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15 February 2002


The Cydnidae or burrower bugs are a cosmopolitan family of pentatomoid bugs that comprise 120 genera and 765 species worldwide (Lis et al. 2000; Henry 2009). The family is most diverse in the tropical regions of the world. The family is represented in the Australian fauna by two subfamilies, three tribes, 21 genera and 83 species.

Histories of the higher classification of the Cydnidae are given by Froeschner (1960a) and Lis (1994a). Some of the competing intrafamilial classifications are given in Table 11. The cydnids were first recognised as a family-group by Billberg (1820). Amyot & Serville (1843) divided the cydnids into two intrafamilial groups. Signoret (1881–1884) accepted these divisions, as Cydninae and Sehirinae. Froeschner (1960a) in a monograph of the Western Hemisphere established the following intrafamilial classification: Amnestinae, Cydninae, Garsauriinae, Scaptocorinae and Sehirinae. Wagner (1963) revised this classification, included the thyreocorids in the family, described new tribes, and gave the following arrangement: Cydnidae (Cydnini, Geotomini, Scaptocorini), Sehirinae, Thyreocorinae.

Dolling (1981), in a broader examination of pentatomoid taxa, supported the inclusion of the Thyreocorinae and added the Thaumastellidae (formerly in Lygaeoidea). Schaefer et al. (1988) erected a new subfamily, the Parastrachinae, for the anomalous Oriental genus Parastrachia Distant. Schuh & Slater (1995) proposed an amalgam of existing classifications, supporting the inclusion of the Thyreocorinae, the subfamilial ranking and placement of the Parastrachinae, and the exclusion of the Thaumastellidae (following Jacobs 1989). Linnavuori (1993) held a narrower concept of the family (rejecting the inclusion of the thyreocorids and thaumastellids). Lis (1994–2001) in a plethora of revisions and synthetic treatments of the cydnids, mostly of the Eastern Hemisphere, provided a classification that is most like that of Schuh & Slater (1995). He also erected a new subfamily, the Cephalocteinae, divided into two tribes, including the Scaptocorini. In the Catalogue we follow the arrangement of Lis, thus the intrafamilial taxa present in Australia are Cephalocteinae (Scaptocorini), Cydninae (Cydnini, Geotomini).

The Cydnidae of the world were catalogued by Lethierry & Severin (1893). There is no modern synthesis that deals with the Cydnidae of both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Froeschner (1960a) remains the most critical reference on the Cydnidae of the Western Hemisphere. Lis (1994a) revised the fauna of the Oriental Region and catalogued the cydnids of the Eastern Hemisphere. Linnavuori (1993) monographed the cydnids of west, central and north-east Africa. Schaefer et al. (1991) revised the Parastrachinae. Ahmad & Moizuddin (1982) revised the Thyreocorinae from Pakistan. Larivière (1995) reviewed the New Zealand cydnids. Schuh & Slater (1995) gave an overview of the family and all the subfamilies, and included key references. Pluot-Sigwalt & Lis (2008) investigated female genitalia of Cydnidae and their bearing to higher classification of the group.

Six cydnid subfamilies are not known from Australia and are distributed as follows: Amnestinae (Nearctic and Neotropical Regions), Corimelaeninae (Western Hemisphere), Garsauriinae (Eastern Hemisphere tropics), Parastrachinae (Oriental Region), Sehirinae (Western Hemisphere) and Thyreocorinae (Afrotropical, Palaearctic and Oriental Regions). As yet no species in these taxa have been recorded from Australia or are known to be held in collections.

The Cydnidae are a moderately diverse family in Australia, comprising 21 genera and 85 species, about 10% of the world's fauna, and 9 genera and 76 species are endemic. Species richness is greatest in the tropical and subtropical regions of the continent. Lis (1995b, 1996a, 1999a) reviewed and catalogued the Australian fauna. Lis' (1994a) review of the Oriental Cydnidae is also relevant to Australia.

The Cephalocteinae are indigenous to all zoogeographic regions except the Nearctic Region, and are most diverse in the Palaearctic, Oriental and Neotropical Regions. The nominotypical tribe is found in the Eastern Hemisphere but not in the Australian Region. The Scaptocorini comprises 7 genera and 27 species, mostly circumtropical. Lis (1999b) revised the world fauna, and described a new species of Scaptocoris Perty from Australia. This species was formerly misidentified as Stibaropus molginus Schiödte by Musgrave (1946) and Chadwick (1967) and claimed to be an introduction from the Oriental Region. All other species of Scaptocoris are restricted to the Neotropical Region.

