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February 15 2002


The Artheneidae are a family of lygaeoid bugs that are most diverse in the Palaearctic Region. In the Southern Hemisphere they are restricted to eastern Australia and New Zealand. Elsewhere, a native species has been described from the northern Neotropical Region. Despite their recent capture in the Nearctic and Afrotropical Regions, presently artheneids are not thought to be endemic to those regions; these records are construed as adventitious (Wheeler & Fetter 1987; Hoffman & Slater 1995).

The family comprises four subfamilies, eight genera and 20 species (Slater 1964; Slater & Brailovsky 1986; Schuh & Slater 1995; Slater & O'Donnell 1995; Kerzhner 1997; Zoological Record 1995–2001).

Stål (1872) first recognised the artheneids as a suprageneric group. Lethierry & Severin (1894) raised it to family status. Most subsequent workers considered them a subfamily of Lygaeidae sensu lato. Slater et al. (1962) recognised three tribes (Artheneini, Dilompini, Nothochromini) and Slater & Brailovsky (1986) added a fourth tribe (Polychismini).

Henry (1997) restored the group to family status in his phylogenetic reclassification of the Lygaeoidea. Following this revised family status, we raise the four tribes to subfamily level as follows: Artheneidae: Artheneinae, Dilompinae, Nothochrominae and Polychisminae.

Henry (1997) established a sister-group relationship between the Artheneidae and Oxycarenidae, on the basis of the following character states: abdominal laterotergites absent, phallothecal process present, and eclosion fractures hexagonal. This relationship was supported by Grozeva & Kutznetsova (1989) who reported that both families share the feature of presence of two testis follicles. The only alternative arrangement for the group was given by Scudder (1957b), who placed them within the Stygnocorini (Rhyparochromidae).

The family is represented in Australia by the endemic monogeneric subfamily Dilompinae, which contains two largely temperate species (Scudder 1957a; Malipatil 1988). Dilompus robustus Scudder is found from the subtropical regions of Queensland, through the eastern States, including Tasmania and the coastal gulf region of South Australia. Dilompus woodwardi occurs across southern Australia, although a significant disjunction exists between the western and remaining populations. Slater et al. (1962) indicated that specimens identified as D. robustus within the literature may represent more than one species. Significant collections exist within Australian museums and additional species are likely to be described.

The Nothochrominae are a monotypic endemic New Zealand subfamily (Nothochromus Slater, Woodward & Sweet), comprising a single brachypterous species (Slater et al. 1962; Malipatil 1977). The Artheneinae include five genera (Artheneidea Kiritshenko, Artheneis Spinola, Chilacis Fieber, Holocranum Fieber and Teutates Distant) and 16 species, distributed across the Palaearctic Region (and introduced into eastern USA and tropical Africa) (Slater 1964; Slater & O'Donnell 1995; Kerzhner 1997). The Polychisminae are a monotypic subfamily (Polychisme Kirkaldy) restricted to Colombia (Slater & Brailovsky 1986).

Much of the known biology of artheneids is confined to the cattail bugs of the Palaearctic Region. Slater (1964) provided a listing of biological references. Wheeler & Fetter (1987) gave an account of the introduced species Chilacis typhae (Perris) in the eastern United States. This species is a seed-feeder on the genus Typha (Typhaceae), with all life stages found on the seed-heads. A second cattail species, Holocranum saturejae (Kolenati), has similar habits and hosts and is thought to overwinter in litter (Hoffman & Slater 1995).

Very little is known of the biology of the Australian Dilompus species. Malipatil (1988) associated D. woodwardi Malipatil with two Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae) species. Anderson (1985) reported this species feeding on the fruits of Eucalyptus baxteri (Benth.)Maiden&Blakely ex J.Black. One of us [GC] has commonly encountered Dilompus species on Leptospermum (Myrtaceae) species, associated with seeds on the plant. Slater et al (1962) reported that D. robustus was found in dry leaf litter, composed of Eucalyptus and grass leaves. As is so for the cattail bugs, this habitat may represent the overwintering site for this species.



