Genus Orgerius Stål, 1859

[Back to North American Dictyopharidae]

Family Dictyopharidae Spinola, 1839

Subfamily Orgeriinae Fieber, 1872

Tribe Orgeriini Fieber, 1872

Genus Orgerius Stål, 1859: 273.
Type species (in original combination): Orgerius rhyparus Stål, 1859: 274.

Ranissus Fieber, 1866a (Type species Ranissus leptopus Fieber, 1866: 510); syn. by Fieber 1872: 4.

Subgenera Orgerius and Opsigonus  were established by Emeljanov (2006) (see below).

Distribution: Southwestern US (north to Oregon, west to Colorado) and adjacent Mexico.

Distribution of Orgerius from FLOW (3 Oct. 2018)

Recognized species

There are 15 species currently in the genus in North America]:

Subgenus Orgerius Stål, 1859: 273

1 Orgerius bilobatus Doering & Darby, 1943 – USA: CA
2 Orgerius bucculentus Doering & Darby, 1943 – USA: CA, OR
3 Orgerius concordus Ball & Hartzell, 1922 [Metcalf 1946: 209] – USA: CA; Mexico (Baja California)
Orgerius rhyparus var. concordus Ball & Hartzell, 1922: 145.
Orgerius concordus Ball & Hartzell, 1922; status by Doering & Darby 1943: 64, 80.
4 Orgerius disgregus Doering & Darby, 1943 – USA: CA
5 Orgerius glaucus Emeljanov, 2006 – USA: CA
6 Orgerius junceus Doering & Darby, 1943 – USA: CA
7 Orgerius pajaronius Ball & Hartzell, 1922 – USA: CA, OR
Orgerius rhyparus var. pajaronius Ball & Hartzell, 1922: 145.
Orgerius pajaronius Ball & Hartzell, 1922; status by Doering & Darby 1943: 64, 73.
8 Orgerius proprius Doering & Darby, 1943 – USA: CA
9 Orgerius rhyparus Stål, 1859: 274 [Metcalf 1946: 209] – USA: AZ, CA, CO, OR; Mexico (Baja California)
Orgerius rhyparus var. clitellus Ball & Hartzell, 1922: 145; syn. by Doering & Darby 1943: 64.
10 Orgerius spicatus Doering & Darby, 1943 – USA: CA
11 Orgerius triquetrus Doering & Darby, 1943 – USA: AZ, CA

Subgenus Opsigonus Emeljanov, 2006 (Type species Orgerius minor Ball, 1909). 

12 Orgerius bicornis Doering & Darby, 1943 – USA: CA, UT
Orgerius bicornis Doering & Darby, 1943: 85.
Orgerius (Opsigonusbicornis Doering & Darby, 1943; status by implication Emeljanov 2006a: 76.
13 Orgerius foliatus Doering & Darby, 1943 – USA: AZ, CA, NM, NV
Orgerius foliatus Doering & Darby, 1943: 87.
Orgerius (Opsigonusfoliatus Doering & Darby, 1943; status by implication Emeljanov 2006a: 76.
14 Orgerius minor Ball, 1909 [Metcalf 1943: 211] – USA: CA, CO, ID, NV, UT
Orgerius minor Ball, 1909: 202.
Orgerius (Parorgeriusminor Ball, 1909; comb. by Melichar 1912: 218.
Parorgerius (Parorgeriusminor (Ball, 1909); comb. by Metcalf 1946: 211 (by implication de Bergevin 1924: 258).
Orgerius (Opsigonusminor Ball, 1909; comb. by Emeljanov, 2006: 76.
15 Orgerius ventosus Ball & Hartzell, 1922 – USA: CA, NV
Orgerius rhyparus var. ventosus Ball & Hartzell, 1922: 145.
Orgerius ventosus Ball & Hartzell, 1922; status by Doering & Darby 1943: 64, 88.
Orgerius (Opsigonus) ventosus Ball & Hartzell, 1922; status by Emeljanov 2006: 76 (by implication); also Kuznetsova et al. 2009.

Economic Importance:


Known host plants:
  • Orgerius foliatus – Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt. (fourwing saltbush, Chenopodiaceae)
  • Orgerius sp. – Cirsium sp. (thistle), Cirsium occidentale (Nutt.) Jeps. (as Cirsium californicum A. Gray and Cirsium proteanum J.T. Howell; cobwebby thistle) (Asteraceae)
  • Opsigonus spp. – reported from Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt. (fourwing saltbush, Chenopodiaceae)

Hosts from Wilson et al. (1994) and Emeljanov (2006); plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos.