The Cydninae are the most diverse cydnid subfamily and are cosmopolitan in distribution. The Australian Cydnini includes seven genera and 30 species, of which four genera and 23 species are endemic. Lis (1995a, 1995b, 1996a, 1996b, 1997, 1999a, 1999c, 2000a) and Lis & Heyna (2001) revised all of the described species. Chilocoris Mayr, with 11 species, is the most diverse genus of the tribe and is distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the continent; all but one of the species are endemic to Australia (C. neozealandicus Larivière & Froeschner also found in New Zealand). Blaena Walker is an Australian endemic genus comprising 12 species that are found mostly in the temperate regions across Australia (Froeschner 1960b, 1966) and Lis & Heyna 2001). The other genera in Cydnini comprise few species (Blaenocoris Lis; 1 species, Cydnus Fabricius; 1 species, Nishocoris Lis; 2 species, Paranishadana Lis; 1 species).

The Geotomini is represented in Australia by 12 genera and 45 species, among which three genera and 39 species are endemic. Lis (1994b, 1995b, 1996a, 1999a, 1999d, 1999e, 2000b, 2001a, 2001b) revised the Australian fauna. The most diverse genera are Adrisa Amyot & Serville (11 species), Eulonips Lis (5 species), Geotomus Mulsant and Rey (9 species) and Macroscytus Fieber (12 species). The species of Adrisa, Choerocydnus White (2 species) and Eulonips are mostly distributed in the temperate regions of Australia. Most of the other genera are found in the northern half of the continent.

Knowledge of the biology of the family is limited (Froeschner 1988). Species in the extralimital subfamilies Parastrachinae, Sehirinae and Thyreocorinae are found 'up-on-plants'. The Cydninae and the Cephalocteinae are known to feed on the roots of plants. There are occasional records of cydnids feeding on stems and fallen seeds. The eggs are laid on the soil and the larvae are subterranean in habit. The adults are commonly taken at plant roots in the soil, and at light, sometimes in very large numbers. Lis et al. (2000) summarised the bionomics of pest species of Cydnidae. They reported that 27 species have been recorded in the literature as pests. There is little recorded biological information for any endemic Australian species. The introduced species, Fromundus pygmaeus Dallas, 1851, has been found under stones and near roots (White 1878), in pineapple roots (Illingworth 1927), in sugarcane fields (Williams 1931), feeding on sugarcane (Box 1953), and have been recorded as occassionally piercing human skin (Illingworth 1931).



Most cydnids are ovoid, heavily sclerotised, dark bugs, and are homogeneous in appearance. The head is often subquadrate to semicircular in shape. The head and the pronotum often possess spines. The antennae are 5-segmented. Setal combs are present on the coxae. The tibiae are armed with numerous strong spines and the apices of the mid and hind coxae are fringed with rigid setae. The tarsi are often flimsy and greatly reduced; they are 3-segmented. The ventral surface of the hind wing has a strigil. The spermatheca is small with two flanges. The larval dorsal abdominal glands are present on terga III/IV, IV/V and V/VI. (Dolling 1981; Carver et al. 1991; Schuh & Slater 1995)


General References

Ahmad, I. & Moizuddin, M. 1982. A new species of the subfamily Thyreocorinae (Pentatomoidea: Cydnidae) from Pakistan with a note on the systematic position of the subfamily. Annotationes Zoologicae et Botanicae, Bratislava 1982(148): 1-8

Amyot, C.J.B. & Audinet-Serville, J.G. 1843. Histoire Naturelle des Insects. Hémiptères. Paris : Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret, Rue Hautefeuille 10 B13 676 pp.

Billberg, G.J. 1820. Enumeratio Insectorum in Museo Gustave Johann Billberg. Stockholm : Typis Gadelianis 4 unnumbered + 138 pp. [In Latin]

Box, H.E. 1953. List of Sugar-cane Insects. A synonymic catalogue of the sugar-cane insects and mites of the world, and of their insect parasites and predators, arranged systematically. London : Commonwealth Institute of Entomology 101 pp.

