Genus Melanoliarus Fennah, 1945

[Back to North American Cixiidae]

Family Cixiidae Spinola, 1839

Subfamily Cixiinae Spinola, 1839

Tribe Pentastirini Emeljanov, 1971
Genus: Melanoliarus Fennah, 1945.

Note: Melanoliarus was originally described as a subgenus of Oliarus (including those species with a median spine on the anal tube).  Oliarus as historically defined was of world distribution, but Emeljanov (2001) and later Holzinger et al. (2003) asserted that the New World Oliarus did not belong to the genus in the strict sense, and removed all New World species into Melanoliarus (new status, genus), except for a few species explicitly (at the time or subsequently) placed in Reptalus or Pentastiridius. The features of Melanoliarus (especially as compared with Oliarus and Reptalus) remain incompletely elaborated.  Melanoliarus is highly unlikely to be monophyletic as currently comprised, and additional changes in the composition of the genus are certain.

Melanoliarus in the strict sense includes M. maidis Fennah, M. complectus Ball, M. viequensis Caldwell, and M. acicus Caldwell. Except for acicus they are Caribbean.

Type species: Oliarus (Melanoliarus) maidis Fennah, 1945: 141.


Oliarus Stål, 1862a in part (auctorum) (Type species Cixius walkeri Stål, 1859); Emeljanov 2001 (all Nearctic and Neotropical species of Oliarus auctt. moved to Melanoliarus by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122).


Widespread in Nearctic and Neotropical regions

Recognized species

There are 48 species reported north of Mexico and 31 additional species from the Neotropics (including Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018)  as follows:

