Keys to species of Acanaloniidae

Keys to Acanaloniidae


Keys are provisional; Melichar’s key modified to accommodate modern genera; Doering’s key modified to include A. excavata, will be further modified as I review species.

Key to genera of Acanaloniidae – heavily modified from Melichar 1901

1. Brown (Philatis signata is yellowish); hindwings rudimentary or absent; head produced (vertex longer than pronotum), vertex weakly concave; median carina of vertex and frons weak; clavus reaching apex of wing or nearly so; Galapagos, northwest coastal Mexico, west coast Ecuador, Peru (undescribed species Mesoamerica)  … Philatis

1– Green (rarely pink); hindwings present; other features varied; widespread … 2

Philatis servus

Philatis servus (Holotype) from the CASC.

2 Vertex weakly produced (straight, obtuse or triangular); frons mostly medially carinate, lateral margins carinate … 3
2— Vertex strongly produced, three to four times as long as between the eyes wide; frons with or without median carina, lateral margins keeled (weakly foliate) … 4

3  In lateral view, face with shelf-like step, Caribbean (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands)… Bulldolonia Gnezdilov
3— Face lacking shelf-like step in lateral view; widespread, heterogeneous …  Acanalonia Spinola

Bulldolonia depressa (Melichar 1901) lectotype

Fig. 3 (Gnezdilov 2012) Bulldolonia depressa (Melichar 1901) lectotype 1 lateral view; 2 frontal view

Acanalonia servillei

Acanalonia servillei (University of Delaware)

4 Vertex sharp acute-angled … 5
4— Vertex apex dull lanceolate, apex semicircular [these genera no longer in Acanaloniidae] … 

5 Vertex flat (lateral view), with 2 caudally approximated carinae;  frons with distinct median carina; forewing at costal edge angled, caudally straight trimmed, pronotum with two intermediate carinae in addition to lateral carinae following eyes; Caribbean  …  Chlorochara Stäl.
5— Vertex arched above,  lacking distinct carinae except laterally; frons lacking distinct median carina; forewing rounded at the costal edge; pronotum without  intermediate carinae, only lateral carinae following contour of eyes; Caribbean and Mesoamerica, northern South America …  Batusa Melichar

Batusa agilis

Batusa agilis (photos university of Delaware)

Chlorochara vivida

Chlorochara vivida (photo University of Delaware)

6 Vertex top flat. Cheeks pulled forward at an acute angle; forehead smooth; pronotum short. Thiscia Stäl. [This genus incertae sedis]
6— Vertex arched above, cheeks [gena] short; forehead with three keels; pronotum long.  Parathiscia Melichar, 1901: 194. [this genus is now in the Tropiduchidae: Elicinae]]

Thiscia possibly semicircularis

Thiscia possibly semicircularis (Photo by Dani Takiya (

Key to species of Acanalonia (Modified from Doering 1932). Page references are to Doering 1932. Key modified to add A. excavata and A. saltonia.  The key does not include either Acanalonia concinnula or A. planata at this time because these species are not available to me for study (yet).

  1. With a prominent median carina across vertex (head not projected in front of eye), pronotum, and mesonotum; large insects; length usually well over 9 mm …. A. servillei

1- Without a prominent continuous median carina across head and thorax; length generally well under 9 mm … 3

(couplet 2 deleted)

Acanalonia servillei

Acanalonia servillei

  1. (1) Color uniform but with two prominent broad brown stripes on the lateral margins of vertex and thorax which extend along the inner margins to the apex of the clavus … 4

3- (1) Color uniform with only occasional fuscous shadings along inner margin or small fuscous dashes on apical margin; no brown stripes present … 5

  1. (3) Reticulation lacking at base of elytra; smaller in size, length varying from 4.2 to 6.2 mm. (Pp. 765); southwest [AZ, UT, TX], probably also N. Mexico … A. fasciata

4- (3) Reticulation prominent over all the elytra; generally much larger, length varying from 5.2 to 8.4 mm (Pp. 766); widespread and common east and central US … A. bivlttata

Acanalonia fasciata

Acanalonia fasciata (Photos University of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

Acanalonia bivittata

Acanalonia bivittata (photos University of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

  1. (3) Vertex conically or broadly triangularly produced beyond eyes, grandicella sometimes excepted … 6

5- (3) Vertex truncate or broadly rounded in front, generally not greatly produced beyond eyes … 11

  1. (5) Vertex greatly produced conically (length of vertex along midline longer than pronotum on midline); wings broadest distally; common eastern species (Pp. 768); widespread and common east and central US … A. conica

6- (5) Vertex not greatly produced conically, at most triangular before (length of vertex on midline usually equal or less than length of pronotum on midline) … 7

Acanalonia conica

Acanalonia conica (photos University of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