Brachypterous, leaving several terga visible from above, tegulae hidden (all Orgeriinae); callosity present behind eye; vertex short, less than 2x length of the eyes.

Keys to genus of US Orgeriinae in Doering & Darby 1943 and Doering (1955). Emeljanov (2006) established subgenera for Orgerius. Species determination can be challenging.

Key to subgenera from Emeljanov 2006

1. Medial abdominal group of sensory pits number 3 + 1 pit; upper part of lateral carinae of metope weak, but distinct; hind tibia with 7-8 lateral spines connected in basal half by foliate ridge … Subgenus Orgerius

1′- Medial abdominal group of sensory pits number 3 pits; upper part of lateral carinae of metope indistinct; hind tibia with 5-6 lateral spines without connecting ridge … Subgenus Opsigonus (type Orgerius minor Ball)

Emeljanov (2006) notes that subgenus Orgerius is Californian, inhabiting chapparal and woody gtades; subgenus Opsigonus is deserticolous, living on Atriplex canescens.

The following from Ball and Hartzell 1922 (keys reformatted):

Description of genus Orgerius:

Resembling Deserta, but with a broader, shorter, distinctly triangular cephalic process.

Cephalic process short, broad at the base, tapering to an angular or slightly conical point, not truncate. The lateral carinas of the front rounding into the median carina at the apex of the cephalic process. Oblique carina curving upwards from the eye, pustulate below; median carina extending to the apex. Eye separated from the pronotum by a diamond-shaped callosity. The anterior margin of the lateral tablets of pronotum transverse instead of inclined posteriorly as in Deserta. Carinae of scutellum sharply defined. Elytra brachypterous, irregularly reticulate. Abdomen obese, oval. Rostrum equalling the abdomen. Anterior femora expanded three times the width of the tibia ; post tibia flattened, inclined to be serrate, the serrations crowned with 6-8 black spines.
This genus was described by Stal for O. rhyparus from San Francisco. Oshanin, 1913, in a review of the group evidently misinterpreted the character of the genus as he describes Orgerius as wanting a callosity behind the eye, while he erects a new genus, Nymphorgerius, for species with short, angular vertices and the eyes bearing posterior callosities. He mentions a carina between the antenna and the eye, which is lacking or but feebly developed in our species and it is probable that the true Orgerius does not occur in Europe.

Key to the Species of Orgerius.
1. Size variable. Vertex narrow, one-half longer than its width; the hind tibia distinctly flattened basally, the heavy spines appearing as serrations … Orgerius s.s. (as Orgerius rhyparus)

1′-. Small, pale, vertex wider, less than one-half longer than its basal width; posterior tibia not modified … O. minor Ball (Emeljanov’s Opsigonus)

Key to Varieties (of Orgerius rhyparus).

1. Large, obese forms, partly rufous or testaceous … 2
1′- Without reddish shade … 3

2. Species entirely rufo-testaceous … Orgerius rhyparus Stal.
2′- Rufous with elytra black … Orgerius rhyparus var clitellus (now a syn. of Orgerius rhyparus)

3.  Uniformly fuscous, size variable … 4.
3′-  Uniformly pale or fuscous and pale, small … Orgerius ventosus

4. Large, obese, females, 5 mm. or longer … Orgerius concordus
4′- Small, females 4 mm. or less … Orgerius pajaronius


Orgerius concordus

Orgerius concordus

Orgerius concordus

Orgerius concordus

Orgerius concordus

Orgerius concordus

Orgerius concordus

Orgerius concordus (All photos by Rick Donovall or Kimberley Shropshire, Department of Entomology, University of Delaware)

Orgerius (Opsigonus) minor

Orgerius (Opsigonus) minor

Orgerius (Opsigonus) minor

Orgerius (Opsigonus) minor

Orgerius (Opsigonus) minor

Orgerius (Opsigonus) minor

Online resources:

Orgerius on:
Discover Life.
3I Interactive Keys and Taxonomic Databases (Dmitry Dmitriev)


Collected infrequently (but more common than many U.S. Orgeriinae), found by inspecting, sweeping or beating hosts.

Molecular resources: 

As of this writing (3 Oct. 2018), data for only Orgerius proprius is available on Genbank, and this same species on Barcode of life.

Selected references:

Ashmead, W. H. 1889a. A generic synopsis of the Fulgoridae. Entomologica Americana 5: 1-6. [genus noted]

Ball, E. D. 1909.  Some remarkable new leaf-hoppers of the family Fulgoridae.  Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 22: 197-204.