Melanoliarus acicus (Caldwell, 1947a) – USA: AZ, CA, TX; Mexico (Baja California, Sinaloa,  Sonora)
Oliarus acicus Caldwell, 1947a: 76.
Melanoliarus acicus (Caldwell, 1947a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus altanatus (Caldwell, 1951) – USA: TX; Mexico (Chiapas, Jalapa, Federal District, Hidalgo, Morelos, Veracruz)
Oliarus altanatus Caldwell, 1951: 35.
Melanoliarus altanatus (Caldwell, 1951); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus altanus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ
Oliarus altanus Ball, 1934b: 276.
Melanoliarus altanus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus apache (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ, CA; Mexico (Sonora)
Oliarus apache Ball, 1934b: 275.
Melanoliarus apache (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
5 Melanoliarus aridus (Ball, 1902a) – USA: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, IL, LA, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WY; CAN: ON; Mexico (Durango)
Oliarus aridus Ball, 1902a: 151.
Melanoliarus aridus (Ball, 1902a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus arizonensis (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: AZ
Oliarus arizonensis Mead & Kramer, 1982: 428-432.
Melanoliarus arizonensis (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus bispinus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: OK, TX
Oliarus bispinus Caldwell, 1947b: 150-151.
Melanoliarus bispinus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus caldwelli (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: NM, TX
Oliarus caldwelli Mead & Kramer, 1982: 523-527.
Melanoliarus caldwelli (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus californicus (Van Duzee, 1914) – USA: CA
Oliarus californicus Van Duzee, 1914: 36.
Melanoliarus californicus (Van Duzee, 1914); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
10 Melanoliarus canyonensis (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: CA, NM
Oliarus canyonensis Mead & Kramer, 1982: 535-537.
Melanoliarus canyonensis (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
11 Melanoliarus catus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: AZ
Oliarus catus Caldwell, 1947b: 147.
Melanoliarus catus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
12 Melanoliarus chuliotus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, KS, MS, NC, OH, SC, TN
Oliarus chuliotus Ball, 1934b: 271.
Melanoliarus chuliotus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Oliarus gladensis Caldwell, 1951: 35; syn. by Mead & Kramer 1982: 478-480.
13 Melanoliarus coconinus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ, CO, NV, TX, UT; CAN: BC
Oliarus coconinus Ball, 1934b: 274.
Melanoliarus coconinus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
14 Melanoliarus concinnulus (Fowler, 1904) – Mexico (Guerrero, Veracruz) (reported in error: USA: TX)
Oliarus concinnulus Fowler, 1904: 92.
Melanoliarus concinnulus (Fowler, 1904); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Oliarus texanus Metcalf, 1923: 181; syn. by Ball 1934: 275 (error, see Mead & Kramer 1982: 389, 436).
15 Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902a) – USA: FL; Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico (Inc. Caja de Muertos, Mona and Vieques Islands), Virgin Islands (Jost van Dyke, St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. Vincent) (reported in error: USA: AZ, Mexico)
Oliarus complectus Ball, 1902a: 152.
Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Oliarus (Melanoliarus) campestris Fennah, 1945b: 141; syn. by Caldwell 1951 (in Caldwell & Martorell 1951): 138-141.
Oliarus franciscanus (Stål, 1859: 273); senior syn. by Van Duzee 1917a: 309 (error).
16 Melanoliarus corvinus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ, CA, TX
Oliarus corvinus Ball, 1934b: 273.
Melanoliarus corvinus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
17 Melanoliarus difficilis (Van Duzee, 1912) – USA: FL, TX
Oliarus difficilis Van Duzee, 1912a: 494.
Melanoliarus difficilis (Van Duzee, 1912a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Oliarus vittatus Metcalf, 1923: 181; syn. by Mead & Kramer 1982: 408, 411.
18 Melanoliarus dondonius (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT; CAN: AB, BC, SK; Mexico (Baja California, Mulge, San Francisco, San Lorenzo, and Santa Inez Islands, Gulf of California)
Oliarus dondonius Ball, 1934b: 276.
Melanoliarus dondonius (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
19 Melanoliarus ecologus (Caldwell, 1947a) – USA: AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IL, KS, KY, MD, MS, NC, NJ, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA (reported in error: CAN: NS, ON)
Oliarus ecologus Caldwell, 1947a: 76.
Melanoliarus ecologus Caldwell, 1947a; comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
20 Melanoliarus eximus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: CA, NM
Oliarus eximus Caldwell, 1947b: 145.
Melanoliarus eximus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
21 Melanoliarus forcipatus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: AZ, TX
= Oliarus forcipatus Caldwell, 1947b: 146.
Melanoliarus forcipatus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
22 Melanoliarus franciscanus (Stål, 1859) – Puerto Rico, Haiti, Jamaica, Isle of Pines, Cuba, Mexico (Baja California)
(reported in error: USA: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, IA, MA, MD, KS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, UT; CAN: AB, BC)
Cixius franciscanus Stål, 1859: 273.
Oliarus franciscanus (Stål, 1859); comb. by Stål 1862a: 306.
Melanoliarus franciscanus (Stål, 1859); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Oliarus fransiscanus (Stål, 1859); missp. by Strickland 1940: 87.
23 Melanoliarus hesperius (Van Duzee, 1917a) – USA: CA, NV, OR
Oliarus hesperius Van Duzee, 1917a: 307.
Melanoliarus hesperius (Van Duzee, 1917a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
24 Melanoliarus humilis (Say, 1830) – USA: AZ, CT, DC, DE, IA, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, UT, WI; CAN: AB, BC, ON, QC, SK
Flata humilis Say, 1830: 241.
Oliarus humilis (Say, 1830); comb. by Van Duzee 1890: 389.
Melanoliarus humilis (Say, 1830); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
