Classification of the Tettigometridae

Family Tettigometridae Germar, 1821: 6

 Tettigometridae is a small family of medium or small-sized planthoppers, containing 14 genera and 87 species. It’s phylogenetic position within the Fulgoroidea has been controversial because of their peculiar morphology that might be considered basal within Fulgoroidea (e.g., as originally suggested by Asche 1988), or a derived family with simplified morphology (as found by Bourgoin et al. 1987 and other molecular work).  Even were it taken for granted that the family is derived, as molecular evidence suggests, the position of the family within Fulgoroidea is unclear because Tettigometridae is a ‘long-branch’ with all the attendant analytical difficulties.

Tettigometridae resemble some aphrophorids, but have the usual planthopper features –  The antennae are two segmented, the second segment with complex sense organs, and the arista has a distinct basal segment. The ocelli are on the face in front of and between the eyes.  The lorae are distinctly developed. Tegulae are well developed, and the wing venation is suggestive of the Issidae.  In macropterous individuals the hind wings are well developed with the anal area greatly developed. The forewings are coriaceous with the venation greatly reduced and the claval veins united before the apex. The legs are simple and the hind tibiae are armed at the apex with a single row of robust spines (Metcalf 1932).

Some Tettigometridae are attended by ants (Bourgoin 1985b, Dejean & Bourgoin 1988, Dejean et al. 2000), the only fulgorid family for which this is reliably the case (although facultative ant attendance is not unknown among other families)).

The classification of Tettigometridae is now based primarily on male genitalia.  Schmidt (1912) defined the Megaloplastinxinae and segregated them from the  Tettigometrinae by having longer and more slender legs.  Baker (1924) proposed the first classification, followed by Muir (1930) and Metcalf (1932), although Muir (1930) noted that the classification had limitations and drew attention to two types of genitalia, later used by Fennah (1952) to redefined the subfamilies.

The Classification of Baker (1924) as adopted by Metcalf (1952) was:
Subfamily Tettigometrinae
Genus Mitricephalus Signoret
Genus Tettigometra Latreille
Genus Brachycephalus Signoret
Genus Eurychila Signoret
Subfamily Egropinae
Genus Hilda Kirkaldy
Genus Egropa Melichar
Genus Mesegropa Baker
Genus Nototettigometra Muir
Subfamily Megaloplastinxinae
Genus Megaloplastinx Schmidt
Genus Euphyonarthex Schmidt
Genus Tembandumba Distant
Genus Raatzbrockmannia Schmidt

Fennah (1952) provided a description of the family and redefined the subfamilies based on genital features, provided keys to genera and the following key to subfamilies:

Fennah - Key to subfamilies of Tettigometridae

Subsequent to Fennah (1952), Tettigometridae was thoroughly reviewed by Bougoin (1985a, 1986a, b; 1987a, b; 1988a, b, c; 1989, 1993). Bourgoin (1987) described Cyranometrini for the remarkable African genus Cyranometra, which possesses a greatly elongate head.

In 2018, Mozaffarian and colleagues reviewed the classification of Tettigometridae, describing Plesiometrini for Afrotopical members, replaced the preoccupied Hilda with Nototettigometra, replaced Hildinae with Nototettigometrinae, and reviewed the Tettigometrid fauna of Iran. Regarding Hildinae  and Hilda they state  (p. 472) : “However, Hilda Kirkaldy was also used by Fennah (1952) as the type genus erecting the subfamily Hildinae Fennah, 1952. According to ICZN code (Art. 39) “the name of this family group taxon is invalid as its type genus is a junior homonym […] it must be replaced by the next oldest available name from among its synonyms… [or] by a new name [nomen novum] based on the valid name of the former type genus”, here therefore Nototettigometra.”

