Genus Distantinus Bellis and Donaldson 2015

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Family Delphacidae Leach, 1815

Subfamily Delphacinae Leach, 1815

Tribe Delphacini Leach, 1815

Genus Distantinus Bellis and Donaldson 2015

(replacement name for Matutinus Distant, 1917: 278 (junior homonym of Matutinus Macleay 1838: 70)

Subgenera: The type subgenus includes all species except M. ion, which is placed in the subgenus Matutinella Fennah 1972: 460.

Type species (in original combination): Matutinus opulentus Distant, 1917: 278. (a jr syn of Delphax lautipes Stål, 1858: 319)


Mostly Africa, with a few species in the southern Palearctic. Two species are known from the Neotropics

Distribution of Distantanius from FLOW

Distribution of Distantanius from FLOW (as of 23 Feb. 2020)

Recognized species

Note: This genus (as Matutinus) was revised by Fennah, 1972. Bellis and Donaldson (2015) found that the name Matutinus was preoccupied and proposed the new genus name Distantinus.  In the list provided below, all new combinations are from Bellis and Donaldson 2015: 12, except cubanus and africanus which were missed and placed in Distantinus here by implication.

There are 29 recognized species in the genus as follows (some old combinations are still needed literature references):

New World Species

1 Distantinus cubanus (Rodriguez-Leon et al. 1998) – Cuba
= Matutinus cubanus Rodriguez-Leon et al. 1998

2  Distantinus fuscipennis (Muir, 1919) – Brazil, Costa Rica, Guyana, Nicaragua (also, evidently, Cape Provinces, KwaZulu-Natal, Madagascar according to Fennah 1964: 141)
= Chloriona fuscipennis Muir, 1919: 38.
= Matutinus fuscipennis (Muir, 1919)

Old World Species

1 Distantinus achates (Fennah, 1972) – South Africa
= Matutinus achates Fennah, 1972

1a. Distantinus africanus (Fennah, 1969) – South Africa (this species appears to be valid, originally missed here and in FLOW)
= Chloriona fuscipennis Muir, 1926: 30 (in part).
= Matutinus africanus Fennah, 1969: 58.
= Distantinus africanus (Fennah, 1969); new combination by implication Bellis and Donaldson 2015: 12.

2 Distantinus amyclas (Fennah, 1972) – Congo
= Matutinus amyclas Fennah, 1972

3 Distantinus anacreon (Fennah, 1972) – Congo
= Matutinus anacreon Fennah, 1972

4 Distantinus andraemon (Fennah, 1972) – Congo
    = Matutinus andraemon Fennah, 1972

5 Distantinus antares (Fennah, 1972) – Tanzania
    = Matutinus antares Fennah, 1972

6 Distantinus apollo (Fennah, 1972) – South Africa
= Chloriona turneri Muir, 1929: 204 (in part).
    = Matutinus apollo Fennah, 1972: 457

7 Distantinus artemis (Fennah, 1972) – Congo
= Matutinus artemis Fennah, 1972

8 Distantinus erebus (Fennah, 1972) – Congo
= Matutinus erebus Fennah, 1972

9 Distantinus erinna (Fennah, 1972) – Congo
= Matutinus erinna Fennah, 1972

10 Distantinus hylonome (Fennah, 1972) – Madagascar
    = Matutinus hylonome Fennah, 1972

11 Distantinus hyperion (Fennah, 1972) – Congo
= Matutinus hyperion Fennah, 1972

12 Distantinus ion (Fennah, 1964) – Madagascar
= Rhinodelphax ion Fennah, 1964, 136.
    = Matutinus (Matutinella) ion (Fennah, 1964); combination by Fenneh 1972: 460.

13 Distantinus iphias (Fennah, 1972) – Congo
= Matutinus iphias Fennah, 1972

14 Distantinus lautipes (Stål, 1858) – South Africa, Madagascar
= Delphax lautipes Stal, 1858, 319.
= Opiconsiva gloriosa Distant, 1917, 302. (see Fennah 1972: 437).
= Matutinus opulentus Distant, 1917; syn. by Fennah (1964: 141), see also Fennah 1972: 437.
= Matutinus lautipes (Stål, 1858). (see Fennah 1972: 437).

