Genus Rhynchomitra Fennah, 1944

[Back to North American Dictyopharidae]

Family Dictyopharidae Spinola, 1839

Subfamily Dictyopharinae Spinola, 1839

Tribe Nersiini Emeljanov, 1983 (sensu Emeljanov 2011)

Genus Rhynchomitra Fennah, 1944
Type species (in original combination): Dictyophara microrhina Walker, 1851.



Found especially in southeastern US, but widespread in the Neotropics.

Distribution of Rhynchomitra

Distribution of Rhynchomitra from FLOW.

Recognized species

There are 5 recognized species [Genus: Metcalf 1946: 64].

Rhynchomitra cubanensis (Melichar, 1912) – Cuba (note: This combination is listed on FLOW; at present, I have not found the transfer from Dictyophara)

Rhynchomitra lingula (Van Duzee, 1908) – USA: DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, NY, SC
= Dictyophara lingula Van Duzee, 1908: 470.
= Nersia lingula (Van Duzee 1908); comb. by Melichar 1912: 69.
= Rhynchomitra lingula (Van Duzee, 1908); comb. by Fennah 1944: 86.

Rhynchomitra mexicana Fennah, 1944: 86 – Mexico (Veracruz)

Rhynchomitra microrhina (Walker 1851) – USA: AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IL, KS, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OK, PA, SC, TX, VA; Belize
= Dictyophara microrhina Walker, 1851: 315.
= Nersia microrhina Walker, 1851; comb/ by Stal, 1862: 65.
= Rhynchomitra microrhina (Walker, 1851), comb. by Fennah 1944: 85.

Rhynchomitra recurva (Metcalf, 1923) – USA: FL, LA, NC, SC, TX
= Dictyophara recurva Metcalf, 1923: 174.
= Rhynchomitra recurva (Metcalf, 1923); comb. by Fennah 1944: 86.

Economic Importance


Plant associations

Hosts from Donovall (2008) and Wilson & Wheeler (2005, 2010); plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos.


Tanyoprymnus moneduloides (Packard) (Crabonidae) has been reported collecting Scolops sulcipes, Scolops sp. and Rhynchomitra microrhina (Krombien 1979: 1699).

Ammatomus (Tanyoprymnus) moneduloides (Packard) (Nests in vertical sand banks) Prey: Rhynchomitra microrhina (Wlkr.), adults and nymphs (Krombein & Burks 1967: 407).


Candidatus Sulcia muelleri Moran et al., 2005 (Bacteria Bacteroidetes Flavobacteriales), Candidatus Vidania fulgoroideae Gonella et al., 2011 (Bacteria Proteobacteria Betaproteobacteria) (see Urban & Cryan 2012)


North of Mexico, one of only 3 macropterous, ‘green’ (in life) genera. Tegula not carinate, head upcurved (both unlike Nersia); pronotum deeply notched (shallowly in Mitrops).

Among North American forms, R. ligula is easily recognized by the much shorter head.  Rhynchomitra microrhina and Rrecurva are harder to separate. Metcalf (1923) claims:

Cephalic process slender, intermediate carinae of frons nearly parallel, “plates” (gonoplacs) longer than the ovipositor (fig. 560)… Rmicrorhina

Cephalic process stout, nearly parallel sided; intermediate carinae of the frons not parallel; ovipositor slightly longer than the “plates” (fig. 561) … R. recurva

In practice, I have had difficulty with the ovipositor feature, but the length and width of the head from dorsal view seems to be satisfactory.

Description of the genus from Fennah 1944: 85.

Vertex elongate or conical, slightly curved upward distally, lateral margins tapering evenly to apex, median carina distinct basally, obsolete at apex. Frons elongate, margins almost parallel, slightly widened before suture, median and lateral carinae strong, all reaching suture, lateral carinae meeting basally in an acute point. Pronotum with anterior margin strongly convex between eyes, posterior margin rectangularly excavate, a deep-parallel sided notch at middle, lateral carinae of disc reaching hind margin. Protibiae not remarkably long; post-tibiae with four spines. Tegmina with R forked near stigma, M forked distad of Cu fork, Cu forked at middle of corium, membrane reticulate with ten or twelve rows of areoles, stigma approximately five-celled. Wings with four branches of R and four of M at apical margin. Aedeagus with a pair of spines ventro-basally, a longer pair dorsolaterally, a minute spine on apical membranous sac of each side; penial spines long, curved, fleshy, with a sclerotised spine at tip. Ovipositor with first valvulae beset dorsally with a row of about ten teeth, a longer curved spine at apex; third valvulae elongate, about three times as long as broad at middle. Ornamentation on bursa copulatrix elongate-oval, three celled, with a beadlet on each dissepiment and two beadlets between each. Genotype, Dictyophara microrhina Wlk. 1851 List. Horn. 11:315.

