Genus Pintalia Stål, 1862

[Back to North American Cixiidae]
[Return to Planthoppers of North America]

Family Cixiidae Spinola, 1839

Subfamily Cixiinae Spinola, 1839

Tribe Pintaliini Metcalf, 1938

Genus Pintalia Stål, 1862

Type species (in original combination): Pintalia lateralis Stål, 1862b.

  • Ciocixius Metcalf, 1923 (Type species Cixius dorsivittatus Van Duzee, 1909); syn. by Muir 1925a: 100.
  • Cotyleceps Uhler, 1895: 63 (Type species Cotyleceps decorata Uhler, 1895: 64); syn. by Muir 1925a: 100.
  • Metabrixia Fowler, 1904 (Type species Metabrixia delicata Fowler, 1904); syn. by Muir 1925a: 103.
  • Pentalia Stål, 1862 misspelling Pintalia Stål, 1862 in Emeljanov (2001: 70).

US (esp. southeast), Central and South America.

Distribution of Pintalia from FLOW

Distribution of Pintalia from FLOW (as of 29 Jan 2021).

Recognized species

There are 3 species in this genus in the U.S:

[State records linked to iNaturalist appear to not be published]

Pintalia delicata (Fowler, 1904) – [SE US and California, Mexico – described from Mexico] USA: AL, AR, AZ, CA, FL, GA, IL, LA, MD, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA; Cuba, Mexico (Chiapas, Jalisco, Guerrero, Michoacán, Morelos, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Veracruz), Guatemala, Nicaragua (also Ecuador in error, Muir 1934: 432)
Metabrixia delicata Fowler 1904: 86.
Pintalia delicata (Fowler 1904); comb. by Muir 1925a: 102.
Cixius dorsalis Van Duzee, 1908: 491 (nec. Stephens 1829).
Cixius dorsivittatus Van Duzee, 1909: 188; replacement name for Cixius dorsalis Van Duzee, 1908 (nec. Stephens 1829: 356).
= Cotyleceps delicata (Fowler 1904), comb. by Dozier 1928: 68.
Pintalia dorsovittatus (Van Duzee, 1909); comb. by Metcalf 1936: 29.
Pintalia dorsovittata (Van Duzee, 1909); emendation by Caldwell 1944d: 154.
Cixius dorsalis Van Duzee, 1908 (nec. Stephens 1829); syn. by Kramer 1983: 39.
Pintalia dorsovittata (Van Duzee, 1909); syn. by Kramer 1983: 39.

Distribution of Pintalia delicata

Distribution of Pintalia delicata from iNaturalist (MO records both appear to be vibex)

Pintalia gurneyi Kramer, 1983 – USA: VA also AL, KY, LA, MS (uncommon, easily confused with vibex externally)

Pintalia vibex Kramer, 1983 – USA: AL, AR, DE, FL, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA

Pintalia vibex from iNataturalist

Pintalia vibex from iNaturalist (the record from Mexico is doubtful)

Neotropical species (synoptic list of 77 additional species; distribution data may be incomplete; list from unpublished list compiled by Lois O’Brien)

