Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Monecphora broomfieldi & Monecphora machadoi: Two new species of Spittlebug from Costa Rica and Brazil.

Spittlebugs and Froghoppers, Cercopidae, are one of the world's largest group of sap-sucking Insects, with other 3000 described species, which is probably a poor representation of the group's true diversity. They are mambers of the True Bug order Hemiptera, whuch also includes Aphids, Cicadas and Leafhoppres. Adults tend to be brightly coloured and are powerful jumpers, giving them a superficial resemblence to Frogs, while the name Spittlebugs comes from the habit of the juveniles, which cover themselves in a frothy substance as a protection against predators.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 9 February 2015 Gervasio Silva Carvalho of the Faculdade de Biociências at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul,  Albino Morimasa Sakakibara of the Departamento de Zoologia at the Universidade Federal do Paraná and Michael Webb of the Natural History Museum in London describe two new species of Spittlebugs from Costa Rica and Brazil. Both are placed within the genus Monecphora, which is found across Central and South America.

The first new species described is named Monecphora broomfieldi, in honour of the entomologist and illustrator Peter Broomfield. The species is described from three male and five female specimens, all adults collected from Costa Rica. The males range in size from 11.5 to 13.2 mm, the females from 10.5 to 13.0 mm. Both sexes share the same colouration, being bright yellow with dark brown bands.

Monocphora broomfieldi, male specimen in dorsal view. Scale bar is 1 mm. Carvalho et al. (2016).

The second species described is named Monecphora machadoi, in honour of the influential Brazilian researcher and entomologist Angelo Machado on the occassion of his 80th birthday. The species is named from one male and eight female specimens all collected in Brazil. The male is 11.6 mm in lenght, the females range from 10.8 to 13.8 mm, all are yellow in colour, with light brown markings on the hind part of the body.

Monocphora machadoi, male specimen in dorsal view. Scale bar is 1 mm. Carvalho et al. (2016).

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/dysmicoccus-lavandulae-lavender.htmlDysmicoccus lavandulae: A Lavender-damaging Mealybug from Drôme Department, France.                                                                      The Lavender industry of Provence generates about 30 million euros per year, directly employing around 10 000 people on about 2000, and employing a further...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/a-new-species-of-leafhopper-from-yunnan.htmlA new species of Leafhopper from Yunnan Province, China.                                 Leafhoppers, Cicadellidae, are small True Bugs, Hemiptera, closely related to Cicadas. They feed by draining sap from plants through modified needle-like mouthparts, and can reach very high densities on...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/restharrow-dwelling-aphid-from-france.htmlRestharrow dwelling Aphid from France and Spain.                                                         Aphids are small members of the Insect Order Hemiptera (True Bugs) which feed by sucking sap from host Plants. They are often considered serious agricultural pests due to their very high... 
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