Genus Kelisia Fieber, 1866

[back to Higher Classification of Delphacidae]
[back to A checklist of New World delphacid species]

Family Delphacidae Leach, 1815

Subfamily Kelisiinae Wagner, 1963

Tribe Kelisiini Wagner, 1963

Genus Kelisia Fieber, 1866.

Type species (in original combination): Delphax guttula Germar, 1818.




Distribution of Kelisia from FLOW (as of 26 Oct. 2018)

Recognized species

There are ~46 species in Kelisia, plus 1 species of uncertain status (Old World), as follows:

New World

1 Kelisia axialis Van Duzee, 1897 – USA: Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin; Canada: Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island (some of the older records need verification)
2 Kelisia bimaculata Beamer, 1945 – USA: New Hampshire, Wisconsin
3 Kelisia curvata Beamer, 1945 – USA: District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas
4 Kelisia flagellata Beamer, 1945 – USA: Kansas
5 Kelisia flava Beamer, 1951 – USA: Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania; Canada: Ontario
6 Kelisia hyalina Beamer, 1945 – USA: Illinois, Kansas; Canada: Ontario, Quebec
7 Kelisia parvicurvata Beamer, 1951 – USA: Florida, South Carolina; Canada: Newfoundland
8 Kelisia pectinata Beamer, 1945 – USA: Illinois, Kansas; Canada: Ontario, Quebec
9 Kelisia retrorsa Beamer, 1945 – USA: Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin; Canada Ontario
10 Kelisia spinosa Beamer, 1945 – USA: Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin; Canada: Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island
11 Kelisia torquata Beamer, 1951 – USA: Connecticut, North Carolina; Canada: Saskatchewan
12 Kelisia vesiculata Beamer, 1951 – USA: Connecticut, Illinois; Canada: Saskatchewan

There are also several undescribed North American species.

Incertae sedis
Kelisia vittata Muir, 1926 – Brazil (Transferred to Phrictopyga vittata (Muir) by Bartlett 2016).

Old World (distribution records incomplete; some older records may need verification or deletion)
1 Kelisia asahinai Hori, 1984 – Japan
2 Kelisia bajancogta Dlabola, 1965 – Mongolia
3 Kelisia bellatula Ding and Zhang, 1994 – China
4 Kelisia bispinifera Dlabola, 1967 – Mongolia
5 Kelisia brucki Fieber, 1878 – Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dodekánisos (Dodecanese Is.), France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy (inc. Sardinia) Kikládes (Cyclades Is.),  Kriti (Crete), Russia (South European Russia), Sardinia, Slovakia, Vóreion Aiyáion (North Aegean Is.), Yugoslavia
6 Kelisia confusa Linnavuori, 1957 (including K. nervosa Vilbaste, 1972 see Holzinger et al. 2003) – Austria (Styria), Italy, Upper Rhine Plain (Germany, France); Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia,  Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Yugoslavia
7 Kelisia creticola Asche, 1982 – Crete
8 Kelisia fasciata (Kirschbaum, 1868) – England
9 Kelisia gargano Asche, 1982 – Italy
10 Kelisia guttula (Germar, 1818) – Widespread Europe, Russia, North Africa, Middle East (but records published before Remane & Jung 1995 need verification)
11 Kelisia guttulifera (Kirschbaum, 1868) – Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, “Yugoslavia”
12 Kelisia hagemini Remane & Jung 1995 – Australia (Carinthia), France (Pyrenees), Germany (southern), Greece (Mt. Olymp), Slovakia, Croatia, Northern Italy, Northeastern Spain
13 Kelisia halpina Remane & Jung 1995 – Austria (Styria, Carinthia, North Tyrol), Czech Republic (Moravia), Italy (Sudtirol), Slovakia, Switzerland (Alps in central Europe)
14 Kelisia haupti Wagner, 1939 – Northeastern Spain, southern France, Middle Germany, ?Austria (Poland records probably in error)
15 Kelisia henschii Horvath, 1897 – eastern Austria, Hungary (southeastern Europe, Balkan Peninsula)
16 Kelisia irregulata Haupt, 1935 – Austria, France, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland
17 Kelisia melanops Fieber, 1878 – Corsica, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey (Anatolia), “Yugoslavia”
18 Kelisia melanura Vilbaste, 1968 – Russia (Maritime Territory)
19 Kelisia minima Ribaut, 1934 – France, Germany, Switzerland (rare and local)
20 Kelisia monoceros Ribaut, 1934 – Widespread Europe, Russia
21 Kelisia orchonica Dlabola, 1970 – Mongolia
22 Kelisia pallidula (Boheman, 1847) – Widespread Europe, Russia, Mongolia
23 Kelisia pannonica Matsumura, 1910 – Hungary, Germany
24 Kelisia perrieri Ribaut, 1934 – France , Cyprus, France, Italy
25 Kelisia praecox Haupt, 1935 – Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France (Rhone Alps), Georgia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Poland, Russia, Slovakia
26 Kelisia punctulum (Kirschbaum, 1868) – Widespread Europe, Russia
27 Kelisia ribauti Wagner, 1934 – Widespread Europe, Russia, Middle East, Azores, Canary Is., Cyprus, Madeira Archipelago, North Africa; China
28 Kelisia riboceros Asche, 1987 – Greece
29 Kelisia sabulicola Wagner, 1952 – Coasts of North and Baltic Seas, especially islands, also open sandy grassland (Nickel 2003) (Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden)
30 Kelisia sima Ribaut, 1934 – Austria (Styria), France (Pyrenees), Italy (Sardinia, Trentino), Germany, Gotland Island
31 Kelisia sulcata Ribaut, 1934 – France, Italy (Sardinia)
32 Kelisia vittipennis (Sahlberg, 1868) – Widespread (but local) – Europe, Russia, North Africa
33 Kelisia xiphura Vilbaste, 1968 – Russia (Maritime Territory); China
34 Kelisia yarkonensis Linnavuori, 1962 – Austria, Israel (Mediterranean region)