Artheneids are small elongate-ovoid bugs, ranging in size from 2.5–4 mm. Most species are macropterous, with the dorsum strongly punctate. Head trichobothria are absent. The lateral margins of the pronotum are explanate. The hind wings possess a hamus and intervannal veins. Abdominal laterotergites are absent. The abdominal spiracles of segments III–VII are ventral, with the 2nd spiracle mostly dorsal, but ventral in the Dilompinae. The females have the suture between abdominal sterna IV and V not fused. The spermathecal bulb is most often invaginated. The phallus has lateral processes and the gonoporal process is very short in most species. The larvae have three dorsal abdominal glands. (Scudder 1957a; Slater et al. 1962; Slater & Brailovsky 1986; Schuh & Slater 1995; Henry 1997)


General References

Anderson, A.N. 1985. Seed-eating bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Lygaeidae) at Wilson's Promontory. Victorian Naturalist 102(6): 200-204

Grozeva, S.M. & Kuznetsova, V.G. 1989. Karyotypes and some structural properties of the reproductive system of bugs of the subfamily Artheneinae (Heteroptera, Pentatomomorpha, Lygaeidae). Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie (English translation as Entomological Reviews) 68: 700-709

Henry, T.J. 1997. Phylogenetic analysis of family groups within the infraorder Pentatomomorpha (Hemiptera: Heteroptera), with emphasis on the Lygaeoidea. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 90(3): 275-301

Hoffman, R.L. & Slater, J.A. 1995. Holocranum saturejae, a Palearctic Cattail Bug established in Eastern United States and Tropical Africa (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae: Artheneinae). Banisteria 1995(5): 12-15

Kerzhner, I.M. 1997. East Palaearctic species of the genus Artheneis (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae). Zoosystematica Rossica 6(1–2): 115-121

Lethierry, L. & Severin, G. 1894. Catalogue Général des Hémiptères. Tome II. Hétéroptères Coreidae, Berytidae, Lygaeidae, Pyrrhocoridae. Bruxelles : F. Hayez 277 pp.

Malipatil, M.B. 1977. On Nothochromus maoricus Slater, Woodward, and Sweet (Heteroptera, Lygaeidae). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 4: 217-219

Malipatil, M.B. 1988. A new species of Dilompus Scudder (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 25: 459-462

Schuh, R.T. & Slater, J.A. 1995. True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Classification and Natural History. Ithaca : Cornell University Press xii 336 pp.

Scudder, G.G.E. 1957a. A new genus and species of Rhyparochrominae (Hem., Lygaeidae) from Australia. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine 93: 143-144

Scudder, G.G.E. 1957b. The higher classification of the Rhyparochrominae (Hem., Lygaeidae). Entomologist's Monthly Magazine 93: 152-156

Slater, J.A. 1964. A Catalogue of the Lygaeidae of the World. Storrs : University of Connecticut xviii 1668 pp.

Slater, J.A., Woodward, T.E. & Sweet, M.H. 1962. A contribution to the classification of the Lygaeidae, with the description of a new genus from New Zealand (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 55: 597-605

Slater, J.A. & Brailovsky, H. 1986. The first occurrence of the subfamily Artheneinae in the Western Hemisphere with the description of a new tribe (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 94(3): 409-415

Slater, J.A. & O'Donnell, J.E. 1995. A Catalogue of the Lygaeidae of the World (1960–1994). New York : New York Entomological Society xv 410 pp.

Stål, C. 1872. Enumeratio Hemipterorum. Bidrag till en förteckning öfver aller hittills kända Hemiptera, jemte systematiska meddelanden. 2. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Academiens Nya Handlingar, Stockholm n.f. 10(4): 1-159

Wheeler, A.G. & Fetter, J.E. 1987. Chilacis typhae (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae) and the subfamily Artheneinae new to North America. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 89(2): 244-249


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
15-Aug-2012 15-Aug-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)