Genus Metcracis Medler, 1993

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Family Flatidae Spinola, 1839

Subfamily Flatoidinae Melichar, 1901

Tribe Flatoidini Melichar, 1901

Genus Metcracis Medler, 1993: 436.
Type species (in original combination): Elidiptera humeralis Walker 1858.



Mostly central American (also southwestern US).

Recognized species

There are 13 species currently assigned to this genus:

Metcracis basistigma (Walker 1858b: 69)- Mexico, Panama, Guatemala
Elidiptera basistigma Walker 1858
= Atracis basistigma (Walker 1858); comb. by Distant, 1910: 318.
Metcracis basistigma (Walker 1858); comb. by Medler 1993: 436

Metcracis collecta (Melichar 1902: 194) – Brazil
Atracis collecta Melichar 1902: 194.
= Metcracis collecta (Melichar 1902); comb. by Medler 1993: 436.

Metcracis fusca (Van Duzee, 1908: 497) – USA: AZ, CA, TX; Mexico (Baja California Sur) (reported in error: USA: CO)
Flatoides fuscus Van Duzee, 1908: 497.
Flatoidinus fuscus (Van Duzee, 1908); comb. by Melichar 1923: 117.
Flatoides fecalfuscus Caldwell, 1938b: 306.
Flatoides fecalfusca Caldwell, 1938b; emendation by Metcalf 1957: 505.
Metcracis fusca (Van Duzee, 1908); combination by Bartlett et al. 2014: 167.
Flatoides fecalfusca Caldwell, 1938b; synonymy by Bartlett et al. 2014: 167.

Metcracis humeralis (Walker 1858: 70) – Mexico, Brazil (Para, Amazonas), Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica
Elidiptera humeralis Walker 1858
Atracis humeralis (Walker 1858); comb. by Distant, 1910: 318.
Metcracis humeralis (Walker 1858); comb. by Medler 1993: 436.

Metcracis laevior (Fowler 1900: 61) – Mexico, Guatemala
= Flatoides laevior Fowler 1900: 61.  = Atracis laevior (Fowler 1900); comb. by Melichar, 1902: 198.
Metcracis laevior (Fowler 1900); comb. by comb. by Medler 1993: 436.

Metcracis lauta (Melichar 1902: 190) – Panama, Columbia
Atracis lauta Melichar 1902: 190.
Metcracis lauta (Melichar 1902); comb. by Medler 1993: 436

Metcracis leucophaea (Melichar 1902: 193) – Panama
Atracis leucophaea Melichar 1902: 193.
Metcracis leucophaea (Melichar 1902); comb. by Medler 1993: 436

Metcracis metcalfi (O’Brien, 1987) Costa Rica, Panama
Atracis metcalfi O’Brien 1987
Metcracis metcalfi (O’Brien 1987); comb. by Medler 1993: 436

Metcracis pollutus (Fowler 1900: 62) – Panama
Flatoides pollutus Fowler 1900: 62.
Atracis pollutus (Fowler 1900); comb. by Melichar 1902: 194.
Metcracis pollutus (Fowler 1900); comb. by Medler 1993: 436.

Metcracis quadripunctula (Fowler 1900: 61) – Panama
Flatoides quadripunctulus Fowler 1900: 61. = Atracis quadripunctulus (Fowler 1900); comb. by Melichar 1902: 193.
Metcracis quadripunctulus (Fowler 1900); comb. by Medler 1993: 436.

Metcracis scaber (Fowler 1900: 61)- Mexico (Guerrero)
Flatoides scaber Fowler 1900: 61.
Atracis scaber (Fowler 1900); comb. by Melichar 1902: 198.
Metcracis scaber (Fowler 1900); comb. by Medler 1993: 436.

Metcracis simillima (Fowler 1900: 62) – Guatemala
Flatoides simillimus Fowler 1900: 62.
Atracis simillimus (Fowler 1900); comb. by Melichar 1902: 199.
Metcracis simillimus (Fowler 1900); comb. by Medler 1993: 436.

Metcracis sordida (Stål 1864: 54) – Mexico (state not specified)
Phalaenomorpha sordida Stål 1864: 54.
Metcracis sordida (Stål 1864); comb. by Medler 1993: 436.

List compiled primarily from FLOW, 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.


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

According to Medler 1993: 436, “Metcracis has a superficial resemblance to Flataloides Metcalf, but distinguished by the presence of one metatibial lateral spine.”  Some specimens will have 2 spines on one side and 1 on the other.

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.  In M. fusca at least, frons with a dark band on anterior third

Metcracis fusca (Photos by Kimberley Shropshire, Department of Entomology, University of Delaware).

Flatoidinus_fuscus-FEM-dor-scaled Flatoidinus_fuscus-fem-head-lat-scaled Flatoidinus_fuscus-FEM-lat-scaled Flatoidinus_fuscus-FEM2-frons-scaled

Below – 3 images from BOLD, can not verify ID beyond genus)

Mecracis sp. from Panamafrom BOLD (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute).

Mecracis humeralis from Panama from BOLD (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; BCI = Barro Colorado Island)

Metcracis fusca (on BOLD; CC BY-NC-SA CNC/BIO Photography Group 2012)

Websites: Metcracis is not informatively present on most websites, or species belonging in the genus are placed elsewhere.
Discover Life


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

Molecular resources:

Data for Metcracis are not available on Genbank, but although data for three taxa (Metcracis humeralis, M. fusca, Metcracis sp.) are on Barcode of Life. (29 Sept. 2018)

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 29 Sept 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.

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. (

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. 1923. Homoptera, fam. Acanalonidae, Flatidae et Ricaniidae. Genera Insectorum 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.

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

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

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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