Genus Flataloides Metcalf, 1938

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Family Flatidae Spinola, 1839

Subfamily Flatoidinae Melichar, 1901

Tribe Flatoidini Melichar, 1901

Genus Flataloides Metcalf, 1938: 402.
Type species (in original combination): Elidiptera obliqua Walker, 1858b: 70



Mostly central American (also southwestern US).

Distribution of Flataloides according to FLOE (6 June 2017)

Recognized species

There are 5 species currently assigned to this genus:

  1. Flataloides metobliqua O’Brien 1987 – Panama = Flataloides obliqua Metcalf, 1938: 403 (pl.23 14-15) nec. Walker, 1858
  2. Flataloides obliqua (Walker, 1858b) – Mexico, Panama = Elidiptera obliqua Walker, 1858b: 70. = Flatoides obliqua (Walker, 1858b); comb. by Fowler 1900: 64. = Flataloides obliqua (Walker, 1858b); comb. by Metcalf, 1938: 403.
  3. Flataloides scabrosus (Melichar, 1902) – USA: FL, GA, NC, TX; Brazil (reported in error: USA: AL) = Flatoides scabrosus Melichar, 1902: 220. = Flatoidinus scabrosus (Melichar, 1902); comb. by Melichar 1923: 117. = Flataloides scabrosus (Melichar, 1902); comb. by Medler, 1993: 443.
  4. Flataloides signata (Melichar, 1902) – USA: Texas (“eastern NA”) = Flatoides signatus Melichar, 1902: 219. = Flatoidinus signatus (Melichar, 1902); comb. by Melichar 1923: 117. = Flataloides signata (Melichar, 1902); combination by Bartlett et al. in press (p. 166).
  5. Flataloides simulans (Schmidt 1904) – Ecuador = Flatoides simulans Schmidt, 1904: 378. = Flatoidinus simulans (Schmidt 1904); comb. by Melichar 1923: 117 (error)  = Flataloides simulans (Schmidt, 1904); comb. by Medler 1996: 147.

List compiled primarily from FLOW (Bourgoin 2013), also Metcalf (1957) and unpublished list by Lois O’Brien.

Economic Importance:

Limited. Species are uncommon.

Known host plants:

None listed in Wilson et al. (1994).

Plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos. At this point (June 2017) none recorded in FLOW.


The Flatoidinae can be recognized by the wings being held in a shallowly – tentlike fashioned (“horozontally”), instead of parallel to the body.

Flataloides has the head truncate in dorsal view (like Metcracis, unlike Flatoidinus), and bears 2 lateral spines on the posterior tibiae (1 in Metcracis).

The genus can be recognized by the vertex broader than long; in dorsal view, front of head truncate or weakly rounded.  Frons with weak median trough with bordering carinae (becoming obsolete ventrally); many longitudinal veins forked at subapical vein. Metcalf (1938) specified that there was a single subapical line on the tegmina and the costal margin was not undulate.

Medler, 1996: 147 gave the following features to separate Flataloides from Flatoidinus

1. Postocular ridge of pronotum extending to anteroventral margin; vertex with transverse intergenal carina forming anterior margin of plates divided by median longitudinal suture  – Flatoidinus

1.’ Without postocular ridge, postocular eminence cone-like; vertex with elongate median longitudinal suture, but without plates – Flataloides

In my modest experience, the postocular ridge and ‘postocular eminence’ are often obscured by wax, making this feature tricky to evaluate.  There are ways to remove the wax (leaving the specimen undamaged) but I have not investigated them.


Flataloides scabrosus (Photos by Kimberley Shropshire, Department of Entomology, University of Delaware).

Flataloides scabrosus (Photos by Kimberley Shropshire, Department of Entomology, University of Delaware).

Male genitalia, lateral view, of Flataloides obliqua from O'Brien 1987.

Male genitalia, lateral view, of Flataloides obliqua from O’Brien 1987.

Male genitalia, lateral view, of Flataloides metobliqua (see O'Brien 1987) from Metcalf 1938

Male genitalia, lateral view, of Flataloides metobliqua (see O’Brien 1987) from Metcalf 1938

By way of comparison, below is Flatoidinus punctatus.  This specimen had the wax removed (probably by alcohol immersion), leaving the ‘plates’ of the head (from Medler’s key) evident (I don’t have a similar photo for a Flataloides), and the form of the frons more evident..



Flataloides is not informatively present on most websites, or species belonging in Flataloides are placed elsewhere (usually Flatoidinus).  Flataloides ishere on FLOW. Flataloides is not present on Bugguide (F. scabrosus is under Flatoidinus), nor on Discover Life (F. scabrosus is under Flatoidinus).  On Encyclopedia of Life, Flataloides is present but does not list all the species.


Flataloides – like most Flatoidinae – is uncommonly encountered, but are taken most commonly at lights.

Molecular resources:

Data for Flatalodes are not available on Genbank, but data for Flataloides obliqua are on Barcode of Life. (No data explicitly in genus in BOLD).

Selected 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.

Bourgoin, T. 2013 (and updates). FLOW (Fulgoromorpha Lists on The Web): a world knowledge base dedicated to Fulgoromorpha.  Version 8, updated 18.ii.2013.

Fowler, W. W. 1900. Order Rhynchota. Suborder Hemiptera-Homoptera. (Continued). In: Biologia Centrali-Americana 1: 44-76.

Medler, J. T. 1993. Types of Flatidae (Homoptera) XVIII. Lectotype designations for Fowler and Melichar type specimens in the Museum of Natura History in Vienna, with 2 new genera and a new species. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien Serie B Botanik and Zoologie 94-95(B): 433-450. (

Medler, J. T. 1996. Types of Flatidae XXII. E. Schmidt types in the Warsaw Museum and other museums (Homoptera: Flatidae). Bulletin of the Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS 1: 135-151 (supplement to Annales Zoologici).

Melichar, L. 1901. Monographie der Acanaloniiden und Flatiden (Homoptera). Annalen des k.k Naturhistorischen Hofmuseums. Wien 16: 178-258.

Melichar, L. 1902. Monographie der Acanaloniiden und Flatiden (Homoptera) (Fortsetzung). Annalen des k.k Naturhistorischen Hofmuseums. Wien 17: 1-253.

Melichar, L. 1923a. Homptera, fam. Acanaloniidae, Flatidae et Ricaniidae. Genera Insectorum. Bruxelles 182: 1-185.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1938. The Fulgorina of Barro Colorado and other parts of Panama. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 83(5): 277-423.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1957. General Catalogue of the Homoptera. Fascicle IV, Fulgoroidea, Part 13, Flatidae and Hypochthonellidae. North Carolina State College, Raleigh, North Carolina. Pp. 1-565.

Metcalf, Z. P. and S. C. Bruner. 1948. Cuban Flatidae with new species from adjacent regions. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 41: 63-118.

O’Brien, L. B. 1987. Corrections and additions to Metcalf’s “The Fulgorina of Barro Colorado and other parts of Panama” (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 80(3): 379-390.

Schmidt, E. 1904. Neue und bemerkenswerthe Flatiden des Stettiner Museums. Entomologische Zeitung 65: 354-381.

Spinola, M. 1839. Essai sur les Fulgorelles, sous-tribu de la tribu des Cicadaires, ordre des Rhyngotes. (Suite). Annales de la Société Entomologique de France. Paris 8: 339-454.

Walker, F. 1858b. Supplement. List of the specimens of Homopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Order of Trustees, London. Pp. 1-307, addenda pp. 308-369.

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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