Genus Asarcopus Horváth, 1921

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Family Caliscelidae Amyot & Serville, 1843

Subfamily Caliscelinae Amyot & Serville, 1843

Tribe Caliscelini Amyot & Serville, 1843

Genus: Asarcopus Horváth, 1921: 179.

Type species: Asarcopus palmarum Horváth, 1921.

Synonyms: None.


One species adventive into California, Arizona and Texas; otherwise Afrotropical, Middle East.

Distribution of Asarcopus

Distribution of Asarcopus based on FLOW (Excluding US; 17 Dec 2019)

Recognized species

There are 3 recognized species (1 of which is adventive to California):

Asarcopus euthyphro Fennah, 1949 – South Africa, Botswana
Asarcopus palmarum Horváth, 1921 – USA: CA, AZ, TX (adventive); Egypt, Ethiopia, India (Karnataka, Maharashtra), Israel, Mali, Sudan
Asarcopus phaedo Fennah, 1967 – Namibia, Lesotho

Economic Importance:

Found on date palms.

Plant associations:

Asarcopus palmarum – Caryota urens L. (palm, Arecaceae ), Phoenix dactylifera L. (Date Palm), Phoenix roebelenii O’Brien (dwarf date palm), Phoenix canariensis hort. ex Chabaud (Canary Island date palm), Washingtonia filifera (Linden ex André) H. Wendl.

They are found at the base of leaf whorls and fruit stalks of palms, mainly those in the genus Phoenix.

Stickney et al. (1950: 25) indicated:

The date palm, a closely related species, Phoenix roebelini O’Brien, and hybrid palms produced by crossing the date palm and the Canary Island palm, are hosts of the datebug.  Forty-four varieties of the date palm, including all the more common ones, have been  found to be infested. The California fan palm is a host out not a favored one.

Hosts from Wilson et al. 1994; plant names from USDA PLANTS.


Body with few sensory pits, head not weevil-like, legs not modified

Asarcopus palmarum (all photographs by Kimberley Shropshire, University of Delaware)

Asarcopus palmarum (all photographs by Kimberley Shropshire, University of Delaware)

Asarcopus palmarum

Asarcopus palmarum (Salvador Vitanza, Extension entomology in El Paso County)

Asarcopus palmarum

Asarcopus palmarum by Salvador Vitanza (Extension Entomology in El Paso County)

Asarcopus palmarum

Asarcopus palmarum (Salvador Vitanza, Extension entomology in El Paso County)


Asarcopus species from Fennah 1967

Online resources

Found mainly on the basal parts of terminal leaves and fruit stalks of host plants.

Molecular resources: 

As of this writing, no data for this genus appears on Barcode of Life or Genbank.

Selected references:

 Ali, M.A.M. and A.E. Hussain. 1996. First record of the date bug, Asarcopus palmarum Horvath (Hemiptera: Issidae) in Egypt. Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Egypt (A.R.E.) 74: 137-138.

Amyot, C. J. B. and J. G. A. Serville. 1843a. Deuxieme partie. Homopteres. Homoptera Latr. Histoire Naturelle des Insectes. Hemipteres. Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret, Paris. P.: i-lxxvi, 1-676. Plate(s): 1-12. [See pp. 455-588 and pls. 9-12]. [plates are here] [from Google books]

Bartlett, C. R., L. B. O’Brien and S. W. Wilson. 2014. A review of the planthoppers (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea) of the United States. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 50: 1-287.

Blumberg, D. 2008. Review: Date palm arthropod pests and their management in Israel. Phytoparasitica 36(5): 411-448.

Doering. K. C. 1939 [1940a]. A contribution to the taxonomy of the subfamily Issinae in America north of Mexico (Fulgoroidea: Homoptera. Part III. University of Kansas Science Bulletin. 26(2): 83-167.