7. Costal margin rounding and apex of forewing greatly narrowed; reticulation not prominent at base of elytra  … 7a

7- Costal margin rounding but forewing not narrowed apically (slightly in A. clypeata, at least in males); reticulation prominent over entire forewing … 8

7a. Size less than 6 mm, southwestern US (Pp. 772); southwest [AZ, CA, NV, UT] … A. mollicula

7a- Size more than 6 mm, reported as 9mm, California … A. saltonia 

Acanalonia saltonia (photos University of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

Acanalonia saltonia (photos University of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson) (I need to verify this ID)

Acanalonia mollicula

Acanalonia mollicula (photos University of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

8.  Postclypeus large and tumid, projecting deeply into frons; vertex more roundingly produced, depressed across on vertex; forewing  broadest apically, not narrowed; (Pp. 771); southwest US [AZ, CA] … A. grandicella

8- (6) Postclypeus normal, not as large and tumid and projecting less deeply; vertex more produced, vertex not depressed (or only faintly depressed); forewing broad apically or narrowed distally … 9

Acanalonia grandicella

Acanalonia grandicella (photos University of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

9. Forewing narrowing in distal half (broadest in proximal half, distinctly longer than broad, leading margin relatively straight); vertex distinctly triangularly produced, clypeus relatively large and tumid (Pp. 769); southwest US [AZ, CA, NV, UT] … A. clypeata

9- (7) Forewing broad, widest in distal half, vertex rounded or triangularly produced; clypeus small, weakly tumid … 10

Acanalonia clypeata

Acanalonia clypeata (photos University of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

10. Vertex triangularly produced (in dorsal view); forewing longer than wide; south Florida adventive [Nicaragua] … A. excavata

10- Vertex rounded (in dorsal view); forweings wider than long (costal margin rounding, forewing not narrowed apically) (Pp. 773); reported FL, TX, Mexico … A. virescens

Acanalonia excavata

Acanalonia excavata (photos University off Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

Acanalonia virescens

Acanalonia virescens (photos university of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

11. Forewing trapezoidal with the greatest width at apex; larger insects varying from 6.3 to 7.2 mm (Pp. 774); Arizona, Mexico … A. immaculata

11- Forewing either hemispherical with the greatest width near middle or else much narrowed at apex; smaller insects, under 6 mm … 12

Acanalonia immaculata

Acanalonia immaculata (photos university of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

12. Vertex extended cephalad beyond eyes, anterior margin rounding but forming sharp angles at junction with lateral margins … 13

12- Vertex not protruded beyond eyes, either truncate or with anterior margin gradually rounding from eyes … 14

[couplet 12 separates A. similis + A. invenusta from A. pumila + A. laticosta + A. parva; at present I do not clearly see the difference; A. humeralis would key out probably with the later grouping, will leave key as is until I discern a better character set]

13.  Reticulation of elytron much heavier; elytron considerably narrowed apically (Pp. 776); southwest US [NM, TX] … A. similis

13- Reticulation of the elytron scarcely visible on basal and costal areas; costal margins broadly rounding, not particularly narrowed apically (Pp. 775); southwest US [NM, TX] … A. invenusta

Acanalonia similis

Acanalonia similis (photos university of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

Acanalonia invenusta

Acanalonia invenusta (photos university of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

Ovipositor of A. invenusta and A. similis from Doering 1932

14. Vertex gradually rounding from eyes; no visible carina between vertex and postclypeus; costal margin at most narrowly reflexed; heavy reticulation (Pp. 778); southeast, coastal [FL, SC, NC; Bermuda] … A. pumila

14-  Vertex truncate with a visible carina between it and postclypeus; costal margin of elytron greatly expanded … 15

Acanalonia pumila

Acanalonia pumila (photos university of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

15. Greatest width of elytron approximately at apex of clavus; reticulation light; costal margin more greatly expanded. (Pp. 779); Texas … A. laticosta

15- Greatest width of elytron anterior to apex of clavus; reticulation heavier; costal margin somewhat less expanded; smaller in size, at least under 4.35 mm (Pp. 780); southwest US [NM, TX] … A. parva

Acanalonia laticosta

Acanalonia laticosta (photos university of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

Acanalonia parva

Acanalonia parva (photos university of Delaware, line art redrawn by Steve Wilson)

Ball, E. D. 1933d. Notes on the Fulgoridae with some new species. Psyche 40: 145-150.

Doering, K. C. 1932a. The genus Acanalonia in America North of Mexico (Fulgoridae: Homoptera). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 25(4): 758-786.

Freund, R. and S. W. Wilson. 1995. The planthopper genus Acanalonia in the United States (Homoptera: Issidae) morphology of male and female external genitalia. Insecta Mundi 9:(3-4): 195-215.

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