Cladonota (Falculifera) rex,

England, Sam J., Flynn, Dawn J. & Robert, Daniel, 2020, A new species of treehopper in the genus Cladonota Stål (Hemiptera: Membracidae Membracinae: Hypsoprorini) from Costa Rica, with preliminary observations of its behaviour and natural history, Zootaxa 4750 (4), pp. 596-598: 596-598

publication ID

https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4750.4.11

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:FAFAF3C9-F9CB-4EC3-9E37-82837E85A964

DOI

http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3717950

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/E23CB206-FF85-FFEB-9A98-FA47FC07FE19

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Cladonota (Falculifera) rex
status

 

Cladonota (Falculifera) rex  England sp. nov.

urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:77DB2A2A-72F7-477D-B313-2C144ADB6511

Diagnosis. Cladonota rex  can most easily be distinguished from other members of the genus Cladonota  by the unique and distinctive yellow-green ‘saddle’ located between the posterior and anterior pronotal processes, in combination with the open C-shaped pronotum (lack of both an intermediate process and a projection on the posterior edge of the anterior process) exhibiting concave regions on both the posterior and anterior process.

Description. Male: unknown. Holotype female ( Figures 1–4View FIGURES 1–4):

Head: trilobed (supra-antennal lobes and clypeus). Clypeus rounded and pilose at the tip. Ocelli located closer to their nearest compound eye than to each other and lie above the centro-ocular line. Metopidium angled slightly forward from the face, blending into anterior process.

Thorax: Pronotum greatly expanded, with arching anterior and posterior processes that together form a C-shape. No intermediate process or projection on posterior edge of anterior process. Dorsal half of anterior process slightly sinuous in dorso-anterior view. Apex of anterior process split bilaterally into a Y-shape. Posterior process extends significantly further than the apex of the forewings at rest. Entirety of posterior process, and approximately the distal third of anterior process, have slightly concave sides. Vast majority of pronotum heavily punctate, with punctations becoming wider and shallower distally. Each punctation contains a single seta. Erect setae found along the ridges of both pronotal processes. Legs all with foliaceous tibia.

Forewings: Proximal regions of the forewings punctate and coriaceous. Punctations also each contain a single seta. Apical limbus broad and wrinkled. Veins predominantly hyaline but dark in places.

Colour: Ocelli pale yellow with darker centres. Compound eyes yellow with darker striations. Pronotum predominantly dark brown to black, with a large ‘saddle’ region of yellow-green between the anterior and posterior processes, and small intermittent specks of green on the anterior process. Yellow-green streaks, with acute apices, immediately adjacent to the distal edge of compound eyes. Posterior process with small white patch at tip. Metopidium largely yellow-green with small dark patches. Legs, abdomen, and underside of thorax all yellow-green in colour. Forewings dark brown, except for translucent segments in entirety of the 2 nd apical cell and a smaller region on 3 rd apical cell, as well as two on apical limbus, at posterior and dorsal most points.

Measurements ( Fig. 3View FIGURES 1–4): face to posterior tip of forewings— 6 mm, dorsal edge of anterior process to ventral edge of abdomen beneath humeral angles— 9 mm, anterior most edge of anterior process to posterior most edge of posterior process— 11 mm.

Natural history and behaviour: Knowledge of the natural history and behaviour of C. rex  is clearly limited because only a single specimen has been found thus far. However, some preliminary observations were made. The holotype was found stationary on the underside of a leaf near the top of a Piper  sp. plant approximately three metres tall. The plant itself was situated on the bank of a small river, about one metre from the water’s edge. It was not clear as to whether the C. rex  individual was feeding on Piper  sp., and therefore it cannot be confirmed as a true host plant; however, due to the amount of time the individual remained stationary, some association likely exists. There were no other C. rex  individuals found nearby, indicating that, like other Cladonota  species ( Lin 2006; Godoy et al. 2006), C. rex  is solitary in adulthood. Planthopper nymphs (infraorder Fulgoromorpha) were located on the same leaf as the C. rex  individual but no obvious species interaction was evident. A single ant ( Tapinoma  sp.) was observed approaching the C. rex  individual and probing and tapping the treehopper’s face, near the antennae. This seemingly prompted the treehopper to lift the posterior process of the pronotum away from the abdomen and buzz its wings ( Fig. 4View FIGURES 1–4). The ant immediately fled. Together these observa- tions indicate that C. rex  , and likely other Cladonota  species, use wing-buzzes as a deterrent to attention from ants and possibly other unwanted mutualists or predators.

Distribution: Known only from the type locality in Costa Rica.

Material examined: Holotype female from COSTA RICA ( MZUCR). With labels: “ COSTA RICA. Heredia Province, La Selva Bio. Station / 10.4337°N, 84.0080°W, 60m. On Piper  sp. / 27.Jun.2019. S. J. England” and red holotype label “ HOLOTYPE / Cladonota rex  / England”.GoogleMaps 

Etymology: the species name rex  is given in honour of the immense contributions of Reginald “Rex” B. Cocroft to humankind’s understanding of treehopper behaviour and ecology. It is utilised as a noun in apposition. Discussion: The setae associated with pronotal pits appear to be sensory in function, as has been previously suggested in other treehopper genera ( Wood & Morris 1974; Wood 1975; Dietrich 1989; Stegmann 1998).

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Insecta

Order

Hemiptera

Family

Membracidae

Genus

Cladonota