Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


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Compiler and date details

15 February 2002


The Scutelleridae are a cosmopolitan family of pentatomoid bugs, comprising about 81 genera and over 450 species (Schuh & Slater 1995; Henry 2009). The family is most diverse in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The Australian fauna is relatively depauperate, the family being represented by only 13 genera and 28 species.

The group was first established at suprageneric level by Leach (1815). Fieber (1861) and Stål (1867) recognised it as a family. Dallas (1851) and Stål (1872, 1873) established suprageneric groups within the Scutelleridae. Schouteden (1904, 1906) monographed the family, essentially following the divisions of Stål. Kirkaldy (1909) maintained the group as a subfamily of the Pentatomidae, arranged within five tribes (Odontotarsini, Tetyrini, Scutellerini, Sphaerocorini and Elvisurini). Van Duzee (1917) restored the family status, an arrangement that has been followed by most subsequent authors (Pendergrast 1957; Kumar 1965; McDonald 1966; Gross 1975). Like most modern workers, Schuh & Slater (1995) retained the family status, with the following subfamilies: Eurygastrinae, Odontotarsinae, Pachycorinae and Scutellerinae. McDonald & Cassis (1984) erected a new subfamily the Tectocorinae and accepted the Elvisurinae as a valid subfamily. The intrafamilial classification of scutellerids is in need of revision. For the purposes of this Catalogue, we are accepting the following subfamilial classification (Australian taxa only): Elvisurinae, Odontotarsinae, Scutellerinae and Tectocorinae.

The Australian Scutelleridae fauna comprises 13 genera and 25 species, of which seven genera and 17 species are endemic (Cassis & Vanags 2006). Scutellerids are commonly found in Australia and most species are broadly distributed. The Elvisurinae are represented by five species, in the genera Austrotichus Gross (1 species), Coleotichus White (3 species) and Solenotichus Martin (1 species). The Odontotarsinae are represented by three species of the aberrant genus, Morbora Distant. The Pachycorinae are represented by a single widely distributed species Agonosoma trilineatum Laporte. The Scutellerinae are the most speciose subfamily in Australia and are represented by Calliphara Germar (6 species), Calliscysta Stål (1 species) Cantao Amyot & Serville (1 species), Choerocoris Dallas (4 species), Heissiphara Cassis & Vanags (1 species) Lampromicra Stål (3 species) and Scutiphora Laporte (1 species). The Tectocorinae are represented by Tectocoris diophthalmus (Thunberg).

McDonald & Cassis (1984) revised the Australian species, synonymising numerous available names of Coleotichus, Lampromicra and Choerocoris. The species Sphaerocoris subnotatus Walker has not been examined and is placed as incertae sedis in this Catalogue. Gross (1975) revised the South Australian species and provided superb habitus figures of the species. Lyal (1979) monographed the world fauna of Calliphara. McDonald (1988) reviewed the genus Cantao. Cassis & Vanags (2006) recently revised Australian scutellerids and described a new monotypic genus Heissiphara and two new species of Choerocoris .

Scutellerids are phytophagous and some species are serious pests of crops in the Palaearctic and Oriental Regions. Javahery et al. (2000) summarised the biology of scutellerids with reference to species of economic importance. The biology of some Australian species was described in detail by McDonald (1960, 1963).

McDonald (1960) reported on the biology of Choerocoris paganus (Fabricius), listing numerous host plants. This species is commonly collected on the native hop, Dodonaea viscosa (Linnaeus) (Sapindaceae), feeding on the ripe green seeds. One of us [GC] has also observed this species feeding on the cast seeds in the 'seed-shadow' of the plant.

McDonald (1963) described the immature stages of Lampromicra senator (Fabricius), Scutiphora pedicellata (Kirby), Cantao parentum (White), Choerocoris paganus and Tectocoris diophthalmus. Ballard & Holdaway (1926) described the biology of the latter species in great detail, reporting it as a significant pest of cotton in Queensland. Tectocoris diophthalmus has become established in gardens and parks in eastern coastal Australia on a range of ornamental malvaceous plants.