15 Distantinus ligea (Fennah, 1969) – Sudan
    = Matutinus ligea Fennah, 1969: 58 – Sudan

16 Distantinus melichari (Kirkaldy, 1906) – Sri Lanka
= Liburnia fumipennis Melichar, 1903, 97.
= Delphacodes melichari Kirkaldy, 1906, 156. [Replacement name for fumipennis Melichar]
= Hadeodelphax persephone Kirkaldy, 1907, 141 (See Fennah 1972: 430).
= Sardia pronotalis Distant, 1916, 141. (See Fennah 1972: 430)
= Sardia melichari (Kirkaldy) comb. by Fennah, 1971, 573.
= Matutinus melichari (Kirkaldy, 1906); comb. by Bellis and Donaldson 2015: 12

17 Distantinus neovittacollis (Muir, 1926) – South Africa
= Sogata neovittacollis Muir, 1926, 32
= Matutinus neovittacollis (Muir, 1926); (See Fennah 1972: 435).

18 Distantinus occiomphale (Asche, 1988) – Ivory Coast
= Matutinus occiomphale Asche, 1988.

19 Distantinus omphale (Fennah, 1972) – Ethiopia
= Matutinus omphale Fennah, 1972

20 Distantinus orestes (Fennah, 1972) – Madagascar
    = Matutinus orestes Fennah, 1972

21 Distantinus orion (Fennah, 1972) – Madagascar
= Matutinus orion Fennah, 1972

22 Distantinus pomonus (Fennah, 1958) – Guinea
= Chloriona (Sogatella) pomona Fennah, l958b, 492.
= Matutinus pomonus (Fennah, 1958); (See Fennah 1972: 449)

23 Distantinus putoni (Costa, 1888) – Egypt, France, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy (Sardegna), Morocco, Morocco (Spanish North African Territories), Nansei-shoto (Ryukyu Islands), Spain (Canary Islands), Turkey
= Kelisia putoni Costa, 1888 (original combination)
= Calligypona typhae Lindberg, 1960: 18, 19; syn. by Asche & Remane 1982: 15 (and by implication M. t. pallidior Fennah, 1972)
= Matutinus typhae (Lindberg, 1960) (see Fennah 1972: 454)
= Delphax nigrifrons Matsumura, 1910; syn. by Asche & Remane 1982: 16
= Matutinus putoni (Costa, 1888); new comb. by Bellis and Donaldson 2015: 12.

24 Distantinus tartareus (Fennah, 1958) – South Africa
= Stenocranus tartareus Fennah, 1958a: 196.
= Matutinus tartareus (Fennah, 1958); comb. by Fennah 1972: 433.

Matutinus typhae (Lindberg, 1960) – see M. putoni

25 Distantinus vitticollis (Stål, 1855) – South Africa
= Delphax vitticollis Stal, 1855, 93.
= Chloriona turneri Muir, 1929, 204. (See Fennah 1972: 432)
= Matutinus vitticollis (Stål, 1855); comb. by Fennah, 1964: 48.

26 Distantinus yanchinus (Kuoh, 1980) – Taiwan, China (Hainai)
= Matutinus yanchinus Kuoh, 1980

Plant associations

Distantinus putoni is recorded from Typha species (Typhaceae, Cat tails), including Typha latifolia L. (D’Urso & Guglielmino 1986, Wilson et al 1994)

Distantinus pomonus is recorded from Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov., Saccharum officinarum L., Setaria sphacelata (Schumach.) Stapf & C.E. Hubb. ex M.B. Moss (all Poales, Poaceae) by Bonfils et al. (1994)

See also plant associations on FLOW. (these are all listed above)

Economic Importance

Probably limited. Most species are poorly known, although D. pomonus is reported associated with sugarcane.  Distantinus fuscipennis has been taken at lights and probably is widespread in the Neotropics.


Fennah (1972: 421) comments as follows:

Muir (1919, 8) synonymised Matutinus with·Chlorionidea Loew, but the two differ as follows, the corresponding characters of Chlorionidea being shown in parentheses.
Vertex distinctly longer than broad, apical margin transverse with submedian carinae prominent (apical margin convex with submedian carinae not prominent) submedian carinae fine (submedian carinae coarse, thickened), Y -shaped carina usually 1 with common stem very weak or absent (common stem well developed); frons more; than 2·5 times as long as broad (about 2·0 times as long as broad), broadest in distal half (broadest in basal half), lateral margins weakly convex (strongly convex) postclypeus at least as long as broad at base, usually distinctly longer (a little broader than long), ocelli comparatively large (ocelli small), la·teral pronotal carinae diverging laterad (lateral pronotal carinae not diverging laterad), post-tibial spur long with·about 23 teeth (spur short with about 18 teeth), diaphragm of pygofer very narrow on each side of median armature (diaphragm of pygofer broad ·throughout), ovipositor without a median plate at base (ovipositor with a median plate at base).Matutinus is, in fact, most nearly related to Sardia, Sogatella and Sogatodes. In the proportions of the vertex and the frons it is intermediate between the first of these and the others; in the presence of a broad pale dorsal stripe 1t more closely resembles the last two: from all three, however, it is set apart by the relatively narrower frons and the total structure of the male genitalia.