Rhynchomitra microrhina (photo by Doug Tallamy, Glen Mills, PA)

Rhynchomitra microrhina

Rhynchomitra microrhina (photo by Doug Tallamy, Glen Mills, PA)

Rhinchomitra microrhina , used by permission of Vitaly Charny

Rhinchomitra microrhina (Hoover, AL; from iNaturalist by Vitaly Charny, used by permission).

Ovipositor of R. microrhina (560), R. recurva (561), N. florens (562) and R. ligula (563) from Metcalf 1923.

Ovipositor of R. microrhina (560), R. recurva (561), N. florens (562) and R. ligula (563) from Metcalf 1923.

Metcalf 1923 figures 196-198 Scolops; 199-200 R. microrhina, 201-203 R. recurva, 204 N. florens, 205-206 R. ligula

Fig. 196-198 Scolops; 199-200 R. microrhina, 201-203 R. recurva, 204 N. florens, 205-206 R. ligula (From Metcalf 1923).

RRhynchomitra cubanensis

Rhynchomitra cubanensis

Rhynchomitra microrhina

Rhynchomitra microrhina

Rhynchomitra recurva

Rhynchomitra recurva

Rhynchomitra lingula

Rhynchomitra lingula

Online resources

Discover Life.
Maryland Biodiversity Project.


Occasionally to lights or sweeping.  Rhynchomitra microrhina is associated with a wetland plant in the Asteraceae, which we have yet to put a definite name on.  Rhynchomitra lingula appears to be coastal in distribution, at least in the mid-Atlantic states.

Molecular resources

As of this writing (7 Oct. 2018), several genes for Rhynchomitra microrhina are available on Genbank.  Three species of Rhynchmitra (R. lingula, microrhina, recurva) are available on Barcode of life.

Selected references

Baptista, M.d.S. 2006. Taxonomia de Fulgoroidea no Brasil (Insecta: Hemiptera: Auchenorrhynca), com Enfase em Dictyopharidae. Universidade Federal se Vicosa. Doctoral Thesis

Baptista, M. S., P.S.F. Ferreira and E. R. Da-Silva. 2006Mitrops Fennah, 1944 (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Dictyopharidae) from Brazil: a new species of and additional records. In: Taxonomia de Fulgoroidea no Brasil (Insecta: Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha), com ênfase em Dictyopharidae. Tese, Universidade de Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brasil Artigo 1: 19-35.

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.

Donovall, L. R., III. 2008. A generic revision of the new world Dictyopharinae (Hemiptera: Dictyopharidae). Masters Thesis. University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

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.

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].

Emeljanov, A. F. 2008. New genera and new species of the family Dictyopharidae (Homoptera), with notes on the systematics of the subfamily Dictyopharinae. Entomological Review 88: 296-328. [English translation]

Emeljanov, A. F. 2011. Improved tribal delimitation of the subfamily Dictyopharinae and description of new genera and new species (Homoptera, Fulgoroidea, Dictyopharidae). Ėntomologicheskoe Obozrenie 90(2): 299-328 [In Russian, English Translation, Entomological Review 91(9): 1122-1145].

Fennah, R. G. 1944. New Dictyopharidae from the New World (Homoptera : Fulgoroidea). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 57: 77-94. [description of genus plus R. mexicana]

Krombein, K. V. 1979. Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico, vol. 2. Apocrita (Aculeata). Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC. Pp. i-xvi + 1199-2209.

Krombein, K. V. and R. D. Burks. 1967. Hymenoptera of America north of Mexico : synoptic catalog, second supplement. US Department of Agrigulture, Washington DC. 584 pp. [see p. 407]

Maes, J. M. and L. B. O’Brien. 1988. Catalogo de los Fulgoroidea (Homoptera) de Nicaragua. Revista Nicaraguense de Entomologia 2: 27-42.

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

Metcalf, Z. P. 1923. 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. [available from].

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

Pulz, C. E. and G. S. Carvalho. 2006. As espécies de Nersia (Hemiptera, Fulgoromorpha, Dictyopharidae) do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. [The species of Nersia(Hemiptera, Fulgoromorpha, Dictyopharidae) from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil]. Iheringia. Série Zoologia 96(1): 75-80.

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.

Urban J.M. and J.R. Cryan. 2012 Two ancient bacterial endosymbionts have coevolved with the planthoppers (Insecta: Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). BMC Evolutionary Biology doi:10.1186/1471-2148-12-87

Van Duzee, E. P. 1908d. Studies in North American Fulgoridae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 1907: 467-498.</span

Walker, F. 1851. List of the specimens of Homopterous Insects in the collection of the British Museum. British Museum, London. 2: 261-636.

Wilson, S. W. and A. G. Wheeler, Jr. 2005. An African grass, Eragrostis curvula (Poaceae), planted in the southern United States recruits rarely collected native planthoppers (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea: Dictyopharidae, Fulgoridae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 113(3-4): 174-204.

Wilson, S. W. and A. G. Wheeler, Jr. 2010. Planthopper (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea) diversity of weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula), an introduced host of little known, rarely collected native species. Entomologica Americana 116(3/4): 98–106.

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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