Incertae sedis (this may be a missed synonymy)
35 Kelisia nigripennis Muir, 1929 – South Africa

Plant associations

Most species are sedge specialists (Cyperaceae), rarely found off the host plant; a few species reported from rushes (Juncaceae), and one also reported from a grass.

New World

Kelisia flavaScirpus cyperinus (L.) Kunth, Carex bullata Schkuhr ex Willd, Carex lurida Wahlenb. (shallow sedge)
Kelisia parvicurvata Carex lurida Wahlenb. (shallow sedge)
Kelisia spinosaCarex intumescens Rudge var. fernaldii Bailey, C. lucorum Willd. ex Link var. austrolucorum Rettig, C. pensylvanica Lam
Kelisia torquata – Carex stricta Lam.
Kelisia vesiculataCarex stricta Lam.

Old World

Kelisia brucki Juncus sp. (Juncaceae), Scirpoides holoschoenus (L.) Soják (roundhead bulrush, Cyperaceae; as Scirpus holoschoenus).
Kelisia confusa – Carex riparia Curtis, C. acutiformis Ehrh. (lesser pond sedge) (Carex elata All. for Kelisia nervosa)
Kelisia creticola – Juncus sp., Scirpoides holoschoenus (L.) Soják (roundhead bulrush, Cyperaceae; as Scirpus holoschoenus).
Kelisia gargano – Carex montana/humilis
Kelisia guttula – Carex flacca Schreb.(heath sedge)
Kelisia guttulifera – Carex divulsa Stokes (grassland sedge), C. sylvatica Huds., C. remota L., C. elongata L., C. vulpina L., C. distans L. (distant sedge), C. paniculata L.
Kelisia hagemini – Carex humilis Leyss.
Kelisia halpina – Carex humilis Leyss.
Kelisia haupti – Carex humilis Leyss.
Kelisia henschii – Carex sp. (in saltmarshes)
Kelisia irregulata – Carex flacca Schreb.(heath sedge)
Kelisia melanops – Carex sp.
Kelisia minima Carex distans L. (distant sedge), Cyperus longus L.
Kelisia monoceros – Carex verna L.H. Bailey (native sedge), C. sempervirens Vill., C. muricata L. (Rough sedge), and Carex cuprina (Sándor ex Heuff.) Nendtv. ex A.Kern. (as Carex vulpina ssp. otrubae and C. otrubae)
Kelisia pallidulaCarex panicea L. (grass-like sedge)
Kelisia perrieri Juncus sp., Scirpoides holoschoenus (L.) Soják (roundhead bulrush, Cyperaceae; as Scirpus holoschoenus).
Kelisia praecox – Carex brizoides L., Cyparus sp.
Kelisia punctulumCarex acutiformis Ehrh. (lesser pond sedge)
Kelisia ribautiCarex elongata L. (elongated sedge), Carex nigra (L.) Reichard (smooth black sedge); Eriophorum latifolium Hoppe (Broad-leaved cottongrass); E. augustifolium Honck. (tall cottongrass); Juncus sp., Deschampsia cespitosa (L.) P. Beauv. (tufted hairgrass).
Kelisia ribocerosCarex sp.
Kelisia sabulicolaCarex arenaria L. (sand sedge)
Kelisia simaCarex flava L. (yellow sedge)
