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15 February 2002


The Cryptorhamphidae are a family of lygaeoid bugs comprising two genera, each with two species. The family is restricted to the Australian Region, and is known from Fiji through to south-eastern Australia (Hamid 1971; Schuh & Slater 1995; Slater & O'Donnell 1995; Zoological Record 1995–2001). All four species occur in Australia.

Stål (1860) described the genus Cryptorhamphus within his lygaeid subfamily Cymida. Walker (1872) established a new tribe, the Cryptorhamphina, for its inclusion. Stål (1874) restored the group to its former position among the cymines. This was largely followed by others (Barber 1956; Slater 1964), primarily on the basis of punctate hemelytra. Štys (1967) suggested that Cryptorhamphus be placed in its own tribe. Hamid (1971) revised the cryptorhamphids and recognised the group as a distinct subfamily, constituting two genera (Cryptorhamphus and Gonystus Stål). He regarded it as distantly related to the Cyminae and compared characters of the head, pronotum, wing venation, trichobothria, dorsal abdominal gland scars and the gonoporal process. Schaefer (1975, 1993) implied a closer relationship between the two groups based on abdominal trichobothrial features. Henry (1997) recognised family status for the cryptorhamphid group, postulating a sister-group relationship to most of the 'malcid-line' (Cymidae + Malcidae + Colobathristidae + Berytidae) of Štys. These taxa form a clade based on the presence of a suture between the ocelli, a gular groove, a clavate second antennal segment, and posterior lobuli on the pronotum.

All cryptorhamphid species are known from temperate Australia, with Gonystus nasutus Stål also known from Fiji. In Australia, G. nasutus occurs in coastal areas south of Sydney in New South Wales and Victoria. Cryptorhamphus orbus Stål is broadly distributed across temperate Australia and is the only known cryptorhamphid species that occurs in Western Australia. Cryptorhamphus slateri Hamid and Gonystus grossi are restricted to the south-eastern coastal region of South Australia. The absence of cryptorhamphids in tropical and subtropical regions of Australia is surprising, considering their presence in Fiji.

The biology of cryptorhamphids is largely unknown. Cryptorhamphus orbus has been taken 'up-on-plants' and is often found in the seed heads of a range of plant families. Slater 1975, 1976a, 1976b) reported this species from plant species belonging to the Chenopodiaceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae, Mimosaceae and Myrtaceae. Malipatil (1973) described the larvae. Gonystus grossi has also been found in association with grasses (in tussocks).



Cryptorhamphids are elongate insects. The head is quadrate and the bucculae are elongate. The antennae and labium are 4-segmented. Ocelli are present with a suture between them. Metathoracic glands are present and evaporative areas and the peritreme are well developed. The hemelytra are punctate and the membrane has 4 to 6 longitudinal veins. The hind wing has a hamus. All abdominal spiracles are dorsal. Adults possess dorsal abdominal gland scars between terga IV/V and V/VI. Abdominal trichobothria are only present on sterna V and VI. The venter of the body is punctate. The gonoporal process is elongate and coiled. (Hamid 1971; Schuh & Slater 1995; Henry 1997)


General References

Barber, H.G. 1956. A new arrangement in the subfamily Cyminae. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 58: 282

Hamid, A. 1971. A revision of Cryptorhamphinae (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae) including the description of two new species from Australia. Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 10: 163-174

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

Malipatil, M.B. 1973. The nymph of Cryptorhamphus orbus Stål (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae: Cryptorhamphinae). Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 12: 39-41

Schaefer, C.W. 1975. Heteropteran trichobothria, (Hemiptera-Heteroptera). International Journal of Insect Morphology and Embryology 4: 193-264

Schaefer, C.W. 1993. The Pentatomomorpha (Hemiptera: Heteroptera): an annotated outline of its systematic history. European Journal of Entomology 90: 105-122

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.

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

Slater, J.A. 1975. On the biology and zoogeography of Australian Lygaeidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) with special reference to the southwest fauna. Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 14: 47-64

Slater, J.A. 1976a. The immature stages of Lygaeidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) of southwest Australia. Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 15: 101-126

Slater, J.A. 1976b. The biology, distribution and taxonomy of some Lygaeidae of Southwest Australia (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 15: 129-151

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. 1860. Hemiptera. Species novas descripsit. pp. 219–298 in, Konglika Svenska Fregattens Eugenies Resa Omkring Jorden, under Befal af C.A. Virgin åren 1851–1853. III Zoologi, Insekter. Stockholm : Norstedt.

Stål, C. 1874. Enumeratio Hemipterorum. Bidrag till en förteckning öfver aller hittills kända Hemiptera, jemte systematiska meddelanden. 4. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Academiens Nya Handlingar, Stockholm n.f. 12(1): 1-186

Štys, P. 1967. Monograph of Malcinae, with reconsideration of morphology and phylogeny of related groups. (Heteroptera, Malcidae). Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae 37: 351-516

Walker, F. 1872. Catalogue of the specimens of Hemiptera Heteroptera in the collection of the British Museum. Part V. London : E. Newman Preface pp. 1-202.


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)