25 Melanoliarus kieferi (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: AZ, UT
Oliarus kieferi Mead & Kramer, 1982: 559-561.
Melanoliarus kieferi (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
26 Melanoliarus knullorum (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: AZ, TX
Oliarus knullorum Mead & Kramer, 1982: 529-531.
Melanoliarus knullorum (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
27 Melanoliarus littoralis (Ball, 1934b) – USA: FL; Dry Tortugas (Garden Key)
Oliarus littoralis Ball, 1934b: 274.
Melanoliarus littoralis (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
28 Melanoliarus lobatus (Caldwell, 1938b) – USA: NM, TX
Oliarus lobatus Caldwell, 1938b: 305.
Melanoliarus lobatus (Caldwell, 1938b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
29 Melanoliarus montanus (Metcalf, 1923) – USA: DE, GA, IL, KS, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA
Oliarus montanus Metcalf, 1923: 179.
Melanoliarus montanus (Metcalf, 1923); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
30 Melanoliarus papagonus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ
Oliarus papagonus Ball, 1934b: 272.
Melanoliarus papagonus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
31 Melanoliarus pima (Kirkaldy, 1907b) – USA: AZ, CA, NM, UT
Oliarus pima Kirkaldy, 1907b: 62.
Oliarus nogalanus Ball, 1934b: 272 (syn. Mead & Kramer 1982: 390, 550-551, 554; see also Ball 1937: 180).
Melanoliarus pima (Kirkaldy, 1907b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
32 Melanoliarus placitus (Van Duzee, 1912a) – USA: AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, KS, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA; CAN: ON
Oliarus placitus Van Duzee, 1912a: 493.
Melanoliarus placitus (Van Duzee, 1912a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
33 Melanoliarus pygmaeus (Ball, 1937) – USA: AZ
Oliarus pygmaeus Ball, 1937: 180.
Melanoliarus pygmaeus (Ball, 1937); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
34 Melanoliarus quinquelineatus (Say, 1830) – USA: AL, AR, CT, CO, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, WI; CAN: NS, ON, QC
Flata quinquelineata Say, 1830: 241.
Oliarus quinquelineatus (Say, 1830); comb. by Provancher 1889: 223.
Oliarus quinquelineata (Say, 1830);unjustified emendation by Smith 1900: 89.
Melanoliarus quinquelineatus (Say, 1830); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
35 Melanoliarus retentus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: AZ, CO, UT
Oliarus retentus Caldwell, 1947b: 148.
= Melanoliarus retentus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
36 Melanoliarus sablensis (Caldwell, 1951) – USA: CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MN, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, WV; CAN: NB, NS, ON
Oliarus sablensis Caldwell, 1951: 34.
Melanoliarus sablensis (Caldwell, 1951); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
37 Melanoliarus sementinus (Ball, 1902a) – USA: AZ, CA, CO, NM, UT
Oliarus sementinus Ball, 1902a: 152.
Melanoliarus sementinus (Ball, 1902a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
38 Melanoliarus slossonae (Van Duzee, 1912a) – USA: FL; Cuba; Puerto Rico; Virgin Islands (Great Camanoe, Guana, Jost Van Dyke, Little Thatch, St. John, St. Thomas, Tortola) (reported in error: USA: MS, TX)
Oliarus hyalinus Van Duzee, 1908: 487 (nec. Fieber) (preoccupied).
Oliarus slossoni Van Duzee, 1912a: 494; replacement name for preoccupied O. hyalinus Van Duzee, 1908.
Oliarus borinquensis Caldwell, 1951: 137 (in Caldwell & Martorell 1951); syn. by Mead & Kramer 1982: 424-426.
Oliarus slossonae Van Duzee, 1912a: 494; emendation by Mead & Kramer 1982: 424.
Melanoliarus slossonae (Van Duzee, 1912a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
39 Melanoliarus sonoitus (Ball, 1937) – USA: AZ, CA, NM, TX; Mexico (Chihuahua, Tamaulipas)
Oliarus sonoitus Ball, 1937: 179.
Oliarus nigravittus Caldwell, 1938b: 304; syn. by Mead & Kramer 1982: 554-556, 558.
Melanoliarus sonoitus (Ball, 1937); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
40 Melanoliarus sylvaticus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: CA
Oliarus sylvaticus Caldwell, 1947b: 151.
Melanoliarus sylvaticus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
41 Melanoliarus texanus (Metcalf, 1923) – USA: OK, TX; Mexico (Chiapas, Michoacán, Veracruz)
Oliarus texanus Metcalf, 1923: 181.
Melanoliarus texanus (Metcalf, 1923); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
42 Melanoliarus teximus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: TX
Oliarus eximus teximus Caldwell, 1947b: 146.
Oliarus teximus Caldwell, 1947b; status by Mead & Kramer 1982: 517-518, 521.
Melanoliarus teximus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
43 Melanoliarus truncatus (Van Duzee, 1929b) – USA: CA; Mexico (Baja California)
Oliarus truncatus Van Duzee, 1929b: 72.
Melanoliarus truncatus (Van Duzee, 1929b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
44 Melanoliarus uncatus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: AZ
Oliarus uncatus Caldwell, 1947b: 151.
= Melanoliarus uncatus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
45 Melanoliarus vicarius (Walker, 1851) – USA: FL, GA, IL, MS, NC, SC (Reported in error: USA: CO, MA, MD, NJ, TX)
Cixius vicarius Walker, 1851: 343.
Oliarus vicarius (Walker, 1851); comb. by Distant 1907a: 280.
= Oliarus vitreus Metcalf, 1923: 180; syn. by Mead & Kramer 1982: 506, 509.
Melanoliarus vicarius (Walker, 1851); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
46 Melanoliarus viequensis (Caldwell, 1951) (in Caldwell & Martorell 1951) – USA: FL; Belize, Haiti, Puerto Rico (Vieques Island); Virgin Islands (Anegada, Antigua, Guana, St. John)
Oliarus viequensis Caldwell, 1951: 141.
Melanoliarus viequensis (Caldwell, 1951); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
47 Melanoliarus yavapanus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ, CA, TX, UT
= Oliarus yavapanus Ball, 1934b: 274.
Melanoliarus yavapanus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
48 Melanoliarus zyxus (Caldwell, 1947a) – USA: AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT; CAN: BC; Mexico (Coahuila, Nayarit, Nuevo León)
Oliarus zyxus Caldwell, 1947a: 76-77.
Melanoliarus zyxus (Caldwell, 1947a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.

