Australian Biological Resources Study

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Superfamily LYGAEOIDEA

Compiler and date details

June 2012 - Professor Gerry Cassis, Anna Namyatova, Nikolai Tatarnic and Celia Symonds, University of New South Wales, Sydney


The Lygaeoidea is a superfamily of pentatomomorphan bugs comprising 15 families: Artheneidae, Berytidae, Blissidae, Colobathristidae, Cryptorhamphidae, Cymidae, Geocoridae, Heterogastridae, Lygaeidae, Malcidae, Ninidae, Oxycarenidae, Pachygronthidae, Piesmatidae and Rhyparochromidae. Most families are found in the major zoogeographic regions, and with the exception of the Malcidae, all the lygaeoid families are represented in Australia.

The group was recognised at suprageneric level by Reuter (1910; as Neidoidea). Tullgren (1918) and Leston et al. (1954) recognised that lygaeoids form a natural group within the groupings they each recognised, namely Trichophora and Pentatomomorpha. In the modern era, the definition and composition of the Lygaeoidea is confounded by its relationships to the Coreoidea and Largidae (Pyrrhocoroidea).

Schaefer (1964, 1993) redefined the Lygaeoidea to include the Berytidae, Colobathristidae, Idiostolidae, Lygaeidae, Malcidae and Piesmatidae. Štys (1961, 1967) and Štys & Kerzhner (1975) proposed a broad concept of the Coreoidea to include both the Lygaeoidea (as 'maclid line' + Lygaeidae) and the Pyrrhocoroidea (as 'largid line'). The majority of recent synthetic works accept the division of the Pentatomomorpha into five superfamilies (Aradoidea, Coreoidea, Lygaeoidea, Pyrrhocoroidea and Pentatomoidea) (Carver et al. 1991; Schuh & Slater 1995) and the concept of Lygaeoidea mostly in the sense of Schaefer (excluding the Idiostolidae).

Henry (1997) provided a phylogenetic analysis of these superfamilies and proposed monophyly of Lygaeoidea on the basis of the following character states: hemelytral venation reduced, fore femora incrassate and trichobothrial pads present. All of these features exhibit homoplasy within his analysis but are considered to be significant because of their universal presence in basal lygaeoids.

Henry (1997) revised radically the in-group relationships of the Lygaeoidea. He elevated a number of lygaeid subfamilies to family status (Artheneidae, Cryptorhamphidae, Ninidae, Oxycarenidae and Pachygronthidae), resurrected the family ranking of other lygaeid subfamilies (Blissidae, Cymidae, Geocoridae, Heterogastridae, Rhyparochromidae), and transferred subfamilies to new family groups (Bledionotinae and Henestarinae to Geocoridae; Psamminae to Piesmatidae). He also moved the Lygaeidae: Henicocorinae sensu Woodward (1968) to the Idiostoloidea, erecting a new family for its inclusion.

This reclassification resulted in a restricted definition of the Lygaeidae, to include only three subfamilies: Ischnorhynchinae, Lygaeinae and Orsillinae. Sweet (2000) proposed tentatively that the Lygaeidae should be restricted to the nominotypical subfamily alone, and that the Ischnorhynchinae and Orsillinae should be raised to family status. This latter arrangement was not followed by Cassis & Gross (2002: 157), as Sweet provides no evidence for this classification.


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.

Cassis, G. & Gross, G.F. 2002. Hemiptera: Heteroptera (Pentatomomorpha). in Houston, W.W.K. & Wells, A. Zoological Catalogue of Australia Vol. 27.3B. Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing, Australia. xiv 737 pp. [157]

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

Leston, D., Pendergrast, J.G. & Southwood, T.R.E. 1954. Classification of the terrestrial Heteroptera (Geocorisae). Nature (London) 174: 91-92

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

Schaefer, C.W. 1964. The morphology and higher classification of the Coreoidea (Hemiptera-Heteroptera): Parts I and II. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 57: 670-684

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.

Štys, P. 1961. Morphology of the abdomen and female ectodermal genitalia of the trichophorous Heteroptera and bearing on their classification. Transactions of the 11th International Congress of Entomology 1: 37-43

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

Štys, P. & Kerzhner, I. 1975. The rank and nomenclature of higher taxa in recent Heteroptera. Acta Entomologica Bohemoslovaca 72: 65-79

Sweet, M.H. 2000. Seed and Chinch Bugs. pp. 143-264 in Schaefer, C.W. & Panizzi, A.R. (eds). Heteroptera of Economic Importance. Boca Raton : CRC Press 828 pp.

Tullgren, A. 1918. Zur Morphologie und Systematik der Hemipteren I. Entomologisk Tidskrift 1918: 113-133

Woodward, T.E. 1968. A new subfamily of Lygaeidae (Hemiptera-Heteroptera) from Australia. Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society of London B 37: 125-132


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)