Sugbenus Matutinella Fennah 1972

Features according to Fennah 1972: Vertex elongate, with lateral margins not nearly on same level as submedian carinae, basal segment of antennae not longer than broad. Pronotum with lateral carinae of median disc straight, not curving laterad, and almost attaining posterior margin. Genital styles in posterior view broad in basal half slender in distal half.

This species originally placed in Rhinodelphax because of the elongate head.

Distantinus (Matutinella) ion, from Fennah 1972

Distantinus (Matutinella) ion, from Fennah 1972

Distantinus lautipes from Fennah, 1972, the type species of the genus.

Distantinus lautipes from Fennah, 1972, the type species of the genus.

Distantinus fuscipennis is a larger, dark-bodied, long-winged delphacid, with a pale stripe along the midline of the dorsum and the frons.  It is superficially similar to dark Sogatella or Tagosodes.  Females are conspicuously paler than males.

Distantinus cubanus I am not familiar with.

Distantinus fuscipennis

Distantinus fuscipennis

Distantinus fuscipennis

Distantinus fuscipennis

Distantinus fuscipennis

Distantinus fuscipennis

Distantinus fuscipennis

Distantinus fuscipennis

Distantinus fuscipennis from Fennah 1972

Molecular resources

At this time (18 Aug. 2018), Genbank has data on D. melichari and sp.,  BOLD provides data for D. fuscipennis from Costa Rica and Distantanius sp.

Selected References

Asche, M. 1982. Beitrage zur Delphaciden-Fauna der Turkei (Anatolien) (Homoptera Cicadina Delphacidae). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 1(7): 71-98.

Asche, M. 1988. Delphacidae from Cote d’Ivoire (Homoptera, Fulgoroidea). Revue Francaise d’Entomologie (Nouvelle Serie) 10(2): 151-231.

Asche, M. and H. Hoch. 1982.  Beitrage zur Delphaciden-Fauna Griechenlands II (Homoptera Cicadina Delphacidae). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 1(7): 37-70.

Asche, M. and R. Remane. 1982. Wer sind Kelisia putoni A. Costa, 1888 und Delphax nigrifrons Matsumura, 1910? (Homoptera Cicadina Delphacidae). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 1(7): 13-18.

Asche, M. and R. Remane. 1982.  Beitrage zur Delphaciden-Fauna Griechenlands I (Homoptera Cicadina Delphacidae) Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 1(6): 231-290.

Attié M., T. Bourgoin, J. Veslot and A. Soulier-Perkins. 2008. Patterns of trophic relationships between planthoppers (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha) and their host plants on the Mascarene Islands. Journal of Natural History 42(23-24): 1591-1638.

Bartlett, C. R. and G. Kunz. 2015. A new genus and species of delphacid planthopper (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea: Delphacidae) from Central America with a preliminary regional species list. Zootaxa 3946(4):510-518. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3946.4.2. [erratum subsequently published Zootaxa 3963 (4): 598–600;]

Bellis, G. A. and J. F. Donaldson. 2015. Reassessment of some of Kirkaldy’s Australian species of Delphacini (Hemiptera: Delphacidae: Delphacinae). Austral Entomology. doi: 10.1111/aen.12180.

Bonfils, J. and W. Della Giustina. 1978. Inventaire et repartition biogeographique des Homopteres Auchenorhynques de Corse. Bulletin de la Societe entomologique de France 83: 23-29.

Bonfils J., S. Quilici and B. Reynaud. 1994. Les Hémiptères Auchénorrhynques de l’Ile de la Réunion. Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France 99: 227-240.

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D’Urso, V. 1995. Homoptera Auchenorrhyncha. In: Checklist delle specie della Fauna Italiana 42: 1-35.

d’Urso, V. and A. Guglielmino. 1987. Sviluppo postembrionale de Matutinus putoni (Costa A,. 1888) (Homoptera, Delphacidae) e note sulla sua biologia. Animalia (Catania) 13(1-3): 77-93. (abstract)

Drosopoulos, S., M. Asche and H. Hoch. 1983. Contribution to the planthopper fauna of Greece. Homoptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Fulgoromorpha, Delphacidae). Annales de l’Institut Phytopathologique Benaki (N.S.) 14: 19-68.

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