Genus Burnilia Muir and Giffard, 1924

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Family Delphacidae Leach, 1815

Subfamily Plesiodelphacinae Asche, 1985

Tribe Plesiodelphacini Asche, 1985

Genus Burnilia Muir and Giffard, 1924

Type species (in original combination): Delphax pictifrons Stål, 1864.


Neotropical (and Japan).

Distribution of Burnilia from FLOW

Distribution of Burnilia from FLOW (as of 7 Feb 2020)



Recognized species

There are 7 species and 1 subspecies currently placed in this genus.

Burnilia belemensis Muir, 1926 – Venezuela , Brazil, ?Belize
Burnilia heliconiae Muir, 1926 – Guyana
Burnilia japonica Asche, Hayashi & Fujinuma, 2016 – Japan (Kyushu)
Burnilia longicaput Muir, 1926 – Guyana
Burnilia pictifrons (Stål, 1864) – Mexico, Belize, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Honduras
Burnilia spinifera spinifera Fennah, 1945: 429 – Dominica, St. Vincent, Trinidad, Guyana
Burnilia spinifera antillana Fennah, 1959: 251 – St. Vincent, Dominica
Burnilia williamsi Muir, 1926 – Brazil

There are  also numerous undescribed species.  Burnilia longicaput  belongs in Plesiodelphax; I had thought this transfer was already made and had previously indicated this on my website, but that does not appear to be the case.

Plant associations

Burnilia heliconiae and Burnilia spinifera antillana reported from Heliconia spp. (Heliconiaceae).

Burnilia japonica Alpinia intermedia Gagnep. (Zingiberales, Zingiberaceae) (Asche et al. 2016)

I have undescribed species from Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador and Peru that I have collected from Heliconia.  I also have specimens from Martinique.  Nymphs and adults are found within rolls of young leaves.

Economic Importance



Undescribed Burnilia from Belize


Leg – Undescribed Burnilia from Peru

Molecular resources

There are data on this genus in Genbank  for Burnilia sp. (undescribed from Belize) for the genes 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, wingless, and cytochrome oxidase I (from Urban et al. (2010).  BOLD has data for an undetermined species from Costa Rica.

Selected references

Asche, M. 1985a. Zur Phylogenie der Delphacidae Leach, 1815 (Homoptera: Cicadina: Fulgoromorpha). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 2(1):1-398 AND 2(2): 399-910.

Asche, M. 1985b. A new subfamily, genus and species of Delphacidae from South America: Plesiodelphacinae subfam. nov., Plesiodelphax guayanus gen. et spec. nov. (Homoptera Fulgoroidea). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 1(10) : 219-240.

Asche, M. 1990. Vizcayinae, a new subfamily of Delphacidae with revision of Vizcaya Muir (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea) – a significant phylogenetic link. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 30: 154-187.

Asche, M., M. Hayashi and S. Fujinuma. 2016. Enigmatic distribution: first record of a hitherto New World planthopper taxon from Japan (Hemiptera, Fulgoroidea, Delphacidae, Plesiodelphacinae). Deutsche entomologische Zeitschrift 63(1): 75-88.

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. (see p. 428)

Fennah, R. G. 1959. Delphacidae from the Lesser Antilles (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology 8: 245-265.

Leach, W. E. 1815a. Entomology. The Edinburg encyclopedia; conducted by David Brewster 9: 57-172. (family Delphacidae page 125).

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. [noted on P. 302]

Metcalf, Z. P. 1943. General Catalogue of the Hemiptera. Fascicle IV, Fulgoroidea, Part 3, Araeopidae (Delphacidae). Smith College, Northhampton, Massachusetts. (see p. 68).

Muir, F.A.G. 1926b. Contributions to our knowledge of South American Fulgoroidea (Homoptera). Part I. The Family Delphacidae. Experiment Station of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association, Entomological Series, Bulletin 18: 1-51, plates 1-5.

Muir, F.A.G. and W. M. Giffard. 1924a. Studies in North American Delphacidae. Bulletin of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association Division of Entomology 15: 1-53.

Stål, C. 1864a. Hemiptera Mexicana enumeravit speciesque novas descript. (Continuatio), Entomologische Zeitung (Stettin). Herausgegeben von dem entomologischen Vereine zu Stettin. 25: 49-86.

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