Kelisia vittipennis Eriophorum vaginatum L. (tussock cottongrass), E. augustifolium Honck. (tall cottongrass), E. latifolium Hoppe (Broad-leaved cottongrass; Cottongrasses); Carex sp.
Kelisia yarkonensisJuncus acutus L. (spiny rush), Scirpoides holoschoenus (L.) Soják (roundhead bulrush, Cyperaceae; as Scirpus holoschoenus).

Plant names primarily according to The PLANTS Database ( (GRIN or the Plant List when not in PLANTS, internet search when all else fails).

Host records reported from Wilson et al. (1994), Nickel (2003), Holzinger et al. (2003) and Bartlett & Wheeler 2007.

Economic importance

Limited, none of the species on agricultural plants, nearly all reports from sedges.  Some of the species may be on rare plants or in uncommon habitats.


Kelisia species are small and pale (tending yelllowish), often with a dark band (whole or part) on the wing  and a spot on the ‘cheek’ (the blemma).  The blemma is more often present in Palearctic than Nearctic species. The genitalia have a process – usually quite prominent, and often paired – extending from the phallobase between the aedeagus and the anal tube.  The anal tube has no processes on any species I have seen.  The aedeagus is elongate and incompletely fused with the phallobase (phallotheca), and there often is a small retrose flagellum at the tip of the phallus. The calcar is flattened and strongly toothed.

North American species were revised by Beamer (1945, 1951).  Many Palearctic species can be identified by Holzinger et al. (2003) or Anufriev and Emeljanov (1988).


Kelisia flava

Kelisia torquata

Kelisia parvicurvata  Kelisia spinosa

Kelisia vesiculata


Online resources

Discover Life.

Fauna Europaea.

British Bugs.


Web Images

Kelisia guttula on Keiji Morishima’s Japanese Auchenorrhyncha Image Gallery
Kelisiinae on Kunzweb Gallery – Gernot Kunz
Kelisia punctulum on British Bugs
Kelisia sabulicola
Flickr (search = Kelisia)

Molecular resources

Genbank has data available for 5 species; BOLD has barcoding data available for ~15 a bunch of taxa in Kelisia (but only 9 with barcodes, 7 Feb 2020).

Selected References

(Links to BHL always an ongoing project)

Anufriev, G. A. and A. F. Emeljanov. 1988. Volume II: Homoptera and Heteroptera. In: P.A. Lehr (ed.). Keys to the Insects of the Far East of the USSR in Six Volumes, Transliteration of the Russian title: Opredelitel’ nasekomykh Dal’nego Vostoka SSSR v shesti tomakh. Vol. 2. Ravnokrylye i poluzhestkokrylye. In: P.A. Lehr, (ed.). Keys to the Insects of the Far East of the USSR in Six Volume. Nauka, Leningrad.

