Phlepsiini, Zahniser & Dietrich, 2013

Zahniser, James N. & Dietrich, Chris H., 2013, A review of the tribes of Deltocephalinae (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 45, pp. 1-211: 146-148

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tribe nov.

Phlepsiini  tribe nov.

Fig. 46 View Fig

Type genus: Phlepsius Fieber, 1866   .


Phlepsiini are medium sized to large, robust, ivory to brown or dark brown leafhoppers, often with brown irrorate markings on the forewing and body. They can be identified by the head distinctly narrower than pronotum, antennal ledges carinate, lorum long and relatively large, clypellus long and widening apically, pronotum lateral margin longer than half basal width of eye, profemur row AM sometimes with 1 or more setae basad of AM 1, and nymph with short pygofer and with 6 rows of abdominal macrosetae.


HEAD. Head narrower than pronotum. Discal portion of crown glabrous with radial or longitudinal striae. Anterior margin of head with one to several transverse carinae or striae, irregularly textured, or partly glabrous. Frontoclypeus not tumid; not particularly broad; texture shagreen. Clypellus widening apically; relatively long; apex following or slightly surpassing normal curve of gena. Lorum large; subequal to or wider than clypellus near base. Antennal bases near middle or posteroventral (lower) corners of eyes. Antennae short, less than 1.5 x width of head. Gena obtusely incised laterally; with fine erect seta beside laterofrontal suture. Antennal ledges weakly developed (carinate or weakly carinate). Ocelli present; close to eyes; on anterior margin of head.

THORAX. Pronotum lateral margin carinate; lateral margin longer than half basal width of eye, sometimes longer than entire basal width of eye.

WINGS. Forewing macropterous; appendix restricted to anal margin; with 3 anteapical cells; veins not raised; A1-A2 crossvein absent or present; apical venation not highly reticulate; with numerous false veins and irrorate markings.

LEGS. Profemur with AM 1 seta only or rarely with extra macrosetae basad of AM 1; intercalary row with one row of five or more fine setae; row AV with short, stout setae or with longer setae. Protibia dorsal surface rounded, convex; dorsal macrosetae 4+4. Metafemur apex macrosetae 2+2+1. Metatarsomere I not expanded apically; plantar setae simple, tapered.

MALE GENITALIA. Valve articulated with pygofer; lateral margin short, articulating with pygofer at a point. Pygofer basolateral membranous cleft present; macrosetae well differentiated into several rows; without spines or processes. Subgenital plates free from each other; articulated with valve; macrosetae uniseriate laterally. Style broadly bilobed basally; median anterior lobe pronounced. Basal processes of the aedeagus/connective absent or reduced, or present, connected or articulated to connective or near base of aedeagus. Aedeagus with single shaft and gonopore. Connective anterior arms somewhat divergent, Y -shaped; articulated with aedeagus.

FEMALE GENITALIA. Pygofer with numerous macrosetae. Ovipositor not protruding far beyond pygofer apex. First valvula convex; dorsal sculpturing pattern strigate, reticulate, or concatenate; sculpturing reaching dorsal margin; without distinctly delimited ventroapical sculpturing. Second valvula broad, gradually tapered; without dorsal median tooth; teeth on apical 1/3 or more; teeth small, regularly or irregularly shaped.

Geography and ecology

Distribution: Palearctic, Afrotropical, Oriental, Nearctic, and Neotropical regions. Phlepsiini feed on woody or herbaceous dicots. Texananus lathropi (Baker, 1925)   , T. latipex DeLong 1943   , T. oregonus (Ball, 1931)   , T. pergradus DeLong, 1938   and T. spatulatus (Van Duzee, 1892)   are vectors of the western strain of North American aster yellows.


Phlepsiini currently only includes 4 genera and 81 species. Phylogenetic analyses identified a wellsupported clade including Phlepsius   , Excultanus   , and Korana   which was consistently found in a clade along with Scaphoideini, Drabescini, and some undescribed genera. Oman (1941) recognized a tribe, “Phlepsiini”, which is considered here to be a nomen nudum (see Materials and Methods: Taxonomic Treatments, above). In addition to Phlepsius   (which included the species of Texananus   and Excultanus   ), Oman included Norvellina   , Remadosus   , Dorydiella   , Dixianus   , Paraphlepsius   , and Phlepsanus   . The phylogenetic analyses here do not support this broad interpretation of the tribe. Orientus   has several characters diagnostic for this tribe but is smaller and more slender than the other genera. It was also not placed within the Phlepsiini clade in the phylogenetic analyses, but was found on a long branch of indeterminate relationship near the early diverging lineages of Deltocephalinae   . It is retained in Athysanini   at this time pending further analyses.

Selected references

DeLong (1938, 1939), Crowder (1952), Theron (1980), McKamey (2000, 2003a).

Included genera

Excultanus Oman, 1949   placement nov. (previously unplaced in Athysanini   )

Korana Distant, 1910   placement nov. (previously unplaced in Deltocephalinae   )

Phlepsius Fieber, 1866   placement nov. (previously placed in Platymetopiina)

Texananus Ball, 1918   placement nov. (previously placed in Platymetopiina)


Australian Museum