Neotropical species (combinations by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122). (based on unpublished list by Lois O’Brien, distributions may be incoomplete)

1 Melanoliarus abacus (Caldwell 1947) – Mexico
2 Melanoliarus alabandus (Fennah, 1967) – Galápagos
3 Melanoliarus agrippa (Fennah, 1967) – Galápagos
4 Melanoliarus alastor (Fennah, 1967) – Galápagos
Melanoliarus aridus (Ball 1902) – Mexico, US
5 Melanoliarus aztecus (Caldwell 1947) – Mexico
Melanoliarus atkinsae (Myers 1928) – Cuba
7 Melanoliarus bazarus Caldwell, 1951: 35 – Mexico Central (Morelos)
8 Melanoliarus beebei (Metcalf 1945) – British Guiana
O. borinquensis see Melanoliarus slossonae
9 Melanoliarus chiriquiensis (Fowler 1904) – Panama
10 Melanoliarus cinereus (Wolcott 1921: 18) – Puerto Rico
11 Melanoliarus complectus (Ball 1902) – Puerto Rico, Cuba, US
O. campestris Fennah 1945 Antigua
12 Melanoliarus concinnulus (Fowler 1904) – Mexico
13 Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018 – Chile (Mamiña, Tamarugal Province, Tarapacá Region)
14 Melanoliarus dimidiatus (Berg 1879: 184) – Argentina
15 Melanoliarus excelsus (Fowler 1904) – Mexico (Baja California)
Melanoliarus franciscanus (Stål 1859) – South America
16 Melanoliarus fulvus (Walker 1858) – Brazil
17 Melanoliarus galapagensis (Van Duzee, 1933) – Galápagos
18 Melanoliarus humeralis (Fowler 1904) – Guatemala
19 Melanoliarus kindli (Bourgoin & Wilson 1998) – French Guiana
20 Melanoliarus insignior (Fowler 1904) – Panama, Guatemala
21 Melanoliarus isolatus (Caldwell 1947) – Mexico
22 Melanoliarus lacteipennis (Fowler 1904) – Panama
23 Melanoliarus latifrons (Walker 1851) – location unknown
24 Melanoliarus lunata (Fabricius 1803) – West Indies, Isle of Pines, South America
25 Melanoliarus maidis (Fennah 1945) – Trinidad
Melanoliarus nanus (Caldwell 1947) (nec Ivanoff, 1885), replaced by Oliarus nanatus Caldwell 1951: 35.
26 Melanoliarus nanatus (Caldwell 1951: 35) – Mexico
27 Melanoliarus nigro-alutaceus (Fowler 1904) – Mexico
Oliarus omani Metcalf 1938 – to Cyclopoliarus by Fennah (1945: 136).
28 Melanoliarus opalinus (Fennah 1945) – Venezuela
29 Melanoliarus orizicola (Bourgoin & Wilson 1998) – Peru
30 Melanoliarus pinicolus (Osborn 1926) –  Cuba
31 Melanoliarus propior (Fowler 1904) – Mexico
32 Melanoliarus quadratus (Fennah 1945) – Venezuela
33 Melanoliarus rarus (Caldwell 1947) – Mexico (Baja California)
34 Melanoliarus remansor (Fennah, 1967) – Galápagos
Melanoliarus slossonae (Van Duzee 1912) – Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, US
O. borinquensis Caldwell 1952; see Mead & Kramer 1982
35 Melanoliarus transitorius (Berg 1883: 187) – Uruguay
Melanoliarus viequensis (Caldwell 1951) – Puerto Rico, USA: FL
36 Melanoliarus villosa (Fabricius 1775) – South America

Note The following Nearctic species moved to Pentastiridius by Emeljanov 2001: 122.