Asche, M. 1982. Anakelisia amicorum Dlabola & Müller, 1973 und Kelisia transversa Logvinenko, 1977, zwei neue Synonyme von Anakelisia fasciata (Kirschbaum, 1868) (Homoptera Cicadina Delphacidae). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 1(7): 19-24.

Asche, M. 1982. Beitrage zur Delphaciden-Fauna Ungarns (Homoptera Cicadina Delphacidae). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 1(7): 139-154.

Asche, M. 1982. Beitrage zur Delphaciden-Fauna Jugoslawiens und Bulgariens (Homoptera Cicadina Delphacidae). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 1(7): 99-138.

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

Asche, M. 1982. Kelisia creticola nov. spec. und Erganzungen zu den ubrigen Taxa des Kelisia brucki Fieber, 1878 – Kreises (Homoptera Cicadina Delphacidae). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 1(6): 89-166.

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

Asche, M. 1986. Kelisia riboceros nov. spec. from Greece – an important finding for the phylogeny of Kelisiinae (Homoptera Fulgoromorpha Delphacidae). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 2(3): 179-192.

Asche, M. 1986. Remarks on the occurrence of Kelisia perrieri Ribaut from Cyprus supposed by Lindberg 1948 (Homoptera Fulgoromorpha Delphacidae). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 2(3): 211-216.

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. 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.

Barringer, L. E. and C. R. Bartlett. 2018. Pennsylvania planthoppers (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Fulgoroidea): relative abundance and incidental catch using novel trapping methods. Insecta Mundi 0661: 1–31.

Bartlett, C. R. 2016[2015]. No Kelisia Fieber (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea: Delphacidae) in South america: new taxonomic placement of Phrictopyga vittata (Muir) comb. nov. from Brazil. Entomological News 125(4): 189-292.

Bartlett, C. R. and A. G. Wheeler, Jr. 2007. Kelisia and Stenocranus species (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Delphacidae): new host-plant associations and distributional records of eight sedge-feeding planthoppers. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 109(2): 400-415.

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.

Beamer, R. H. 1945. The genus Kelisia in America North of Mexico (Homoptera: Fulgoridae: Delphacinae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 18(3): 100-108.

Beamer, R. H. 1951. A review of the genus Kelisia in America North of Mexico. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 24(3): 117-121.

Crawford, D. L. 1914a. A contribution toward a monograph of the homopterous insects of the family Delphacidae of North and South America. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 46: 557-640, plus 6 plates.

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

Ding, J. H. 2006. Fauna Sinica Insecta Vol. 45 Homoptera Delphacidae. Science Press, Beijing, China.

Drosopoulos, S. 1982. Hemipterological studies in Greece. Part II. Homoptera – Auchenorrhyncha. On the family Delphacidae. Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 1(6): 35-88.

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.

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. [the PDF is really bad, but it is all I have].

Fieber, F. X. 1866b. Grundzüge zur generischen Theilung der Delphacini. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologish-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 16: 517-534.

Fieber, F X. 1879. Les Cicadines d’Europe d`apres les originaux et les publications les plus recentes. Quatrieme partie: Descriptions des especes. Traduit de l`allemend par Ferd. Reiber. Revue et Magasin de Zoologie pure et appliquee (3) 7: 65-160.

Hamilton, K.G.A. 2006. The planthopper genus Stenocranus in Canada: implications for classification of Delphacidae (Hemiptera). Canadian Entomologist, 138(4): 493-503.

Hayashi, M. and S. Fujinuma. 2016. Part Fulgoromorpha. p. 323-355. In: Entomological Society of Japan. 2016. Catalogue of the insects of Japan. Volume 4 Paraneoptera (Psocodea, Thysanoptera, Hemiptera), 4. Editorial Committee of Catalogue of the Insects of Japan.

Holzinger, W. E., I. Kammerlander and H. Nickel. 2003. Fulgoromorpha, Cicadomorpha excluding Cicadellidae. Volume 1. The Auchenorrhyncha of Central Europe. Brill Academic Publishing, Leiden, Netherlands.

