Genus Flatoides Guérin-Méneville

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Family Flatidae Spinola, 1839

Subfamily Flatoidinae Melichar, 1901

Tribe Flatoidini Melichar, 1901

Genus Flatoides Guérin-Méneville
Type species (in original combination): Flatoides tortrix Guerin-Meneville, 1844: 362.



Widespread, mostly tropical (the type genus is from Madagascar, so it is possible that the genus in the strict sense is Afrotropical).

Recognized species

There are 18 taxa assigned to this genus (some possibly assigned elsewhere if I have missed synonymies):

New World Taxa

  1. Flatoides alba (Walker 1862: 307) – Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) = Elidiptera alba Walker 1862: 307. = Flatoides alba (Walker 1862); comb. by Distant 1910: 320.
  2. Flatoides atrilinea (Walker 1858: 69) – Mexico (unspecified state) = Elidiptera atrilinea Walker 1858: 69. = Flatoides atrilinea (Walker 1858); comb. by Fowler, 1900: 63.
  3. Flatoides brunnea Muir, 1924: 472 – Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico
  4. Flatoides cervina Walker, 1851: 412 – Jamaica (type locality), Hispaniola, Dominican Republic = Cyarda cervina (Walker, 1851); comb. by Stål, 1862: 490 = Flatoides concisa Metcalf 1923: 192 (USA: FL) See Flatoidinus punctatus
  5. Flatoides conformis Walker, 1851: 412 – Jamaica = Cyarda conformis (Walker 1851); comb. by Stål, 1862: 490.
  6. Flatoides debilis (Walker 1858: 72) – Brazil (Amazonas, Para), West Indies = Elidiptera debilis Walker 1858: 72. = Cyarda debilis (Walker 1858); comb. by Stål, 1862: 490. = Flatoides debilis (Walker 1858); comb. by Distant, 1910: 319. = Flatoides dorsisigna (Walker 1858: 72) (Brazil) see Flatoidinus
  7. Flatoides enota Van Duzee, 1923: 197 – USA: AZ, NM; Mexico (Baja California Sur, Mexico, San Esteban Island) = Flatoides fecalfusca Caldwell, 1939: 306 (USA: AZ, TX) see Flatoidinus fusca = Flatoides grisea Fowler, 1900: 63 – Guatemala
  8. Flatoides guianae (Walker, 1851: 333) – Guyana (as British Guiana, Guiana), West Indies = Elidiptera guianae Walker, 1851: 333. = Cyarda guianae (Walker, 1851); comb. by Stål, 1862: 490. = Flatoides guianae (Walker, 1851); comb. by Distant, 1910: 319.
  9. Flatoides guttata (Uhler, 1901: 513) – Haiti, Cuba = Dascalia guttata Uhler, 1901: 513. = Flatoides guttata (Uhler, 1901); comb. by Van Duzee, 1909: 194.
  10. Flatoides lichenosa Melichar 1902: 222 – Haiti
  11. Flatoides monilis Van Duzee, 1907: 42 – Jamaica = Flatoides simulans Schmidt 1904, see Flataloides

Old World Taxa

  1. Flatoides designata Walker, 1862: 310 – Thailand (as Siam)
  2. Flatoides squalida Fennah, 1955: 442-443 (as squalidus)
  3. Flatoides tortrix Guérin-Méneville, 1844: 362 – Madagascar
  4. Flatoides veterator Walker, 1857: 156 – Sarawak, Borneo

Flatoides vagans (Melichar, 1902) (listed at FLOW); have not verified combination (need to review Medler’s publications).

  • Atracis planata Melichar, 1902: 184.
  • Uysanus vagans (Melichar 1902); comb. by Melichar 1923: 112.
  • Flatoides vagans(Melichar 1902); comb by. ?
  • Flatoides protea Distant, 1917: 300 – Seychelles, Silhourtte Island, Mahe Island to Paraflatoides protea (Distant, 1917) by Medler 1990.
  • Flatoides serenus Melichar, 1902: 207 transferred to Dendrona Melichar, 1923: 116 (from Flatoidessa Melichar 1923) by Medler 1993b: 41.

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:

Host from Van Duzee, 1923; none listed in Wilson et al. (1994). None are listed on FLOW.

Plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos.


The Flatoidinae can be recognized by the wings being held in a shallowly – tentlike fashioned (“horozontally”), instead of parallel to the body (keys to genus for subfamily (world) by Melichar 1901: 199 and Melichar 1923: 105-106. .The latter key (in french) is as follows:


From this, the key difference between Flatoidinus and Flatoides is that the vertex is more elongate in the latter; however, because the type of this genus is from Madagascar, I feel it is unlikely that the New World species properly belong in Flatoides.  Also, for F. enota (the only species north of Mexico), this is a near-thing (the vertex is only slightly longer than Flatoidinus).  Since most of these species are unknown to me, I am not in a position to properly place them.  Until Flatoides is revised (in part or whole), the above listed species remain in Flatoides.

