Australian Biological Resources Study

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The Dipsocoridae are a small cosmopolitan family of dipsocoromorphan bugs containing five genera and about 51 species (Slater 1982, Zoological Record 1980–1994, Henry 2009). The Australian fauna includes four species of Cryptostemma Herrich-Schaeffer (Hill 1987).

Dipsocorids are small, usually from 2 to 3 mm in length, and dull brown, with the forewings sometimes with a grey sheen. The head is porrect, conical, weakly deflexed, and with macrotrichae. Ocelli are always present in macropterous morphs. The first two antennal segments are short and thick and the third and fourth segments are filiform, with fine, long hair. The labium is squat, at most reaching the prosternum. The forewing is not divided into corium and membrane, and usually has a deep costal fracture, reaching the M vein. Wing polymorphism occurs, although most Cryptostemma species are macropterous. The larvae have four pairs of dorsal abdominal scent gland openings between terga III–IV, IV–V, V–VI and VI–VII. The tarsal formula is 3:3:3, 2:2:3 or 2:2:2. The adult pretarsus has a single parempodium. The number of abdominal spiracles is reduced. The male abdomen and genitalia are highly asymmetrical and complex. The female ovipositor is membranous and reduced (Slater 1982).

Dipsocorids are predaceous and cryptozoic. Carver et al. (1991) indicate that dipsocorids run rapidly, in contrast to the jumping Schizopteridae. Dolling (1991) reports that the British species, Cryptostemma alienum Herrich-Schaeffer, is found in gravel and beneath stones beside streams, and Pachycoleus waltli Fieber lives in Sphagnum Linnaeus and other mosses near water. Southwood & Leston (1959) suggest that the former species can survive long periods of submersion. Hill (1987) indicated that Australian species of Cryptostemma live interstitially in gravel along the margins of streams. Hill (pers. comm.) suggests that Australian Cryptostemma species are also frequently found in flooded rivers. Štys (1990) summarised the habits of west Palaearctic species.

Reuter (1891) included two subfamilies in the Dipsocoridae, the Schizopterina and Ceratocombina; these were later ranked as families (Reuter 1910). Reuter (1910) treated the Schizopteridae and Ceratocombidae as a major division of the Heteroptera, the Trichotelocera. McAtee & Malloch (1925) revised the Schizopterina and Ceratocombina, under the family-group name Cryptostemmatidae, recognising two subfamilies, the Schizopterinae and Cryptostemmatinae, the latter containing the genera Ceratocombus Signoret and Cryptostemma. Emsley (1969) supported the retention of Reuter's Trichotelocera "series". Štys (1970) supported this, as the Dipsocoromorpha, based on characters of the genitalia, spermatheca and abdominal spiracles, the unique antennal structure, plesiomorphic digestive system and the non-heteropterous eggs.

Emsley's (1969) classification recognised the Schizopteridae and Cryptostemmatidae, with the latter equivalent to the Dipsocoridae, but also including Ceratocombus, Hypsipteryx Drake and Seychellesanus Distant. Štys (1970) raised the former two genera to family level, and transferred Seychellesanus to the Schizopteridae. He restricted the Dipsocoridae to include Cryptostemma Herrich-Schaeffer and Pachycoleus Fieber which are characterised by a narrow, non-inflated propleuron and a deep costal fracture. Richards & Davies (1977) include the ceratocombids in the Dipsocoridae but this is not presently accepted by other authors.

Lethierry & Severin (1896) catalogued the dipsocorids in the Ceratocombidae. Henry (1988) catalogued the North American fauna, which contains two species of Cryptostemma. Wygodzinsky (1948, 1950, 1955) and Štys (1977) described species from various parts of the world. Hill (1987) described four species from south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Three of these species were taken at one site adjacent to the Mongarlowe River in New South Wales. He also indicated that undescribed species exist in collections from northern Queensland, south-eastern Queensland, northern New South Wales and the Snowy Mountains. Štys (pers. comm.) reports that many tropical species, mainly taken at light, remain to be described.
Streito & Pericart (2005) revised the genus Harpago Linnavuori.