Ball, E. D. 1937. Some new Fulgoridae from Western United States. Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 32: 171-183.

Ball, E. D. and A. Hartzell. 1922. A review of the desert leafhoppers of the Orgerini (Rhynchota Fulgoridae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 15: 137-152.

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.

de Bergevin, E. 1924a. Description d’une nouvelle espèce de Parorgerius (hémiptère Dictyopharinae) du Grand Atlas marocain. Bulletin de la Société d’Histoire Naturelle de l’Afrique du Nord 15: 255-258.

Doering, K. C. 1955. Some taxonomic and morphological studies of two genera of North American Dictyopharidae. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 37(7): 195-221.

Doering, K. C. 1956. The taxonomic value of the pretarsal structures in the classification of certain Fulgoroidea. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 37: 627-643. pdf [Orgerius studied]

Doering, K. C. and H. H. Darby. 1943. A contribution to the taxonomy of the genus Orgerius in America, north of Mexico (Fulgoridae, Homoptera). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 16(2-3): 64-98.

Emeljanov, A. F. 1983. Dictyopharidae from the Cretaceous deposits on the Taymyr Peninsula (Insecta, Homoptera). Paleontologicheskii Zhurnal 3: 79-85 [In Russian; translated in: Paleontological Journal 17(3): 77-82].

Fennah, R. G. 1944. New Dictyopharidae from the New World (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 57: 77-94. [Genus noted and briefly described]

Fieber, F. X. 1866. Neue Gattungen und Arten in Homoptern (Cicadina Bur.). Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 16: 497-516.

Fieber, F. X. 1872. Katalog der europäischen Cicadinen, nach Originalien mit Benützung der neuesten Literatur. 19 pp.

Kuznetsova, V. G., A. Maryanska-Nadachowska and A. F. Emeljanov. 2009. A contribution to the karyosystematics of the planthopper families Dictyopharidae and Fulgoridae (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). European Journal of Entomology 106(2): 159-170. [Includes Orgerius ventosus.]

Melichar, L. 1912a. Monographie der Dictyophorinen (Homoptera). Abhandlungen der K. K. Zoologisch-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien. 7 (1): 1-221. Plate(s): 1-5. (p. 197)

Metcalf, Z. P. 1946. General Catalogue of the Homoptera. Fascicle IV Fulgoroidea. Part 8 Dictyopharidae. Smith College, Northhampton, Massachusetts. (see p. 200)

Oshanin, V. T. 1913a. Synopsis der Tribus Orgeriiaria der russischen Fauna. (Hemiptera-Homoptera). Revue Russe d’Entomologie 13: 135-147. [Keys to the genera and species with bibliographic and synonymical catalog.]

Oshanin, V. T. 1913b. Insectes Hémiptères (Insecta Hemiptera). Cixiidae: Orgeriaria. In Faune de la Russie et des pays Limitrophes fondée principalement sur les collections du Musée Zoologique de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg. Vol./pp.: 3 (1):i-iii, 4-113. Fig(s).: 1-7.

Sailer, R .I. 1952. A review of the stink bugs of the genus Mecidea. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 102(3309): 471-505. [Orgerius noted and briefly discussed in introduction]

Spinola, M. 1839a. Essai sur les Fulgorelles, sous-tribu de la tribu des Cicadaires, ordre des Rhyngotes. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 8: 133-337.

Stål, C. 1859. Hemiptera. Species novas descripsit. Fregatten Eugenies Resa. In: Konglinga svenska Fregatten Eugenies resa omkring jorden under befäl af C. A. Virgin åren 1851-1853. Vetenskapliga iakttagelser På H. Maj:t Konung Oscar den Förstes befallning utgifna af K. Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademien Zoologi. P. A. Norstedt & Söner. Stockholm. 4: 219-298. Plate(s): 3-4.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1908d. Studies in North American Fulgoridae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 1907: 467-498. (p. 469 and 472)

Van Duzee, E. P. 1916a. Check list of Hemiptera (excepting the Aphididae, Aleurodidae and Coccidae) of America North of Mexico. New York Entomological Society, New York. 111 pp. [see p. 78 onward, Orgerius on P. 78]

Van Duzee, E. P. 1917b. Catalogue of the Hemiptera of America North of Mexico (excepting the Aphididae, Coccidae and Aleurodidae). University of California Publications, Technical Bulletins, vol. 2. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. i-xiv, 1-902. [from Google books] [see p. 716 onward] (see p. 724)

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

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