Flatoides can be characterized (by lois O’Brien, unpublished) as medium sized, 10-12 mm. Head in dorsal view as long as broad, strongly convex, frons visible from above. Vertex as long as broad, anterior margin strongly convex, not carinate. Frons longer than broad, broadest just below eyes. Small roll on each side near dorsal margin raised above lateral margin. Anterior marginal carina of pronotum sharp, with distinct sharp tubercle below it at margin of eye. Tegmen about twice as long as broad, narrower apically, two veins (Sc and M) coming off basal cell at same point, posterior margin of basal cell transverse. Male genitalia: Anal tube undulate, with median projection aimed ventrad. Aedeagus cylindrical, with 1 pair each of dorsal and ventral spines. Claspers weakly C-shaped.

Flatoides enota (Holotype, photos courtesy California Academy of Sciences; thanks to photographer Mike Narahara and Norm Penny).

FLATOIDES 4 FLATOIDES 5 FLATOIDES 6 FLATOIDES 7 Flatoides brunnea  from Muir 1924



Flatoides is not informatively present on most websites, or species belonging in the genus are placed elsewhere; but to be fair some of the taxonomic changes are very recent (or obscure). Flatoides is here on FLOW.  On Bugguide, both species under Flatoides are currently placed in other genera; as is also the case tor 3 of 4 names under Flatoides on Discover Life.  On Encyclopedia of Life, Flatoides is here.

Online Images

Gernoy Kunz posted an image of a putative Flatoides (nymph) from Costa Rica


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

Molecular resources:

Data for Flatoides are not available on Genbank or on Barcode of Life.

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. 2018. FLOW (Fulgoromorpha Lists on The Web): a world knowledge base dedicated to Fulgoromorpha.  Version 8, updated 1 Oct. 2018.

Caldwell, J. S. 1938b. New Texan Fulgoridae (Homoptera). Ohio Journal of Science 38: 304-306.

Distant, W. L. 1910b. Rhynchotal notes. — L. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 8th series 5: 297-322.

Distant, W. L. 1917. Rhychota. Part ii: Suborder Homoptera. The Percy Sladen Trust Expedition to the Indian Ocean in 1905, under the leadership of Mr. J. Stanley Gardiner, M. A. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. Second series. Zoology 17: 273-322.

Fennah, R. G. 1955. Homoptera: Fulgoroidea. Chapter 78. Contribution a l’Etude de la Fauna Entomologique de Ruanda-Urandi. Annales Musée Royal Congo Belge Tervuren, Serie in 8 , Sciences Zoologiques 40: 427-446.

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

Guérin-Méneville, F. E. 1844. Insectes. In: Cuvier G. L. C. F. D. 1844. Iconographie du règne animal, 1844. p. 355-370.

Medler, J. T. 1990. Types of Flatidae (Homoptera) XIV. Walker and Distant types in the British Museum. Oriental Insects 24: 127-195.

Medler, J. T. 1993a. 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. 1993b. Types of Flatidae (Homoptera) XIX. Lectotype designations and taxonomic notes on species in the Budapest Museum part 2. Annales Historic-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici 85: 37-45.

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

Melichar, L. 1902. 0 (Homoptera) (Fortsetzung). Annalen des k.k Naturhistorischen Hofmuseums. Wien 17: 1-253.

Melichar, L. 1923. Homoptera, fam. Acanalonidae, Flatidae et Ricaniidae. Genera Insectorum 182: 1-185.

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: 139-230.

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.

Muir, F. A. G. 1924. New and little-know fulgorids from the West Indies (Homoptera). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 5: 461-472.

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.

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.

Stål, C. 1862b. Synonymiska och systematiska anteckningar öfver Hemiptera. Öfversigt af Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar 19: 479-504.

Stål, C. 1864a. Hemiptera mexicana enumeravit speciesque novas descripsit. (Continuatio). Entomologische Zeitung. Herausgegeben von dem entomologischen Vereine zu Stettin 25: 49-86.

Uhler, P. R. 1901. Some new genera and species of North American Hemiptera. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 4: 507-515.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1907. Notes on Jamaican Hemiptera: A report on a collection of Hemiptera made on the Island of Jamaica in the spring of 1906. Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences 8(5): 3-79.

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

Van Duzee, E. P. 1909a. Observations on some Hemiptera taken in Florida in the spring of 1908. Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences 9: 149-230.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1923. Expedition of the California Academy of Sciences to the Gulf of California in 1921. The Hemiptera (True Bugs, etc.). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. San Francisco. (Ser. 4) 12: 123-200.

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

Walker, F. 1857. Catalogue of the Homopterous insects collected at Sarawak, Borneo, by Mr. A. R. Wallace, with descriptions of new species. Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society 1: 141-175.

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.

Walker, F. 1862. Characters of undescribed species of Homoptera in the collection of F. P. Pascoe, F. L. S. The Journal of entomology: descriptive and geographical 1: 303-319.

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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