Genus Platycixius Van Duzee, 1914

[Back to North American Cixiidae]

Family Cixiidae Spinola, 1839

Subfamily Cixiinae Spinola, 1839

Tribe Cixiini Spinola, 1839

Genus Platycixius Van Duzee, 1914: 37.

Type species: Platycixius calvus Van Duzee, 1914.

Synonyms: None.


Southwestern US

Distribution of Platycixius from FLOW (24 Sept. 2018)

Recognized species

There is a single recognized species in this genus

Platycixius calvus Van Duzee, 1914: 38  [Metcalf 1936: 242] – USA: AZ, CA

Economic Importance:

Limited – infrequently encountered.

Known host plants:

Yucca sp. (Asparagales, Asparagaceae) according to Kramer 1983: 51.


Mesonotum with 3 carinae, posterior portion of head not incised (Cixiini), hind tibiae without lateral spines, tegulae not hidden, median carina of frons absent (or vestigial).

Description of genus (from Kramer 1983)

Comparatively large cixiids (6.0-7.3 mm); head in dorsal view slightly more than four-fifths as wide as pronotum, eyes longer than wide, crown flat, its longitudinal midline at least partly carinate, lateral margins carinate and slightly elevated, anterior margin carinate with weakly defined transverse fovea at middle between crown and upper portion of frons, posterior margin of crown broadly incised; head in lateral view slightly flattened and bluntly angular at extreme apex; head in facial view with greatest width of frons exceeding median longitudinal length, its sides sharply carinate and longitudinal midline not carinate, frontal ocellus small but distinct, clypeus triangular, its lateral edges bluntly carinate; pronotum not greatly narrowed at middle, its middle portion tricarinate, extreme lateral portions longitudinally bicarinate, tegulae prominent, mesonotum large, longer than wide, and tricarinate, hind tibiae without spines before apex, venation as in fig. 13, apical cells on costal margin wider than long, apical cells on anal margin longer than wide, veins with few scattered pale pustules sometimes bearing pale setae. Male genitalia: typical of family, apical flagellum more than half length of shaft, but with scattered and inconspicuous white hairs on genital capsule.
Notes. – Platycixius is superficially similar to Cixius, but it can be immediately separated from that genus and from all other genera in our fauna by the complete absence of the median longitudinal carina on the midline of the frons.

Platycixius 1

Platycixius calvus

Platycixius calvus (all photographs by Kimberley Shropshire, University of Delaware)

Platycixius calvus

Platycixius calvus

Platycixius calvus from Kramer 1983



Molecular resources: 

As of this writing, there are no molecular data for this genus on Barcode of Life or Genbank (24 Sept. 2018).

Selected references:

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.

Essig, E. O. and R. L. Usinger. 1940 The life and works of Edward Payson Van Duzee. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 16: 145-177. pdf  [noted, p. 167]

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.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1936. General Catalogue of the Homoptera. Fascicle IV Fulgoroidea . Part 2 Cixiidae. Smith College, Northhampton, Massachusetts. [p. 242]

Metcalf, Z. P. 1938a. The Fulgorina of Barro Colorado and other parts of Panama. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard College 82: 277-423. [in key to genus p. 284]

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.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1914. A preliminary list of the Hemiptera of San Diego Country, 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. [see p. 78 onward]

Van Duzee, E. P. 1917b. Catalogue of the Hemiptera of America North of Mexico (excepting the Aphididae, Coccidae and Aleurodidae). University of California Publications, Technical Bulletins, vol. 2. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. i-xiv, 1-902. [from Google books] [see p. 716 onward] [see p. 734]]

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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