General References

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.

Dolling, W.R. 1991. The Hemiptera. Oxford : Oxford University Press ix 274 pp.

Emsley, M.G. 1969. The Schizopteridae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) with the description of new species from Trinidad. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 1969(25): 1-154

Henry, T.J. 1988. Dipsocoridae. pp. 130-131 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.

Hill, L. 1987. First record of Dipsocoridae (Hemiptera) from Australia with the description of four new species of Cryptostemma Herrich-Schaeffer. Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 26: 129-139

Lethierry, L. & Severin, G. 1896. Catalogue Général des Hémiptères. Tome III. Hétéroptères Tingidae, Phymatidae, Aradidae, Hebridae, Hydrometridae, Henicocephalidae, Reduvidae, Saldidae, Apophilidae, Ceratocombidae, Cimicidae, Anthocoridae. Berlin : R. Friedländer & Fils 275 pp.

McAtee, W.L. & Malloch, J.R. 1925. Revision of the bugs of the family Cryptostemmatidae in the collection of the United States National Museum. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 67: 1-42 pls 1-4

Reuter, O.M. 1891. Monographia Ceratocombidarum orbis terrestris. Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennicae 19(6): 1-28 1 pl.

Reuter, O.M. 1910. Neue Beiträge zur Phylogenie und Systematik der Miriden nebst einleitenden Bemerkungen über die Phylogenie der Heteropteren-Familien. Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennicae 37(3): 1-167

Richards, O.W. & Davies, R.G. 1977. Imms' General Textbook of Entomology. Tenth Edn Classification and biology. London : John Wiley & Sons Vol. 2 viii pp. 421-1354.

Slater, J.A. 1982. Hemiptera. pp. 417-447 in Parker, S.P. (ed.). Synopsis and Classification of Living Organisms. New York : McGraw Hill Book Co.

Southwood, T.R.E. & Leston, D. 1959. Land and Water Bugs of the British Isles. London : Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd xi 436 pp., 32 col. pls, 31 monotone pls.

Streito, J.-C. & Pericart, J. 2005. [Revision of the genus Harpago Linnavuori, 1951 and interesting capture of Dipsocoridae in Europe (Heteroptera, Dipsocoridae)]. Revision du genre Harpago Linnavuori, 1951 et captures interessantes de Dipsocoridae en Europe (Heteroptera, Dipsocoridae). Nouvelle Revue d'Entomologie 22(1): 63-72

Štys, P. 1970. On the morphology and classification of the family Dipsocoridae s. lat., with particular reference to the genus Hypsipteryx Drake (Heteroptera). Acta Entomologica Bohemoslovaca 67: 21-46

Štys, P. 1977. First records of Dipsocoridae and Ceratocombidae from Madagascar (Heteroptera). Acta Entomologica Bohemoslovaca 74: 295-315

Štys, P. 1990. Enicocephalomorphan and dipsocoromorphan fauna of W. Palaearctic (Heteroptera): composition, distribution and biology. Scopolia 1(Suppl.): 3-15

Wygodzinsky, P. 1948. Contributions towards the knowledge of the genus Cryptostemma Herrich-Schaeffer, 1835 (Cryptostemmatidae, Hemiptera). Revista de Entomologia. Rio de Janeiro 19: 283-294

Wygodzinsky, P. 1950. Contribution towards the knowledge of the family "Cryptostemmatidae" (Hemiptera). Revista Brasileira de Biologia 10: 377-392

Wygodzinsky, P. 1955. Description of a new Cryptostemma from North America. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 31: 199-202


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)
05-Dec-2012 05-Dec-2012 MODIFIED
15-Aug-2012 15-Aug-2012 MODIFIED
01-Oct-2010 01-Oct-2010 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)