Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


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Compiler and date details

15 February 2002


The Ninidae are a small family of lygaeoid bugs comprising five genera and 13 species (Slater 1964; Slater & O'Donnell 1995; Zoological Record 1995–2001). The ninids are represented in Australia by two species.

Barber (1956) first established the group as a tribe of Cyminae (Cymini, Ischnorhynchini and Ninini) and recognised four genera (Cymoninus Distant, Neoninus Distant, Ninomimus Lindberg, and Ninus Stål). Scudder (1957) revised the tribe, describing a new genus (Paraninus Scudder), and maintaining their composition and rank. Barber (1958) retained the Ninini as a tribe but suggested that this was a new arrangement (probable lapsus). Štys (1967) diagnosed the Ninini and proposed affinities with other members of his 'malcid-line' of taxa, aside from the Cymini. Hamid (1975) in his monograph of the Cyminae, removed the ischnorhynchines, and recognised three cymine tribes (Cymini, Ontiscini and Ninini). In his classification the generic composition of the Ninini was the same as given by Scudder (1957).

Henry (1997) raised the Ninini to family rank, and established a sister-group relationship with the Malcidae + Colobathristidae + Berytidae, based on the presence of stylate eyes, supericorn antennal bases and apically bifid scutellum. This arrangement is followed in this Catalogue.

Slater (1964) and Slater & O'Donnell (1995) catalogued the genera and species of Ninidae (as tribe of Cyminae). Cymoninus has a circumtropical distribution and includes three species. Cymoninus sechellensis Bergroth is found in tropical and subtropical, coastal Queensland, on Lord Howe Island, and extralimitally, in Melanesia, and the Afrotropical and Oriental Regions. Neoninus comprises three species, restricted to the Neotropical Region. Ninomimus has two species and is known from Russia and Japan. Ninus has four species and is mostly distributed across the Afrotropical and Oriental Regions. The nominotypical species, N. insignis, is found in far north coastal Queensland, as well as Melanesia, Micronesia, and broadly across the Oriental Region. Paraninus is a monotypic genus confined to northern South America.

The biology of Ninidae is very poorly known. Hamid (1975) indicated that they are 'up-on-plant' seed-predators, primarily on monocot species belonging to the Cyperaceae and Juncaceae. Hamid (1975) reported that Ninus similis Scudder occurs on the sedge genera Scirpus Linnaeus and Cyperus Linnaeus, in South Africa. Cymoninus sechellensis has been collected in seed heads and on ferns in Fiji. Ninus insignis has been collected on sugarcane (Box 1953) and the sedge Fimbristylis cymosa R.Br. (Usinger 1946). Slater (1963) described the larvae of this species.



Ninids are small, fragile species, ranging from 3–4 mm. The body is elongate-ovoid. The body is punctate. The head is strongly deflexed. The antennae are supericorn and the antennifers are reduced. The antennae and labium are 4-segmented. The first antennal segment is small. The eyes are stylate. Ocelli are present and relatively close to each other. The pronotum is neither constricted laterally nor carinate. The scutellum is apically bifid. The membrane of the hemelytra is reduced. The hind wings have a hamus. The ostiole of the metathoracic glands is enlarged. The abdominal spiracles are dorsal on segments II–VI, and ventral on VII. The spermathecal flanges are generally reduced. The larval dorsal abdominal glands are present between terga III/IV, IV/V, V/VI, with the latter reduced. (Scudder 1957; Štys 1967; Hamid 1975; Henry 1997)


General References

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

Barber, H.G. 1958. Insects of Micronesia. Heteroptera: Lygaeidae. Insects of Micronesia 7: 173-218

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.

Hamid, A. 1975. A systematic revision of the Cyminae (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae) of the world with a discussion of the morphology, biology, phylogeny and zoogeography. Occasional Publications of the Entomological Society of Nigeria 14: 1-179

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

Scudder, G.G.E. 1957. A revision of Ninini (Hemiptera-Heteroptera, Lygaeidae) including the description of a new species from Angola. Publicaçoes Culturais da Companhia de Diamantes de Angola 34: 91-108

Slater, J.A. 1963. Immature stages of the subfamilies Cyminae and Ischnorhynchinae (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 36: 84-93

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

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.

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

Usinger, R.L. 1946. Hemiptera Heteroptera of Guam. pp. 11–103 in, Insects of Guam, II. Bull. Bernice P. Bishop Mus. 189.


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)