Genus Idiosemus Berg, 1883

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Family Delphacidae Leach 1815

Subfamily Asiracinae Motschulsky 1863: 108

Tribe Idiosystanini Emeljanov 1995

Genus Idiosemus Berg, 1883: 233

Distribution: Temperate South America.

Distribution of Idiosemus from FLOW (26 Oct. 2018)

Distribution of Idiosemus

Distribution of Idiosemus from FLOW (as of 31 Jan. 2020)

Type species (in original combination): Liburnia xiphias Berg, 1879.

Generic synonyms

  = Stenosystatus Muir, 1930 (type species Stenosystatus anonymi Muir, 1930: 214); Synonymy by Fennah, 1965: 251.

Recognized species

There is one species currently placed in this genus.

Idiosemus xiphias (Berg, 1879: 190) – Argentina, Chile, Uruguay
= Liburnia xiphias Berg, 1879: 190.
= Idiosemus xiphias (Berg, 1879); comb. by Berg, 1883: 233.
= Stenosystatus anonymi Muir, 1930: 214; synonymy by Fennah, 1965: 251.

Plant associations

Apparently none.

Campodonico (2017) noted “This species has been recorded on Baccharis coridifolia DC. (Asteraceae) by Berg (1883). All specimens collected by the author were obtained from sweep netting on wetland  vegetation dominated by Cyperaceae.”

Campodonico (2017) noted that the probable host of Idiosemus is a sedge Cyperaceae, and further notes that all Idiosystanini appear to be sedge specialists.

Economic Importance



Idiosemus xiphias is the only long-headed asiracine planthopper in the New World. Idiosemus might be mistaken for long-headed stenocranines (e.g., Frameus), but the calcar is spine-like and without teeth in the Asiracinae compared to flattened, foliaceous, and bearing teeth along the trailing margin for Stenocraninae. Idiosemus also has 4 carinae on the mesonotum, whereas all advanced delphacids have 3.

I’ve seen this species in long series in collections.

Idiosemus xiphias

Idiosemus xiphias – note 4 carinae on mesonotum.


Online resources
Discover Life
Bugguide (N/A)
3I Interactive Keys and Taxonomic Databases (Dmitry Dmitriev)
Molecular resources

At this time (March 2014) there is a single specimen of Idiosemus xiphias barcoded in BOLD, but nothing in Genbank.

Selected references

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

Berg, C. 1883b. Addenda et Emendanda ad Hemiptera Argentina (Continuatio.) Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina 16: 231-241.

Campodonico, J. F. 2017. A new species of Pentagramma Van Duzee (Hemiptera: Delphacidae: Asiracinae) from Chile, with notes on the host relations of the Idiosystatini Emeljanov. Zootaxa 4291(3). doi:

Emeljanov, A. F. 1996. On the question of the classification and phylogeny of the Delphacidae (Homoptera, Cicadina), with reference to larval characters. Entomological Review 75(9):134-150. [Translated from Russian in Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 74: 780-794.]

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

Fieber, F. X. 1872a. Katalog der europäischen Cicadinen, nach Originalien mit Benützung der neuesten Literatur. Carl Gerold’s Sohn, Wein [Vienna, Austria]. Pp.: i-iv, 1-19.

Leach, W. E. 1815. Entomology. The Edinburgh Encyclopedia 9: 57-172. (Delphacidae on p. 125).

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

De Motschulsky, V. I. 1863. Essai d’un catalogue des insectes de l’ile de Ceylan. Bulletin de la Société Impériale des Naturalistes de Moscou 36: 1-153.

Muir, F.A.G. 1930f. On some South American Delphacidae (Homoptera, Fulgoroidea). Entomologisk Tidskrift 51(3-4): 207-215.

A dissertation that I have not seen:

CARVALHO, Gervásio Silva, A. M. SAKAKIBARA, and Lauro José JANTSCH. Participação em banca de Gisele David-Silva. Aspectos morfológicos de Idiosemus xiphias (Berg, 1879) (Auchenorrhyncha, Delphacidae, Asiracinae). 1999. Dissertação (Mestrado em Biociências (Zoologia)). Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul.

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