El-Shafie, H. A., J. E. Peña and M. Z. Khalaf. 2015. Major Hemipteran Pests. In: W. Wakil, J. Romeno Faleiro, and T.A. Miller, (eds.). Sustainable Pest Management in Date Palm: Current Status and Emerging Challenges. Springer International Publishing, Netherlands. Pp. 169-204.

Emeljanov, A. F. 1999. Notes on delimitation of families of the Issidae group with description of a new species of Caliscelidae belonging to a new genus and tribe (Homoptera, Fulgoroidea). Zoosystematica Rossica 8(1): 61-72.

Essig, E. O. 1926a. Homoptera.  In: Insects of western North America: a manual and textbook for students in colleges and universities and a handbook for county, state and federal entomologists and agriculturists, as well as foresters, farmers, gardeners, travelers, and lovers of nature.   Macmillan Company . New York. pp. i-ix, 1-1035.  essig-1936-part.

Essig, E. O. and W. M. Hoskins. 1944a. Insects and other pests attacking agricultural crops.   Circular. California Agricultural Extension Service.  87 (Rev.):1-197.   Fig(s).: 1-182 [note: this is a revision, not the 1934 version]

Fennah, R. G. 1949. New exotic Fulgoroidea. Annals and Magazine of Natural History. London. (Ser. 12) 2: 585-606.

Fennah, R. G. 1967. New and little known Fulgoroidea from South Africa (Homoptera). Annals of the Natal Museum 18(3): 655-714.

Gnezdilov, V. M. 2015. Review of the genus Bolbonaso Emeljanov with checklist and key to Indian Caliscelidae (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). Journal of Natural History DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2015.1103908.

Gnezdilov, V. M. and T. Bourgoin. 2009. First record of the family Caliscelidae (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea) from Madagascar, with description of new taxa from the Afrotropical Region and biogeographical notes. Zootaxa 2020: 1-36.

Horváth G. 1921. Description d’un Fulgoride nouveau des dattiers. Bulletin de la Société d’Histoire Naturelle de l’Afrique du Nord 12: 179-180.

Linnavuori, R. E. 1973. Hemiptera of the Sudan, with remarks on some species of the adjacent countries. 2. Homoptera Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadidae, Cercopidae, Machaerotidae, Membracidae and Fulgoroidea. (Zoological contribution from the Finnish expeditions to the Sudan No. 33). Notulae Entomologicae 53(3): 65-137.

McAtee, W. L. 1926d. Notes on Nearctic Hemiptera. Entomological News 37:13-16. PDF from BHL.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1958. General Catalogue of the Homoptera. Fascicle IV, Fulgoroidea, Part 15, Issidae. Waverly Press, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland.

Mohammad, S.R.I. 2002 [Studies on the morphology and biology of the date bug , Asarcopus palmarum (Horvath) Homoptera: Issidae ) as a new pest threatens date palms in el Bahria Oases Egypt]. Thesis, Master’s of Science. Faculty of Commerce, Cairo University, Egypt. thesis

Nakash, J. and M. Klein. 1991 Interference of the date bug, Asarcopus palmarum Horv. with the normal growth of date palms in Israel. Hassadeh 71: 1522-1523.[Hebrew, with English abstract]

O’Brien, L. B. 1988. Taxonomic changes in North American Issidae (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 81(6): 865-869.

Quayle, H. J. 1938a. Insects of citrus and other subtropical fruits.   Comstock. Ithaca. pp. i-ix, 1-583. PDF p 429. Link to Core Historical Literature record

Stickney, P. A., D. A. Barners and P. Simons. 1950. Date palm insects in the United States. USDA, Washington, D.C. 846 pp. PDF of part. Link to PDF on Internet Archive.

Wilson, S. W., C. Mitter, R. F. Denno and M. R. Wilson. 1994. Evolutionary patterns of host plant use by delphacid planthoppers and their relatives. In: R. F. Denno and T. J. Perfect, (eds.). Planthoppers: Their Ecology and Management. Chapman and Hall, New York. Pp. 7-45 & Appendix.

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