Carver, M., Gross, G.F. & Woodward, T.E. 1991. Hemiptera (bugs, leafhoppers, cicadas, aphids, scale insects, etc.) [with contributions by Cassis, G., Evans, J.W., Fletcher, M.J., Hill, L., Lansbury, I., Malipatil, M.B., Monteith, G.B., Moulds, M.S., Polhemus, J.T., Slater, J.A., Štys, P., Taylor, K.L., Weir, T.A. & Williams, D.J.]. pp. 429-509 in CSIRO (ed.). The Insects of Australia. A textbook for students and research workers. Melbourne : Melbourne University Press Vol. 1 xiii 542 pp.

Chadwick, C.E. 1967. The occurrence of Stibaropus molginus Schiodte (Hemiptera: Cydnidae). Journal of the Entomological Society of Australia (N.S.W.) N.S.W. 3: 38

Dolling, W.R. 1981. A rationalized classification of the burrower bugs (Cydnidae). Systematic Entomology 6: 61-76

Froeschner, R.C. 1960a. Cydnidae of the Western Hemisphere. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 111: 337-680 pls 1-13

Froeschner, R.C. 1960b. The genus Blaena Walker (=Macrymenus Signoret) with the description of four new species and a key to the known forms (Hemiptera: Cydnidae). Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 13: 453-466

Froeschner, R.C. 1966. Two new species of the Australian genus Blaena with notes on previously described species. (Hemiptera: Cydnidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 39: 690-694

Froeschner, R.C. 1988. Cydnidae. pp. 119-129 in Henry, T.J. & Froeschner, R.C. (eds). Catalog of the Heteroptera, or True Bugs, of Canada and the Continental United States. Leiden : E.J. Brill xix 958 pp.

Henry, T.J. 2009. Biodiversity of the Heteroptera. pp. 223–263 in Foottit, R.G. & Adler P.H. (eds). Insect Biodiversity: Science and Society. Oxford : Wiley-Blackwell.

Illingworth, J.F. 1927. A report on insects and other animal organisms collected in the pineapple growing section at Manua Loa, Molokai, June, 1926. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 6: 390-397

Illingworth, J.F. 1931. Notes and exhibitions. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 7: 378-379

Jacobs, D.H. 1989. A new species of Thaumastella with notes on the morphology, biology and distribution of two southern African species (Heteroptera: Thaumastellidae). Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa 52: 301-316

Larivière, M.-C. 1995. Cydnidae, Acanthosomatidae, and Pentatomidae (Insecta: Heteroptera): systematics, geographical distribution, and bioecology. Fauna of New Zealand 35: 1-119

Lethierry, L. & Severin, G. 1893. Catalogue Général des Hémiptères. Tome I. Hétéroptères Pentatomidae. Bruxelles : F. Hayez xi 286 pp.

Linnavuori, R.E. 1993. Cydnidae of West, Central and North-East Africa (Heteroptera). Acta Zoologica Fennica 192: 1-148

Lis, J.A. 1994a. A Revision of Oriental Burrower Bugs (Heteroptera: Cydnidae). Bytom : Upper Silesian Museum 349 pp.

Lis, J.A. 1994b. Studies on Cydnidae of the Australian Region. VII. On the genus Aethus Dallas, 1851 (Heteroptera: Pentatomoidea). Genus (Wroclaw) 5(4): 357-362

Lis, J.A. 1995a. Studies on Cydnidae of the Australian Region V. The genus Chilocoris Mayr in Australia, Tasmania and Moluccas (Heteroptera). Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 45(3–4): 225-230

Lis, J.A. 1995b. A synonymic list of burrower bugs of the Australian Region (Heteroptera: Cydnidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 6(2): 137-149

Lis, J.A. 1996a. A review of burrower bugs of the Australian Region, with a discussion on the distribution of the genera (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Cydnidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 7(2): 177-238

Lis, J.A. 1996b. Studies on Cydnidae of the Australian Region. VIII. Cydnus (Orientocydnus) pericarti n. sp. from Queensland (Heteroptera). Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France 101(1): 27-30

Lis, J.A. 1997. Three new Australian genera of burrower bugs with four new species (Heteroptera: Cydnidae). Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne 66(3–4): 189-201

Lis, J.A. 1999a. Burrower bugs of the Old World - a catalogue (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Cydnidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 10(2): 165-249

Lis, J.A. 1999b. Taxonomy and phylogeny of Cephalocteinae with a reference to their historical biogeography (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Cydnidae). Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne 68: 111-131