1. Pentastiridius cinnamomeus (Provancher, 1889) – USA: CT, DE, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA; CAN: BC, ON, QC, NB
Oliarus cinnamomeus Provancher, 1889: 223.
Pentastiridius cinnamomeus (Provancher, 1889); comb. by Emeljanov 2001: 122.
2. Pentastiridius habeckorum (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: NC, SC, VA
Oliarus habeckorum Mead & Kramer, 1982: 443-446.
Pentastiridius habeckorum (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by Emeljanov 2001: 122.

Oliarus hernandezi Hoch & Izquierdo, 1996 is a troglobitic species  described from Floreana Is., (Galapagos) that is sufficiently different from Melonoliarus in the usual sense that I omitted it from the above list. It does not appear to belong in Melonoliarus even in a broad sense.

Economic Importance

Apparently limited – not reported as pests, although there is the possibility that some species may be plant disease vectors. Detected in California vineyards by Cieniewicz et al. (2018).

Plant associations

Nymphs of cixiids are subterranean, feeding on roots and possibly fungi.  The significance of adult host records is unclear. Many cixiids are presumed to be polyphagous (as adults), most often on woody plants.

[More to come]

Melanoliarus aridus (Ball, 1902) – Prunus sp. (Rosales, Rosaceae) according to Beirne (1951: 315).

Melanoliarus campestris Fennah, 1945 – Lupinus sp. (Fabales, Fabaceae) according to Fennah (1945: 142).

Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902)  – Batis maritima L. (Brassicales, Bataceae),  Cajanus indicus Spreng. (Fabales, Fabaceae), Carica papaya L. (Poales, Poaceae), Castilla elastica Sessé ex Cerv. (Rosales, Moraceae), Cissus sicyoides L. (Vitales, Vitaceae) according to Caldwell & Martorell (1951: 140);  Lupinus sp. (Fabaceae [Fennah 1945]) Solanum melongena L. (Solanales, Solanaceae),  Vachellia farnesiana (L.) Wight & Arn. (Fabales, Fabaceae),  Volkameria aculeata L. (Lamiales, Lamiaceae), Palm (Fennah, 1945, Caldwell & Martorell 1951: 140, Segarra-Carmona et al. 2013)

Melanoliarus deserticolaEscallonia angustifolia C. Presl (a ‘redclaw’; Escalloniaceae or Grossulariaceae) (Campodonico, 2018)

Melanoliarus dondonius (Ball, 1934)  – Dondia sp. (Caryophyllales, Amaranthaceae) according to Ball (1934: 276).

Melanoliarus ecologus (Caldwell, 1947) – Chamaedaphne sp. (Ericaceae) (Beirne 1950: 94) (I have records of this species vacuumed from a variety of woody plants; viz. Akebia quinata, Cornus kousa, Cotoneaster lucidus, Forsythia suspensa, Hedera helix, Juglans regia, Paulownia tomentosa, Poncirus trifoliata, Rhododendron mucronulatum, Rhododendron periclymenoides, Viburnum dentatum, Viburnum dilatatum).

Melanoliarus galapagensisScalesia gummifera Hook. f. (Asteraceae) (Fennah 1967: 60)

Melanoliarus maidis Fennah, 1945  – Zea mays L. (Poales, Poaceae) according to Fennah (1945: 141).

Melanoliarus oryzicolaOryza sativa L. (Poaceae) (Bourgoin & Wilson 1998: 111)

Melanoliarus slossonae (Van Duzee, 1912)  – Rhizophora mangle L. (Rhizophoraceae) (Caldwell & Martorell 1951: 138); in the British Virgin Islands, I collected this species on century plant (Agave Americana); this appears to be a peculiarity of the Virgin Islands since it does not appear to happen elsewhere (e.g., Puerto Rico, although this is hearsay information).

Hosts from FLOW and Wilson et al. 1994; plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos.

