Zuata Fennah, 1968

Andrew Hamilton, K. G., 2016, Neotropical spittlebugs related to Neaenini (Hemiptera, Cercopidae) and the origins of subfamily Cercopinae, Zootaxa 4169 (2), pp. 201-250: 227-228

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Zuata Fennah, 1968


Zuata Fennah, 1968  

Type-species: Tomaspisinella araguana Fennah, 1951   .

Distribution. Colombia south to Bolivia.

Diagnosis. Frons bulbous and shiny ( Fig. 12 View FIGURES 12 – 13 ) usually with barely perceptible facial projections characteristic of Hyboscartina.

Description. Pronotum intermediate between those of Neaenus   and Monecphora Amyot & Serville   , with lateral margins longer than the eye but less than twice as long, fore margin transverse but width across humeral angles not as much as 50% wider than head (the sole exception to this is described below). Antennae as in Neaenus   but with peglike sensillum ( Fig. 18 View FIGURES 17 – 19 B). Tips of male styles slender, transparent; subgenital plates vertical, narrowly divided and tipped with a hooked or pointed process ( Figs 36–45 View FIGURES 36 – 45 A –B); thecal processes and/or spines usually paired, 4–10 in number and usually retrorse ( Carvalho & Webb 2005, figs 9–24).

Included species. More than 25 distinctively coloured species of various sizes and shapes have been reported, but only 8 were previously known from both sexes. Eight species were described from females alone and males without females have been reported for another 9 species: Z. araguana (Fennah)   , Z. fusca (Lallemand)   , Z. includens (Walker)   , Z. luteomaculata (Lallemand)   , Z. marginata (Lallemand)   , Z. ochraceorosea (Lallemand)   , Z. ohausi (Jacobi)   , Z. pseudoripuaris (Lallemand)   and Z. ravidella (Lallemand)   . This raises the distinct possibility that color exhibits considerable sexual dimorphism in this genus. Several probable cases are reported below, including the first descriptions of males for 3 species previously known only from females. Another 8 distinctive new species are described. Five others (based on unassociated females) are tentatively synonymized, leaving 31 species. There are now only 2 clearly differentiated species with unknown males, marked with an asterisk (*) in the following key.

Remarks. The species of this genus are probably distasteful to predators. Zuata ephippiata (Breddin)   serves as the “model” for an aphrophorine Batesian mimic ( Hamilton and Thompson 2007) and the bright patterns of other species are probably also warning coloration.