Pintalia acarinata Caldwell 1944: 160 – Guatemala
Pintalia albolineata Muir 1934: 435 (see also Fennah 1945: 416) – Guyana (= British Guiana), Trinidad & Tobago
Pintalia albomarginata Muir 1934: 435 – Brazil
Pintalia alta Osborn 1935: 200 – Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands (Tortola, Guana)
Pintalia altamazonica Muir 1934: 440 – Ecuador
Pintalia angustinotata Muir 1934: 434 – Brazil
Pintalia aspersa (Fowler 1904: 87) – Mexico (Veracruz, San Luis Potosí, Oaxaca), Costa Rica, Guatemala
= Metabrixia aspersa Fowler, 1904: 87.
= Cotyleceps aspersa (Fowler 1904), comb. by Dozier 1928: 68.
= Pintalia aspersa (Fowler, 1904), comb. by Metcalf 1936: 28.
Pintalia bicaudata Muir 1934: 432 – Ecuador
Pintalia blairmontensis Muir 1934: 431 – Guyana (= British Guiana)
Pintalia brunnivenosa Muir 1934: 432 – Ecuador
Pintalia castanea Metcalf 1945: 127 – Guyana (= British Guiana)
Pintalia chromata Caldwell 1944:157 – Mexico (Veracruz)
Pintalia consobrina Stål 1862: 5 – Brazil
Pintalia contra Caldwell 1944:157 – Bolivia
Pintalia constellaris (Walker, 1858: 335) – Ecuador, Bolivia
Poeciloptera constellaris Walker, 1858: 335.
Pintalia quadrimaculata Fennah 1945c: 96; syn. by Fennah 1947:12.
Pintalia curvivitta Fennah 1945c: 99 – Bolivia
Pintalia daedala Fennah 1945c: 99 – Ecuador
Pintalia damalis Fennah 1971: 315 – Cayman Islands
Pintalia decorata (Uhler 1895: 62) – St. Vincent
=Pintalia delicata (Fowler 1904:86) – see above
Pintalia discoidalis Lethierry 1890: 148 – Venezuela
Pintalia (?) discrepans Muir 1934: 441 – Ecuador
Pintalia distincta Muir 1934: 425 – Ecuador
Pintalia dominicana Fennah 1948: 422 – Dominica
= Pintalia dorsivittatus (Van Duzee, 1909)  – see Pintalia delicata
Pintalia ecuadorensis Muir 1934: 437 – Ecuador
Pintalia erecta Metcalf 1938: 293 – Panama (Canal Zone)
Pintalia falcata Fennah 1945c: 98 – French Guiana
Pintalia fasciatipennis Stål 1862: 4 – Brazil
Pintalia fasciolaris (Spinola, 1852) – Chile (see Fennah 1965: 235)
Pintalia fraterna Stål 1862: 4 – Brazil
Pintalia fumata Caldwell 1944: 156 – Costa Rica
Pintalia fusca Metcalf 1938: 292 – Panama (Canal Zone)
Pintalia fuscipennis Muir 1934: 422 – Brazil
Pintalia fuscomaculata Muir 1934: 430 – Brazil
Pintalia fuscomarginata Muir 1934: 427 – Ecuador
Pintalia geometra Caldwell 1944: 157 – Mexico (Chiapas)
Pintalia germana (Fowler 1904: 87) – Mexico, Costa Rica
Metabrixia germana Fowler 1904: 87.
= Pintalia germana (Fowler 1904), comb. by implication Muir 1925: 103, formalized Metcalf, 1936: 30.
Pintalia grenadana Fennah 1948: 421 – Grenada
Pintalia guttata Emelyanov 2001: 70 – Puerto Rico (new name for P. maculata Osborn, 1935; preoccupied, nec. Fowler 1904)
Pintalia maculata Osborn 1935: 199; unavailable name, replacement name by Emeljanov 2001
Pintalia huigrensis Muir 1934: 424 – Ecuador
Pintalia infuscata Muir 1934: 430 – Brazil
=Pintalia infuscata Osborn 1935: 199 – Unavailable see P. martorelli
Pintalia inornata Stål 1862: 4 – Brazil
Pintalia insularis Osborn 1935: 200 – Puerto Rico (OR Virgin Islands)
Pintalia lateralis Stål 1862: 4 – Brazil
Pintalia latinotata Muir 1934: 437 – Brazil
Pintalia lentiginosa Muir 1934: 428 – Ecuador
Pintalia lentiginosa var. tunguraguensis Muir 1934: 428 – Ecuador
Pintalia lineata Caldwell 1944: 155 – Mexico (Chiapas)
Pintalia longispinis Muir 1934: 425 – Brazil
= Pintalia maculata Osborn 1935: 199 – Unavailable; see Pintalia guttata Emelyanov 2001
Pintalia maculata (Fowler 1904: 88) – Guatemala
Pintalia maculipennis Muir 1934: 438 – Ecuador
Pintalia marginata Caldwell 1944: 155 – Mexico (Veracruz)
Pintalia marmorata Fennah 1945c: 97 – Ecuador
Pintalia martorelli Caldwell 1951: 143, replacement name for unavailable P. infuscata Osborn 1935 nec. Muir – Puerto Rico
Pintalia neoaspersa Caldwell 1944: 158 – Mexico
Pintalia nemaculata Caldwell 1951: 145 – Puerto Rico
Pintalia obliquivitta Fennah 1945c: 98 – Peru
Pintalia obscurata Muir 1934: 428 – Ecuador
Pintalia obscuripennis Stål 1862: 4 – Brazil
Pintalia obtorta Muir 1934: 431 – Ecuador
Pintalia ornata Muir 1934:439 – Brazil
Pintalia pictipennis Stål 1862: 5 – Brazil, Guadeloupe?
Pintalia procellata Uhler 1901: 511 – Haiti
Pintalia propria Muir 1934: 423 – Brazil
Pintalia proxima Stål 1862: 5 – Brazil
Pintalia pseudomaculata Caldwell 1944: 156 – Mexico
Pintalia pulchella Muir 1934: 439 – Ecuador
Pintalia punctata Caldwell 1944: 156 – Mexico
Pintalia quadrimaculata Fennah, 1945c: 96 see Pintalia constellaris (Walker)
Pintalia quadrispinosa Muir 1934: 426 – Brazil
Pintalia sanctaeluciae Fennah 1948:420 – St. Lucia
Pintalia stigmata Caldwell 1944:155 – Guyana (= British Guiana)
Pintalia straminea Fennah 1945a: 417 – Trinidad
Pintalia supralta Caldwell 1951: 148 – Puerto Rico
Pintalia tacta (Fowler 1904: 88) – Mexico
Pintalia tumatumariensis Muir 1934: 436 – Guyana (= British Guiana)
Pintalia ustulata Stål 1862: 5 – Brazil
Pintalia variegata (Fabricius 1803: 54) – West Indies
Pintalia vomerifera Fennah 1945c: 100 – Ecuador

