruwale, Sri Lanka (not examined). Synonymized under Udugama splendens  (Germar, 1830) by Distant 1906: 249.

Udugama exoleta  : Kirkaldy 1908: 14.

Material examined.

INDIA: 2 females, [no state indicated], 1934-394, T. R. Bell leg. ( BMNH); West Bengal: 1 female, Calcutta [= Kolkata], 3.x.1907 (coll. Distant, BMNH); Maharashtra: 1 male, Sindhudurg district, roadside on ridge 2 km W Amboli, 15°58'04"N, 73°59'23"E, alt. 2394 ft, pasture and successional, moist deciduous forest, 28.ix.2005, C. R. Bartlett leg. ( UDCC); 1 male, Pune district, 5 km E Mulshi Lake near Tamini village, 18°26'37"N, 73°25'46"E, alt. 2047 ft, deciduous forest and open areas, 2.x.2005, C. R. Bartlett ( UDCC); Goa: 2 females, Sanguem district, near Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary 100 m E Molem, 15°22'43"N, 74°13'52"E, alt. 342 ft, moist deciduous forest, 24-25.ix.2005, C. R. Bartlett leg. ( UDCC); Kerala: 2 males, Malabar, Nadungayam [forest near Nilambur], 200 ft, 16.-22.ix.1938 ( BMNH); 1 female, Parambikulam, alt. 1700-3200 ft, 16.-24.ix.1914, F. H. Gravely leg. (coll. Distant, BMNH); 2 females, Tenmalai [= Thenmala], 12.-15.v.1937 ( BMNH); Tamil Nadu: 1 female, Nilgiri Hills, 11 km SE Kotagiri, Kunchappanai, 11°24ʹN, 76°56ʹE, alt. 1100 ± 100 m, 3.-15.v.2002, L. Dembický leg. ( MMBC). SRI LANKA: North Western Province: 1 female, Puttalam district, Puttalam, “12.” [= ?1912] (coll. Melichar, MMBC); North Central Province: 1 male, Anuradnapura district, Wilpattu National Wildlife Park, Hunuwilagama, Wildlife Soc. Bungalow, 200 ft, 10-19.iii.1970, D. Davis & B. Rowe leg. ( USNM); Central Province: 1 female, Kandy district, Talwatte, 29.xi.1995, M. Schaffer leg. ( BMNH); Samaragamuwa: 1 male, Ratnapura district, Uggalkaltota, Irrigation Bungalow, alt. 350 ft, 31. i– 8.ii.1970, D. Davis & B. Rowe leg. ( USNM).


Measurements (2 males, 8 females). Body length (from apex of head to tip of forewings): male 11.1 mm, female 12.3-14.7 mm; head length (from apex of cephalic process to base of eyes): male 1.28-1.30 mm, female 1.28-1.40 mm; head width (including eyes): male 1.40-1.45 mm, female 1.48-1.60 mm; forewing length: male 9.0-9.4 mm, female 10.2-12.2 mm.

Coloration. General coloration as in generic description (Fig. 2A). Vertex predominantly light ochraceous, with 3-4 pairs of small dark brown markings: an elongate patch on each side of midline apically, a small spot at each lateral keel medially, a roundish spot on each side of midline at basal third, and a small spot in each postero-lateral corner (Fig. 5A). Frons light ochraceous with small dark brown spots along intermediate and lateral carinae, frons base slightly infuscated (Fig. 5C). Forewing membrane pattern as in Fig. 3B. Hind wing membrane with a relatively narrow dark brown streak along the apical portion of CuA1 vein, extending along hind wing apical margin in some specimens.

Structure. Head with cephalic process very short, not inflated (Figs 5 A–C). Vertex (Fig. 5A) with ratio of length at midline to width between eyes 1.2-1.5. Transition of vertex to frons narrowly rounded in lateral view (Fig. 5B). Frons relatively broad, with ratio of length at midline to maximum width 2.3-2.7.

Male genitalia. Pygofer, in lateral view, with dorso-posterior margin produced into a relatively large but narrow, tooth-like, apically obtuse process (Fig. 5E); in ventral view (Fig. 5F) much longer than in dorsal view (Fig. 5D) with ratio of ventral to dorsal width about 2.6. Gonostyles (Fig. 5E) large and broad medially, with dorsal margin weakly sinuate medially. Aedeagus (Fig. 5 G–I) relatively small and slender, endosomal processes curved laterad and slightly ventro- or dorsoanteriad, membranous, without distinct minute superficial spines; phallobase with three pairs of relatively small (not conspicuously inflated) membranous lobes: a pair of elongate lateral lobes with their apices gradually convergent and tapering posteriad (Fig. 5 H–I), a pair of elongate thumb-like ventral lobes, directed ventroposteriad (Fig. 5H), and a pair of small thumb-like dorsal lobes, directed dorsolaterad (Fig. 5G). Segment X, in lateral view, elongate, basal half narrow, gradually widening to apex beyond middle (Fig. 5E); in dorsal view, widest medially, with ratio of length to maximum width 1.1 (Fig. 5D).

Female genitalia as in generic description.


India (southwestern part and West Bengal), Sri Lanka (Fig. 11).


Udugama exoleta  was described from Sri Lanka as the type species of Udugama  ( Melichar 1903). Distant (1906) synonymized this species name with Udugama splendens  described from Java, Indonesia. However, Kirkaldy (1908), probably based on comparisons of figures in Melichar (1903) and Distant (1906), commented that U. exoleta  was "very different" from U. splendens  in having a much longer face. Nevertheless, the synonymy of U. exoleta  with U. splendens  was accepted by Melichar (1912), and later included in Metcalf’s (1946) catalogue of world Dictyopharidae  .

Based on our critical review of the published information and examination of Orthopagus  material from Sri Lanka which agrees with the original description of U. exoleta  , we propose here to resurrect Orthopagus exoletus  comb. n. from the synonymy with O. splendens  and to restore it as a valid species. Orthopagus exoletus  can be distinguished from O. splendens  by the coloration of the vertex and the structure of the male genitalia, particularly the structure of the endosomal processes of aedeagus, lobes of the phallobase and the shape of the segment X. The relative length of frons mentioned by Kirkaldy (1908) is probably not a relevant diagnostic character because the length of the head in Orthopagus  species varies within a certain range.

According to Melichar (1903), U. exoleta  was described based on five female specimens from “Moruwale”, deposited in the collection of the museum in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This material was not available to our study. Nevertheless, we have studied one female from Sri Lanka, “Puttalam” preserved in Melichar’s personal collection in MMBC. Even though this specimen bears original identification labels handwritten by Melichar as " Udugama  " and " exoleta  det. Melichar" and a dark red label “Typus” originally also attached to the specimen by Melichar, it probably cannot be considered as a syntype because it differs in its locality and deposition from the information published in the original description and probably it was also collected later than the original species description had been published. Melichar did not use type labels in the modern sense. He had rather adopted the practice of placing a ʻtypeʼ label on one or more specimens of the most taxa (even on species previously described by other authors and identified by Melichar), specimens presumably which he himself used for comparison ( Young and Soós 1964, Wilson and Malenovský 2007).