Genus Penepissonotus Beamer, 1950

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Family Delphacidae Leach, 1815

Subfamily Delphacinae Leach, 1815

Tribe Delphacini Leach, 1815

Genus Penepissonotus Beamer, 1950: 129.

Type species: Penepissonotus bicolor Beamer, 1950.

Types: Holotype , allotype,  paratypes, Woolwine, Va., Sept. 1, 1946; other paratypes:  Chapel Hill, NC, Aug. 31, 1946; Parish, Fla., July 9, 1948;  Sanford, Fla., Sept. 6, 1926; 4 mi. s. Annapolis, Md., Sept. 30, 1934; Sparrowspoint, Md., July 5, 1933, Snow Hill, Md., June 24-27, 1933, Annapolis, Md., June 25, 1933; Savannah, Ga., Sept: 19, 1933.

Types: Snow Entomological Collections, paratypes in U. S. National Museum.


USA: Eastern United States, Maryland to Florida, west to eastern Texas.

Distribution of Penepissonotus from FLOW

Distribution of Penepissonotus from FLOW (as of 7 March 2020)

Recognized species

Only one species is currently recognized in this genus

Penepissonotus bicolor Beamer, 1950: 129 – USA: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia.

Plant associations

None published (yet), but I have take this species vacuum sampling Schoenoplectus ;  it is found near the base of the plant and is not easily taken sweeping.  I think it is likely to be on other sedges as well.

Economic Importance



Penepissonotus bicolor is distinctly pale colored with a darker head and prothorax.  The extend of the coloration varies among specimens.  Macropters (especially females) are not uncommonly collected at lights, and such specimens are often found in the undetermined of research collections.  Probably closely related to Meristopsis.

Description and comments from Beamer (1950) (Comments and edits in square brackets; some uncorrected OCR errors may remain)

” Resembling Pissonotus but without the dark band across front coxae and clypellus and male styles without their apices flattened and rolled into overhanging ledges. No median processes ventrad to styles. Crown raised considerably above level of eyes, much longer thnn basal width, long and narrow. Easily mistaken for Pissonotus but genitalia not the Pissonotus type. Genotype Penepissonotus bicolor n. sp.

[Species description] Penepissonotus bicolor n. sp.
Brachypterous form:
Resembling a species of Pissonotus but most of body light-colored instead of dark. Length [male] 2.5 mm.; [female] 3.0 mm.

Structure: Clypeus slightly more than twice as long as wide, widest just before apex in [male] at apex in [female], slightly narrowed toward base, more so on basal fourth, definitely tricarinate; crown not quite twice as long as basal width almost without carinae on anterior half, definitely carinate on basal third; elytra about as wide as long, hyaline, veins raised, apices truncate, corners rounded.
Color: Head and pronotum and 6 styles dark brown, remainder of body stramineous; outer segment of antennae lighter than basal.
Genitalia: In lateral view: pygofer deeply excavated on dorsal two-thirds of posterior margin; anal segment quadrate with a pair of stout slightly in-curved processes on outer ventral corner; aedeagus almost as long as width of pygofer, widest at base, slightly curved ventrally, dorsal margin narrowed on outer fourth to sharp apex; styles widest near middle, narrowed to sharp apices; aedeagal brace large, rounded, a long parallel-sided spine, twice as long as basal width of aedeagus just ventrad to base of aedeagus. In caudal view: styles widest at base, diverging, inner margin excavated, apices pointed; aedeagal brace not extended dorsally, broadly rounded caudally; apex of aedeagus with a spur on left side where shaft begins to narrow, about as long as to apex of shaft. …

lVIacropterous form
Like the brachypterous form but with flight wings. Elytra reaching one-third their length beyond body, hyaline, veins darker. Anterior half of mesonotum dark instead of light as in brachypterous form.

Penepissonotus bicolor (Photos by Kimberly Shropshire, University of Delaware)

Penepissonotus bicolor

Penepissonotus bicolor

Penepissonotus bicolor

Penepissonotus bicolor

Penepissonotus bicolor

Penepissonotus bicolor

Penepissonotus bicolor

Penepissonotus bicolor

Penepissonotus bicolor

Penepissonotus bicolor

Penepissonotus bicolor

Penepissonotus bicolor from Beamer 1950

A macropter from American Insects.

Penepissonotus bicolor

A macropterous Penepissonotus bicolor from American Insects.

Online resources

American Insects
Discover Life
Hemipterans of North Carolina (includes some nice photos)

Web Images

Flickr (search=Penepissonotus)


Commonly comes to lights (regularly, but not in abundance); brachypters are uncommon but (as noted above) may be found by vacuum sampling Schoenoplectus.

Molecular resources

Not available on Genbank, but this genus is in BOLD (1 specimen – but no barcodes as of Aug. 2017 7 March 2020).

Select 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.

Beamer, R. H. 1950. Five new genera of delphacine fulgorids (Homoptera – Fulgoridae – Delphacinae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 23(4): 128-133.

Kennedy A. C., C. R. Bartlett and S. W. Wilson. 2012. An annotated checklist of the delphacid planthoppers (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) of Florida with the description of three new species and the new genus, Meristopsis. Florida Entomologist 95(2): 395-421.

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

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