Genus Rhabdocephala Van Duzee, 1929

Genus Rhabdocephala Van Duzee, 1929

Type species (in original combination):

Rhabdocephala brunnea Van Duzee, 1929.




Southwestern US and adjacent Mexico (Sonoran region).

Distribution of Rhabdocephala from FLOW

Distribution of Rhabdocephala from FLOW (as of 1 Jan 2021).

Recognized species

This genus is monotypic. [see Metcalf 1947: 106]

  • Rhabdocephala brunnea Van Duzee, 1929 – USA: AZ, TX; Mexico (Sonora)
Economic Importance

Limited – this genus is seldom encountered.

Plant associations
  • Rhabdocephala brunnea – Muhlenbergia porteri Scribn. ex Beal (bush muhly, Poaceae) (but this doesn’t look like a grass)

Host from Wilson & Wheeler (1992) and Wilson et al. (1994); plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos.


Head strongly anteriorly produced (one of only 3 fulgorid genera north of Mexico); cephalic process not substantively narrowed apically (vs. Amycle); vertex smooth in lateral view, rounded, pointed anteriorly, carinae not foliaceous; sides of head visible throughout (vs. Scolopsella).

Rhabdocephala brunnea 2

Rhabdocephala brunnea

Online resources

GenBank. (genus not present)
Discover Life.


Here is a photo of a nymph on Flicker


Adults and nymphs are found on the thatch at the base of their host plant (Wilson & Wheeler 1992).

Molecular resources

Genbank has no data for Rhabdocephala brunnea; Barcode of Life has data for Rhabdocephala brunnea.

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.

Latreille, P. A. 1807. Sectio secunda. Familia quarta. Cicadariae. Cicadaires. Genera Crustaceorum et Insectorum secundum ordinem naturalem in familias disposita, iconibus exemplisque plurimis explicata 3: 1-258.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1938. The Fulgorina of Barro Colorado and other parts of Panama. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard College 82: 277-423. [available from]

Metcalf, Z. P. 1947. General Catalogue of the Homoptera. Fascicle IV Fulgoroidea. Part 9 Fulgoridae. Smith College, Northhampton, Massachusetts.

O’Brien, L. B. 1988. New World Fulgoridae, part 1: genera with elongate head processes. Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs 12: 135-170.

Porion, T. 1994. Fulgoridae I: catalogue illustre de la faune americaine. Sciences Nat, Venette.

Urban J. M. and J. R. Cryan. 2009. Entomologically famous, evolutionarily unexplored: The first phylogeny of the lanternfly family Fulgoridae (Insecta: Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 50: 471-484.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1929. Some new western Hemiptera. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 5: 186-191.

Wilson, S. W. and A. G. Wheeler, Jr. 1992. Host plant and descriptions of nymphs of the planthopper Rhabdocephala brunnea (Homoptera: Fulgoridae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 85(3): 258-264.

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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