Economic Importance:


Plant associations
  • Pintalia delicata – Sagittaria latifolia Willd. (broadleaf arrowhead, Alismataceae) (From Kramer 1983).

Hosts from FLOW (et. cit.), Wilson et al. 1994; plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos.


Pintalia vibex – Candidatus Sulcia muelleri Moran et al., 2005 (Bacteria Bacteroidetes Flavobacteriales); Candidatus Vidania fulgoroideae Gonella et al., 2011 (Bacteria Proteobacteria Betaproteobacteria) (see Urban & Cryan 2012: 13)


Hind tibiae with spines, posterior margin of vertex quadrately or roundly incised; mesonotum with three longitudinal carinae, forewings at rest vertical in position with distal portions broadly appressed (Pintaliini); mesonotum flat in lateral view (vs.Monorachis); apical cells of forewing almost uniformly slender; frons with midlength exceeding greatest width.

The genus as a whole is currently an amalgam of forms where the wings are held parallel to the body.

Diagnosis of the genus from Kramer (1983: 38-39)

” Moderate-sized to large cixiids (5.2-7.2 mm); head in dorsal view not as wide as pronotum, eyes of average size, crown wider than long with transverse carina near middle and at apex, longitudinal carina on midline usually not strongly developed, lateral margins carinate and elevated, posterior margin of crown broadly incised; head in lateral view bluntly angular at apex; head in facial view with sides and longitudinal midline of frons and clypeus carinate, frontal ocellus well developed, frons elongated with greatest width much less than greatest length, its lateral edges flared; pronotum narrow and posteriorly incised, with transverse carina on discal portion approximating outline of hind margin of head, mesonotum tricarinate, hind tibia with 1 or 2 small to minute spines before apex, venation of forewings as in fig. 9, apical cells with widths about equal, 10 to 12 veins reaching hind margin of wing, veins with fine granules or pustules. Male genitalia: typical of family, aedeagus with long and well developed apical flagellum.
Notes. – Pintalia is largely a genus of the Neotropics; many species occur in the faunas of Mexico and the West Indies. There is no comprehensive study of the species south of the United States, but the Mexican fauna was treated in part by Caldwell (1944). Only three species are known to occur in our fauna, and these are keyed below.”

Key to US species, modified from Kramer 1983

1.  Aedeagus in ventral view with two sharp spines on each side of shaft; subcostal cel of forewing transparent brownish and either with or without 1-3 irregular pale milky spots … delicata (Fowler)

1.’  Aedeagus in ventral view without spines as above; subcostal cell of forewing hyaline or milky hyaline with 1-4 irregular brownish spots … 2

2. Aedeagus in lateral view with tapered, curved, subtriangular projection near middle of dorsal margin (widespread in east) … vibex Kramer

2′. Aedeagus in lateral view with dentate convexity near middle of dorsal margin … gurneyi Kramer

Pintalia alta

Pintalia alta

Pintalia alta

Pintalia alta by Matt Bertrone (used by permission)



Pintalia delicata

Pintalia delicata


Pintalia vibex

Pintalia vibex

Pintalia vibex

Pintalia vibex

Pintalia vibex

Pintalia vibex

Pintalia delicata genitalia from Kramer 1983

Pintalia delicata genitalia from Kramer 1983

Pintalia vibex from Kramer 1983

Pintalia vibex from Kramer 1983

Pintalia gurneyi from Kramer 1983

Pintalia gurneyi from Kramer 1983


Pintalia sp. from Costa Rica

Pintalia sp. from Costa Rica


Pintalia sp. FEMALE

Pintalia sp. (female, Guadeloupe).


Pintalia Sp. Dominica

Pintalia sp. (male, Dominica)

Pintalia sp.2 (Guadeloupe)

Pintalia sp.2 (Guadeloupe)

Online resources

Discover Life.
Hoppers of North Carolina.
Kunzweb Gallery.
American Insects.