See the host list reported at the bottom of the FLOW genus-page.

Biological interactions

Melanoliarus vicarius – Commensualism (nymphs) with Aphaenogaster carolinensis Wheeler, 1915 and Paratrechina vividula (Nylander, 1846) (Formicidae. Formicinae) (Thompson et al. 1979: 322).


As it stands, the genus is grossly heterogeneous.

North American taxa can be recognized by the posterior margin of head angularly incised (as opposed to squared-off in Cixius), mesonotum with 5 carinae (intermediate carinae sometimes obsolete), 10 or fewer teeth at the apex of hind tarsomere (not definitively separated from Reptalus). no setae in the cells of the forewings (vs. Mnemosyne).

North American species can be keyed out by Mead & Kramer (1982), which relies entirely on male genitalia. Someday I will add the key here.

Melanoliarus 1

Melanoliarus placitus (all photographs by Kimberley Shropshire, University of Delaware)

Melanoliarus deserticola

Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018 habitus from original publication

Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018

Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018 terminalia from original publication

Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018

Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018 forewing from original publication

Melanoliarus figs 17-19

Features of Melanoliarus phallic complex from Mead and Kramer 1982

Melanoliarus placitus

Melanoliarus placitus from Mead and Kramer 1982

Melanoliarus vicarius

Melanoliarus vicarius from Mead and Kramer 1982

Melanoliarus teximus

Melanoliarus teximus from Mead and Kramer 1981

Melanoliarus texanus

Melanoliarus texanus from Mead and Kramer 1981

Melanoliarus sanblensis

Melanoliarus sanblensis from Mead and Kramer 1981

Melanoliarus quinquelineatus

Melanoliarus quinquelineatus from Mead and Kramer 1981

Melanoliarus montanus

Melanoliarus montanus from Mead and Kramer 1981

Melanoliarus eximus

Melanoliarus eximus from Mead and Kramer 1981, part of the placitus-group


Melanoliarus acicus from Mead and Kramer 1982, part of the Melanoliarus subgenus, note spine on anal tube.


Melanoliarus is most readily collected at lights (particularly near a new moon); specimens may also be found by beating or vacuum sampling woody vegetation, or sometimes by the inspection of tree trunks during the day (especially oak, locally this will yield mostly Melanoliarus placitus). Melanoliarus also shows up in traps intended for beetle surveys (esp. Lindgren funnel traps).

Molecular resources 

As of this writing, Genbank has data for M. slossonaeplacitushumilis, vicarius, and 4 undet sp.; Barcode of Life has 7 taxa, but only 3 with barcodes As of Jan 2020; things haven’t changed for molecular resources in a couple of years).

 Selected references

Ball, E. D. 1902c. Some new North American Fulgoridae. Canadian Entomologist 34: 147-157. [From Smithsonian Biodiversity Heritage Library]

Bal l, E. D. 1934. The genus Oliarus and its allies in North America (Homoptera: Fulgoridae). Journal of the Washington Academy of Science 24: 268-276.

Ball, E. D. 1937c. Some New Fulgoridae from the Western United States. Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 32(5):171-183.

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.

Beirne, B. P. 1950. Canadian Cixiidae (Homoptera : Fulgoroidea). The Canadian Entomologist 82: 93-101.

Beirne, B. P. 1951. Supplementary notes on Canadian species of Cixiidae (Homoptera : Fulgoroidea).  Canadian Entomologist 83: 315-316.

Berg, C. 1879b. Hemiptera Argentina (Continuacion). Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina 8: 178-192.

Berg, C. 1883. Addenda et Emendanda ad Hemiptera Argentina. (Continuatio). Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina. Buenos Aires 16: 180-191.

Bourgoin T. and M. R. Wilson. 1998. Description of two new species of South American Oliarus Stål (Homoptera: Fulgoromorpha: Cixiidae), including a rice-associated species from Peru. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 100(1): 108-113.

Caldwell, J. S. 1938. New Texan Fulgoridae (Homoptera). Ohio Journal of Science 38: 304-306.

Caldwell, J.S. 1947. New Fulgoroidea from North America (Homoptera). Ohio Journal of Science 47: 76-78.

Caldwell, J. S. 1947. New species of Oliarus Stål from southwestern United States and Mexico (Homoptera: Cixiidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 23(4): 145-151.