Lis, J.A. 1999c. The genus Chilocoris (Heteroptera: Cydnidae) in Australia. Acta Societatis Zoologicae Bohemicae 63: 139-155

Lis, J.A. 1999d. Revision of the genus Macroscytus (Heteroptera: Cydnidae) in Madagascar and adjacent islands, with descriptions of four new species. European Journal of Entomology 96: 427-437

Lis, J.A. 1999e. A revision of the Australian genus Eulonips Lis, with descriptions of three new species (Heteroptera: Cydnidae). Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne 68: 29-39

Lis, J.A. 2000a. Cydnotomus — a new Australian burrower bug genus, with two new species (Heteroptera, Cydnidae). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 47(2): 137-141

Lis, J.A. 2000b. A review of the Australian species of Geotomus Mulsant et Rey, 1866, with descriptions of three new species (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Cydnidae). Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne 69: 411-428

Lis, J.A. 2001a. Prolactistes australis gen. and sp. nov. from Australia, with remarks on its systematic position within the family (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Cydnidae). Annales Zoologici, Warszawa 51(1): 103-107

Lis, J.A. 2001b. A review of the genus Byrsinus Fieber, 1860 (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Cydnidae) in Australia, with a key to Australo-Pacific species. Annales Zoologici, Warszawa 51(2): 197-203

Lis, J.A., Becker, M. & Schaefer, C.W. 2000. Burrower Bugs (Cydnidae). pp. 405-420 in Schaefer, C.W. & Panizzi, A.R. (eds). Heteroptera of Economic Importance. Boca Raton : CRC Press 828 pp.

Lis, J.A. & Heyna, J. 2001. Revision of the Australian genus Blaena (Heteroptera: Cydnidae). European Journal of Entomology 98: 321-350

Musgrave, A. 1946. Abstract of Proceedings. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 71: xxii-xxiii

Pluot-Sigwalt, D. & Lis, J.A. 2008. Morphology of the spermatheca in the Cydnidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera): bearing of its diversity on classification and phylogeny. European Journal of Entomology 105(2): 279-312

Schaefer, C.W., Dolling, W.R. & Tachikawa, S. 1988. The shieldbug genus Parastrachia and its position within the Pentatomoidea (Insecta: Hemiptera). Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 93: 283-311

Schaefer, C.W., Zheng, L.-Y. & Tachikawa, S. 1991. A review of Parastrachia (Hemiptera: Cydnidae: Parastrachiinae). Oriental Insects 25: 131-144

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.

Signoret, V. 1881a. Revue des Cydnides contenus dans la Collection du Musée Civique d'Histoire naturelle de Gênes. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genova 16: 621-657

Signoret, V. 1881b. Révision du groupe des Cydnides de la famille des Pentatomides—première partie. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 6 1: 25-52

Signoret, V. 1881c. Révision du groupe des Cydnides de la famille des Pentatomides—deuxième partie. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 6 1: 193-218

Signoret, V. 1882a. Révision du groupe des Cydnides de la famille des Pentatomides—cinquième partie. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 6 2: 23-42

Signoret, V. 1882b. Révision du groupe des Cydnides de la famille des Pentatomides—sixième partie. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 6 2: 145-168

Signoret, V. 1882c. Révision du groupe des Cydnides de la famille des Pentatomides—huitième partie. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 6 2: 464-484

Signoret, V. 1883a. Révision du groupe des Cydnides de la famille des Pentatomides—neuvième partie. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 6 3: 32-60

Signoret, V. 1883b. Révision du groupe des Cydnides de la famille des Pentatomides—dixième partie. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 6 3: 207-220

Signoret, V. 1883c. Révision du groupe des Cydnides de la famille des Pentatomides—onzième partie. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 6 3: 356-374

Signoret, V. 1884. Révision du Groupe des Cydnides de la Famille des Pentatomides. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 6 3: 517-534

Wagner, E. 1963. Untersuchungen über den taxonomischen Wert des Baues der Genitalien bei den Cydnidae (Hem. Het.). Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae 35: 73-115

White, F.B. 1878. List of the Hemiptera of New Zealand. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine 14: 274-277

Williams, F.X. 1931. Handbook of the Insects and other Invertebrates of Hawaiian Sugar Cane Fields. Honolulu : Expt. Stat. Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association.


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)