Hori, Y. 1982. The Homoptera-Auchenorrhyncha of the Ozegahara Moor. Pp. 335-346. In: H. Hara, S. Asahina, Y. Sakaguchi, K. Hogetsu, and N. Yamagata, (eds.). Ozegahara: Scientific researches of the highmoor in central Japan. Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo. 456 pp.

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

Linnavuori, R. 1957. Remarks on some Italian Delphacidae. Bollettino della Societa Entomologica Italiana 87: 49-52.

Logvinenko, V. N. 1975. Fulgoroidny cicadovy Fulgoroidea. Fauna Ukrainy 20 (2): 1-287 [in Ukrainian].

Maw, H.E.L., R.G. Foottit, K.G.A. Hamilton and G.G.E. Scudder. 2000. Checklist of the Hemiptera of Canada and Alaska. NRC Research Press, Ottawa. read online:

Metcalf, Z. P. 1923a. A key to the Fulgoridae of Eastern North America with descriptions of new species. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 38(3): 139-230, plus 32 plates. [from]

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

Nast, J. 1972. Palaearctic Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera). An annotated check list. Polish Scientific Publishers, Warszawa, 550 pp.

Nast, J. 1987. The Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera) of Europe. Annales Zoologici Warszawa 40: 535-661.

Nickel, H. 2003. The Leafhoppers and Planthoppers of Germany (Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha), Patterns and strategies in a highly diverse group of phytophagous insects , Pensoft Series Faunistica 28, Sofia, Bulgaria

Remane, R. and M. Asche. 1982. Kelisia gargano noc. spec. eine neue Delphacide aus dem Mittelmeergebiet (Homoptera Cicadina Fulgoromorpha). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 1(7): 1-12.

Remane, R. and R. Jung. 1995. Beiträge zum Artenbestand der europäischen Kelisiinen (Auchenorrhyncha, Fulgoromorpha, Delphacidae). Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 2(9): 1-70.

Remane, R. and A. Guglielmino. 2002. Female ectodermal gentalia of the taxa Kelsia guttula – group (Homoptera Fulgormorpha Delphacidae): not only an example for specialized coorganization with male genitalia without obvious reasons, but also a character set apt for species discrimination in westpalaearctic taxa? Marburger Entomologische Publikationen 3(2): 21-38 .

Ribaut, H. 1934. Nouveaux Delphacides (Homoptera-Fulgoroidea). Bulletin de la Societe d`Histoire Naturelle de Toulouse 66 (2): 281-301.

Trolle, L. 1980. Kelisia sabulicola W. Wagn. and Eurysa lineata (Perr.) (Homoptera: Delphacidae) new for Denmark. Entomologiske Meddelelser 48(1): 28.

Urban J. M., C. R. Bartlett and J. R. Cryan. 2010. Evolution of Delphacidae (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea): combined-evidence phylogenetics reveals importance of grass host shifts. Systematic Entomology 35(4): 678-691.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1897a. A Preliminary Review of the North American Delphacidae. Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences 5(5): 225-261. []

Vilbaste, J. 1972. Kelisia nervosa n.sp. [A new Delphacid species from Lithuania] (Homoptera: Cicadinea). Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences-Biology/Ecology [Eesti NSV Teaduste Akadeemia Toimetised 23. Koide Bioloogia] 21: 75-77 [In Russian with English summary].

Wagner, W. 1935a. Die Zikaden der Nordmark und Nordwest-Deutschlands. Verhandlungen des Vereins für Naturwissenschaftliche Heimatforschung zu Hamburg 24 (1933—1935): 1—44.

Wagner, W. 1963 [dated 1962]. Dynamische Taxionomie, angewandt auf die Delphaciden Mitteleuropas. Mitteilungen aus dem Hamburgischen Zoologischen Museum und Institut 60: 111-189.

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. Pp. 7-45 & Appendix.  In: R. F. Denno and T. J. Perfect (eds.). Planthoppers: Their Ecology and Management. Chapman and Hall, New York. [host information in the appendix]

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