Caldwell, J. S. 1951. New Cixiidae from Southern North America with notes on others. Ohio Journal of Science 51: 34–36.

Caldwell, J. S. and L. F. Martorell. 1951 [dated 1950]. Review of the Auchenorynchous [sic] Homoptera of Puerto Rico. Part II. The Fulgoroidea except Kinnaridae. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico 34(2): 133-269.

Campodonico, J. F. 2018. Nueva especie de Melanoliarus Fennah (Hemiptera Cixiidae) del extremo norte de Chile. Revista Chilena de Entomologia 44(1): 23-28.

Cieniewicz, E. J., S. J. Pethybridge, G. Loeb, K. Perry and M. Fuchs. 2018. Insights Into the ecology of grapevine red blotch virus in a diseased vineyard. Phytopathology (2017) 108(1): 94–102. [Melanoliarus sp. detected]

Emeljanov, A. F. 1971. New genera of leafhoppers of the families Cixiidae and Issidae (Homoptera, Auchenorrhyncha) in the USSR. Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 50: 619-627.

Emeljanov, A. F. 2001. The generic position of some Nearctic Pentastirini (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea: Cixiidae). Zoosystematica Rossica 9: 122.

Emeljanov, A.F. 2020. Nomenclatorial changes in the family Cixiidae (Homoptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Fulgoroidea), with fixation of type species of the genus Reptalus Emeljanov, 1971 and description of a new subgenus. Zootaxa 4780 (1): 197–200.

Fabricius, J. C. 1775a. Ryngota. Systema Entomologiae, sistens insectorum classes, ordines, genera, species, adiectis, synonymis, locis, descriptionibus, observationibus (Korte: Flensburg and Leipzig). 816 pp. [pages 673-687 only].

Fabricius, J. C. 1803. Rhyngota. Systema Rhyngotorum secundum ordines, genera, species, adiectis synonymis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus, 1803. p. 1-101.

Fennah, R. G. 1945. The Fulgoroidea, or lanternflies, of Trinidad and adjacent parts of South America. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 95(3184): 411-520.

Fennah, R. G. 1945. The Cixiini of the Lesser Antilles (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 58: 133–146.

Fennah R. G. 1967. Fulgoroidea from the Galápagos Archipelago. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. San Francisco 35: 53-102.

Fieber, F. X. 1872. Katalog der europäischen Cicadinen, nach Originalien mit Benützung der neuesten Literatur. Druk und Verlag von Carl Gerold’s Sohn, Wien (Austria). 19 pp.

Fowler, W. W. 1904. Order Rhynchota. Suborder Hemiptera-Homoptera. (Continued). Biologia Centrali-Americana; contributions to the knowledge of the fauna and flora of Mexico and Central America 1: 77-84, 85-124.

Hoch, H. 2005. On the identity of the type species of the planthopper genus Oliarus Stål, 1862, Oliarus walkeri (Stål, 1859) (Hemiptera: Cixiidae). Zootaxa 1056: 53-60.

Hoch, H. & I. Izquierdo. 1996. A cavernicolous planthopper in the Galfipagos Islands (Homoptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cixiidae). Journal of Natural History 30: 1495-1502.

Holzinger, W. E., A. F. Emeljanov and I. Kammerlander. 2002. The family Cixiidae Spinola 1839 (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha) – a review. Pp. 113-138. In: Holzinger, W. (ed.). Zikaden: Leafhoppers, Planthoppers, and Cicadas (Insecta: Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). Denisia, Volume 4. Oberosterreichisches Landesmuseum, Linz, Austria. 556 pp.

Huffman, F. R. and J. A. Hardinggj. 1980. Pitfall collected insects from various lower Rio Grande valley habitats. Southwestern Entomologist 5(1): 33-46 [Record of Melanoliarus aridus]

Ivanoff, P. B. 1885. Liste des Cigales (Cicadina) des environs de Koupiansk avec tableaux synoptiques des genres et des espèces de ces insectes. Travaux de la Société des Naturalistes à l’Université Impériale de Kharkow 19: 83-158.

Kirkaldy, G. W. 1907d. Leafhoppers supplement. (Hemiptera). Report of work of the Experiment Station of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association. Division of Entomology bulletin. 3: 1-186.

Kramer, J. P. 1983. Taxonomic study of the planthopper family Cixiidae in the United States (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 109: 1-57.