Commonly collected at lights or other passive traps.  I’ve seen many, many specimens in tropical canopy fogging samples.

Molecular resources 

As of this writing, there are 3 species with data for this genus on Barcode of Life (P. alta, P. delicata, P. vibex); Genbank includes data for Pintalia alta, P. bicaudata, P. vibex, and 4 unidentified Pintalia spp.

Selected references

Note: Many of the older references can be found in the Dr. Metcalf database; but someday I’ll update the references here to reflect all those cited above.

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.

Blanchard 1852 – see Spinola 1852

Caldwell, J. S. 1944. Pintalia Stål with special reference to Mexico (Homoptera: Cixiidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 20(4): 154-160.

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.

Dozier, H. L. 1928a [dated 1922 or 1926]. The Fulgoridae or planthoppers of Mississippi, including those of possible occurrence. Technical Bulletin of the Mississippi Agricultural Experiment Station 14: 1-152.

Emeljanov, A. F. 2001. The generic position of some Nearctic Pentastirini (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea: Cixiidae). Zoosystematica Rossica 9(1): 122. [Pintalia guttatanew name for P. maculata Osb.]

Fabricius, J. C. 1803a. Rhyngota. In: Systema rhyngotorum: secundum ordines, genera, species: adiectis synonymis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. C. Reichard. Brunsvigae. Pp. 1-101.

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

Fennah, R. G. 1945c. New lanternflies (Fulgoroidea) from South America. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 96: 95-105 [99]

Fennah, R. G. 1948. New pintaliine Cixiidae, Kinnaridae and Tropiduchidae from the Lesser Antilles (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 12(I): 417-437.

Fennah, R. G. 1965. Fulgoroidea from Southern Chile (Hemiptera). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology 17: 233-272.

Fennah, R. G. 1971. Fulgoroidea from the Cayman Islands and adjacent areas. Journal of Natural History 5: 299-342.

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.

Fowler, W. W. 1904. Order Rhynchota. Suborder Hemiptera-Homoptera. (Continued). Biologia Centrali-Americana 1: 85-124. (link to cixiid key, p. 80.)

Holzinger, W. E., A. F. Emeljanov and I. Kammerlander. 2002. The family Cixiidae Spinola, 1839 (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha) – a Review. Denisia 4: 113-138. [systematics of genus].

Lethierry, L. F. 1890. Voyage de M. E. Simon au Venezuela (Décembre 1887-Avril 1888) 9e mémoire Hémiptères Homoptères. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (Series 6) 10: 147-160.

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: 139-230.

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

Metcalf, Z. P. 1938a. The Fulgorina of Barro Colorado and other parts of Panama. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard Collage 82: 277-423. [available from]

Metcalf, Z. P. 1946. Homoptera. Fulgoroidea and Jassoidea of Guam. Bulletin Bernice P. Bishop Museum 189: 105-148.

Muir, F.A.G. 1925. On the genera of Cixiidae, Meenoplidae and Kinnaridae (Fulgoroidea, Homoptera). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 1: 97-110.

Muir, F.A.G. 1934b. The genus Pintalia Stål (Homoptera, Cixiidae). Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 82(2): 421-441.

O’Brien, L. B. 1987. Corrections and additions to Metcalf’s ‘The Fulgorina of Barro Colorado and other parts of Panama’ (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Annals of the Entomological Society of America.  80(3): 379-390.

Osborn, H. 1935. Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands Homoptera (excluding Sternorhynchi). Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands 14: 111-260.

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.

Spinola, M. 1852a. Gay’s Historia fisica y politica de Chile (volume 7). Paris. 7: 1-471. [This is the whole volume. Delphacids are page 258-262. I think this came from Google books]

Stål, C. 1862e. Bidrag till Rio Janeiro-traktens Hemipterfauna II. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademiens Handlingar 3(6): 1-75. [pdf is only Fulgoroid portion]

Stål, C. 1869. Hemiptera Fabriciana. Fabricianska Hemipterarter, efter de Köpenhamn och Kiel förvarade typexemplaren granskade och beskrifne. 2. Handlingar. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps Akademien 8(1): 1-130.

Uhler, P. R. 1895. An enumeration of the Hemiptera-Homoptera of the Island of St. Vincent, W. I. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1895: 55-84.

Uhler, P. R. 1901. Some new genera and species of North American Hemiptera. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 4: 507-515.

Urban, J. M. and J. R. Cryan. 2012. Two ancient bacterial endosymbionts have coevolved with the planthoppers (Insecta: Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). BMC Evolutionary Biology 12(87): 1-19.

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

Van Duzee, E. P. 1909. Observation of some Hemiptera taken in Florida in the spring of 1908. Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences 9: 149-230.

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email