Subfamily Egropinae Baker 1924: 93 (new subfamily)
Tribe Egropini Baker 1924 (revised Bourgoin, 1987: 403)
= Subfamily Megaloplastinxinae Schmidt, 1912; status (subfamily) by Baker 1924: 99.
= Megaloplastinxini Schmidt, 1912: 459; syn. implied by Fennah 1952: 251
Egropa Melichar, 1903
Megaloplastinx Schmidt, 1912 (= Mesegropa Baker, 1924 by Fennah 1958: 115)

Cyranometrini Bourgoin, 1987: 403
Cyranometra Bourgoin, 1987

Nototettigometrinae Mozaffarian et al. 2018 (I believe a higher taxon is not made invalid if the genus on which it is based becomes invalid, but ICZM art. 39  seems to say otherwise.)
= Subfamily Hildinae Fennah 1952: 248 (240 key).
= Tribe Hildini Fennah, 1952 (tribe not specified in Mozaffarian et al. 2018, would be Nototettigometrini, attributed to Mozaffarian et al. 2018)
Apohilda Bourgoin, 1986
Euphyonarthex Schmidt, 1912 (= Tembandumba Distant, 1917) (from Megaloplastinxini by Fennah 1952)
Nototettigometra Mozaffarian et al. 2018 (= Hilda Kirkaldy, 1900 [nec. Hörnes & Auinger 1884,], preoccupied, replacement name by Mozaffarian et al 2018;  = Isthmia Walker, 1851 [nec Gray, 1821] nomen praeoccupatum replaced by Hilda Kirkaldy, 1900: 243; = Nototettigometra Muir, 1924 synonym of Hilda Kirkaldy, 1900 by Fennah 1952: 249)
Subgenus Prodhilda Bourgoin, 1988
Subgenus Nototettigometra Muir, 1924: 219 (restored by Mozaffarian et al. 2018 (= Hilda Kirkaldy, 1900 [nec Hörnes & Auinger 1884, preoccupied])
Hildadina Bourgoin, 1986
Megahilda Fennah, 1959
Raatzbrockmannia Schmidt, 1924 (from Megaloplastinxini by Fennah 1952)

Hilda undata from BOLD (CNC/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics)

Phalixinae Ghauri 1964
Phalixini Ghauri 1964
Phalix Fennah, 1952

Tettigometrinae Germar, 1821
Tettigometrini Germar, 1821
Tettigometra Latreille, 1804
Subgenus Brachyceps Kirkaldy, 1906 (= Brachycephalus Signoret, 1866 by Kirkaldy 1906)
Subgenus Eurychila Signoret, 1866
Subgenus Hystrigonia Emeljanov, 1980
Subgenus Macrometrina Lindberg, 1948
Subgenus Metroplaca Emeljanov, 1980
Subgenus Micrometrina Lindberg, 1948 (status?)
Subgenus Mimarada Emeljanov, 1980
Subgenus Mitricephalus Signoret, 1866
Subgenus Stirometra Emeljanov, 1980
Subgenus Tettigometra Latreille, 1804

Plesiometrini Mozaffarian et al. 2018
Mesohilda Fennah, 1952
Parahilda Knight, 1964 (genus placement by Knight 1964)
Plesiometra Bourgoin, 1986

Tettigometra leucophae

Tettigometra leucophaea from BOLD (SNSB, Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns, ZSM)

Tettigometra (Macrometrina) fusca (Melichar)

Tettigometra (Macrometrina) fusca (Melichar) (Gernot Kunz from FLOW)

Mozaffarian et al 2018, FIGURES 13–17. Dorsal and lateral views of: 13a, b. Tettigometra costulata; 14 a–d. Tettigometra angulata; 15. Tettigometra demavenda; 16a, b. Tettigometra depressa; 17a, b. Tettigometra impressifrons.

Mozaffarian et al 2018, FIGURES 7–12. Dorsal and lateral views of: 7a, b. Tettigometra pantherina; 8a, b. Tettigometra hexaspina; 9a, b. Tettigometra longicornis; 10a–d. Tettigometra eremi; 11 a–c. Tettigometra macrocephala; 12a, b. Tettigometra sordida.

Mozaffarian et al 2018, FIGURES 18–23. Dorsal and lateral views of: 18a–c. Tettigometra pseudovitellina; 19a, b. Tettigometra sororcula; 20a, b. Tettigometra sulphurea; 21a, b. Tettigometra varia; 22a, b. Tettigometra virescens; 23a, b. Tettigometra vitellina.

Tettigometrid nymphs (possibly Euphyonarthex) attended by ants

Tettigometrid nymphs (possibly Euphyonarthex) attended by ants (image Mabira Forest, Uganda, 0° 24′ 24.37″ N, 33° 00′ 56.51″ E, 25 Sept. 2008, Bernard DuPont, Wiki Commons)


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