Matsumura, S. 1914. Die Cixiinen Japans. Annotationes Zoologicae Japonenses 8: 393-434.

Mead, F. W. and J. P. Kramer. 1982. Taxonomic study of the planthopper genus Oliarus in the United States (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea” Cixiidae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 107: 381 569.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1923. A key to the Fulgoridae of Eastern North America with descriptions of new species. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 38(3): 139-230, plus 32 plates.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1936. General Catalogue of the Homoptera. Fascicle IV Fulgoroidea . Part 2 Cixiidae. Smith College, Northhampton, Massachusetts. 269 pp.

Metcalf, Z.P. 1938. The Fulgorina of Barro Colorado and other parts of Panama. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 83(5): 277–423.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1945. Fulgoroidea (Homoptera) of Kartabo, Bartica District, British Guiana. Zoologica [Scientific contributions of the New York Zoological Society] 30(3): 125–143.

Myers, J. G. 1928. Notes on Cuban Fulgoroid Homoptera. Studies on cuban insects. Harvard biological laboratory and botanical garden in Cuba. pp. 11-31. [25]

Osborn, H. 1926. Faunistic and ecologic notes on Cuban Homoptera. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 19: 335-366.

Palmer, W. A. and F. D. Bennett. 1988. The phytophagous insect fauna associated with Baccharis halimifolia L. in the eastern United States. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 90(2): 216-228.

Provancher, L. 1889. Petite faune entomologique du Canada, précédée d’un traité élémentaire d’entomologie. 3: 207–292.

Rogers, C. E. 1988. Insects from native and cultivated sunflowers (Helianthus) in southern latitudes of the United States. Journal of Agricultural Entomology 5(4): 267-287. [record of Melanoliarus aridus]

Say, T. 1830a+b. Descriptions of new North American hemipterous insects, belonging to the first family of the section Homoptera of Latreille. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 6:235-244, 299-314. [from Biodiversity Heritage Library]

Segarra-Carmona, A., R. A. Franqui and M. Otero-Arocho. 2013. Survey of palm-associated Fulgoroidea in Puerto Rico. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico 97(3-4): 107-117. [record of “Oliarus complectus Ball” on Palm]

Spinola, M. 1839a. Essai sur les Fulgorelles, sous-tribu de la tribu des Cicadaires, ordre des Rhyngotes. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 8: 133-337.

Stål, C. 1859b. Hemiptera. Species novas descripsit. In: Konglinga svenska Fregatten Eugenies resa omkring jorden: under befäl af C. A. Virgin åren 1851-1853. Vetenskapliga iakttagelser På H. M. Konung Oscar den Förstes befallning utgifna af K. Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademien Zoologi. P. A. Norstedt & Söner, Stockholm. 4: 219-298.

Thompson, C. R., J. C. Nickerson and F. W. Mead. 1979. Nymphal habitat of Oliarus vicarius (Homoptera: Cixiidae), and possible association with Aphenogaster and Paratrechina (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche 86(4): 321-325.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1908. Studies in North American Fulgoridae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Philadelphia 1907: 467–498.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1912a. Hemipterological gleanings. Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Science 10: 477-512.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1914. A preliminary list of the Hemiptera of San Diego County, California. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 2: 1-57.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1916a. Check list of Hemiptera (excepting the Aphididae, Aleurodidae and Coccidae) of America North of Mexico. New York Entomological Society, New York. 111 pp.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1917a. Report upon the collection of Hemiptera made by Walter M. Giffard in 1916 and 1917, chiefly in California. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences (Ser. 4) 7(11): 249-318.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1929. A new Oliarus. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 6: 72.

Walker, F. 1851. List of the specimens of Homopterous Insects in the collection of the British Museum. British Museum, London. 2: 261-636.

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.

Wolcott, G. N. 1921. The minor sugar cane insects of Porto Rico. The Journal of the Department of Agriculture of Puerto Rico 5: 5-47.

Xiao Tie-Guang, Zhou She-Wen, Wang Wen-Yi, He Jian-Yun, Cheng Jin, Zhou Jian-Yun & Tang Hong-Jian 2006. On biological characteristics of Oliarus vicarious Walker and decreasing-Increasing law. Journal of Hunan Agricultural University (Natural Sciences) 31(1): 70-76.

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