Scutellerids are medium to large-sized bugs, which are ovoid to elongate-ovoid, and either dull or brightly coloured, often iridescent. The head is triangular and laterally keeled. The antennae are 3 to 5-segmented and the labium is 4-segmented. The pronotum is trapezoidal with the lateral margins divergent posteriorly. The scutellum is enlarged, covering all the abdomen and wings. The frena is greatly reduced or absent. The corium and clavus are membranous. The external efferent system of the metathoracic glands is well developed. Male abdominal sternal glands present occasionally. Tarsi are 3-segmented. Abdominal trichobothria are paired and placed caudal of the spiracles. The ovipositor is laciniate. The second valvifers are completely fused. The aedeagus usually has three pairs of conjunctival appendages. Larval dorsal abdominal glands occur between terga III/IV, IV/V and V/VI. (McDonald & Cassis 1984; Slater 1982; Schuh & Slater 1995)


General References

Ballard, E. & Holdaway, F.G. 1926. The life-history of Tectocoris lineola, F., and its connection with internal boll rots in Queensland. Bulletin of Entomological Research 16: 329-346 pls XV-XVI

Cassis, G. & Vanags, L. 2006. Jewel Bugs of Australia (Insecta: Heteroptera: Scutelleridae). Denisia Neue Serie 50: 275-398

Dallas, W.S. 1851. List of the Specimens of Hemipterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. London : Richard Taylor Part 1 368 pp. XI pls.

Fieber, F.X. 1861. Die europäischen Hemiptera: Halbflügler (Rhynchota Heteroptera). Nach der analytischen Methode bearbeitet. Wien : C. Gerold 113-444 pp., 2 pls.

Gross, G.F. 1975. Plant-feeding and Other Bugs (Hemiptera) of South Australia. Heteroptera. Adelaide : A.B. James Vol. 1 250 pp., 3 colour pls.

Javahery, M., Schaefer, C.W. & Lattin, J.D. 2000. Shield Bugs (Scutelleridae). pp. 475-503 in Schaefer, C.W. & Panizzi, A.R. (eds). Heteroptera of Economic Importance. Boca Raton : CRC Press 828 pp.

Kirkaldy, G.W. 1909. Catalogue of the Hemiptera (Heteroptera) with biological and anatomical references, lists of foodplants and parasites, etc. Prefaced by a discussion on nomenclature, and an analytical table of families. Cimicidae. Berlin : Felix L. Dames Vol. 1 xl 392 pp.

Kumar, R. 1965. Contributions to the morphology and relationships of Pentatomoidea (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) Part I. Scutelleridae. Journal of the Entomological Society of Queensland 4: 41-55

Leach, W.E. 1815. Hemiptera. p. 123 in, Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopedia. Vol. 9 Edinburgh : John Murray Baldwin & Cradocle.

Lyal, C.H.C. 1979. A review of the genus Calliphara Germar, 1839 (Hemiptera: Scutelleridae). Zoologische Mededelingen (Leiden) 54: 149-181

McDonald, F.J.D. 1960. Studies on the life-history and biology of Choerocoris paganus (Fabricius) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae: Scutellerinae). University of Queensland Papers, Department of Entomology 1: 135-147

McDonald, F.J.D. 1963. Nymphal systematics and life histories of some Queensland Scutellerinae Leach (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). University of Queensland Papers, Department of Entomology 1: 277-295

McDonald, F.J.D. 1966. The genitalia of North American Pentatomoidea. (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Quaestiones Entomologicae 2: 7-150

McDonald, F.J.D. 1988. A revision of Cantao Amyot and Serville (Hemiptera: Scutelleridae). Oriental Insects 22: 287-299

McDonald, F.J.D. & Cassis, G. 1984. Revision of the Australian Scutelleridae Leach (Hemiptera). Australian Journal of Zoology 32: 537-572

Pendergrast, J.G. 1957. Studies on the reproductive organs of the Heteroptera with a consideration of their bearing on classification. Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 109: 1-63

Schouteden, H. 1904. Heteroptera. Fam. Pentatomidae. Subfam. Scutellerinae. Genera Insectorum 24: 1-98 5 pls

Schouteden, H. 1906. Heteroptera. Fam. Pentatomidae. Subfam. Scutellerinae. Genera Insectorum 24: 99-100

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

Stål, C. 1867. Bidrag till Hemipterernas Systematik. Öfversigt af Kongelige Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar, Stockholm 24(7): 491-560

Stål, C. 1872. Enumeratio Hemipterorum. Bidrag till en förteckning öfver aller hittills kända Hemiptera, jemte systematiska meddelanden. 2. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Academiens Nya Handlingar, Stockholm n.f. 10(4): 1-159

Stål, C. 1873. Enumeratio Hemipterorum. Bidrag till en förteckning öfver aller hittills kända Hemiptera, jemte systematiska meddelanden. 3. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Academiens Nya Handlingar, Stockholm n.f. 11(2): 1-163

Van Duzee, E.P. 1917. Catalogue of the Hemiptera of America north of Mexico, excepting the Aphididae, Coccidae and Aleurodidae. University of California Publications in Entomology. Technical Bulletin 2: xiv 1-902


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)