Genus Cheiloceps Uhler, 1895

[Return to North American Issidae]

Family Issidae Spinola, 1839: 339.

Subfamily Thioniinae Melichar, 1906 

Tribe Thioniini Melichar, 1906 

Subtribe Thioniina  Melichar, 1906

[Note: The family-level status of ‘Thionini’ has changed several times, but most recently it has been upgraded to subfamily by Wang et al. 2016]

Genus Cheiloceps Uhler, 1895

[draft text]

Type species (in original combination): Cheiloceps musca Uhler 1895: 68.

Synonyms: none
Subgenera: none

Comment: Cheiloceps was described as a genus by Uhler, 1895, subsumed by Fennah, 1955 as a subgenus of Thionia; then restored to genus by Gnezdilov, 2018.

Distribution: Caribbean

Recognized species

There are 9 species in this genus as follows:

Cheiloceps anguillana (Fennah 1965 :104) – Anguilla
= Thionia anguillana Fennah 1965 :104
= Cheiloceps anguillana (Fennah 1965); comb. by Gnezdilov, 2018:163.

Cheiloceps argo (Fennah 1949: 60) – Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Vieques, Jost Van Dyke, Culebreta Is
= Thionia argo Fennah 1949: 60.
= Cheiloceps argo (Fennah 1949); comb. by Gnezdilov, 2018:163.

Cheiloceps borinquensis (Dozier 1931: 18) – Puerto Rico
= Thionia borinquensis Dozier 1931: 18
= Cheiloceps borinquensis (Dozier 1931: 18); comb. by Gnezdilov, 2018:163.

Cheiloceps borinqueta (Caldwell 1951: 251, in Caldwell & Martorell 1951) – Puerto Rico
= Thionia borinqueta Caldwell 1951: 251 (in Caldwell & Martorell 1951)
= Cheiloceps borinqueta (Caldwell 1951: 251, in Caldwell & Martorell 1951); comb. by Gnezdilov, 2018:163.

Cheiloceps clusiae (Fennah 1955: 35) – St.  Lucia
= Thionia (Cheiloceps) clusiae Fennah 1955: 35
= Cheiloceps clusiae (Fennah 1955: 35); comb. by Gnezdilov, 2018:163.

Cheiloceps laodice (Fennah 1955: 36) – Montserrat
= Thionia (Cheiloceps) laodice (Fennah 1955: 36)
= Cheiloceps laodice (Fennah 1955: 36); comb. by Gnezdilov, 2018:163.

Cheiloceps medusa (Fennah 1955: 35) – Dominica
= Thionia (Cheiloceps) medusa Fennah 1955: 35.
= Cheiloceps medusa (Fennah 1955: 35); comb. by Gnezdilov, 2018:163.

Cheiloceps musca Uhler 1895: 68  – St.  Vincent 
= Cheiloceps musca Uhler 1895: 68, original combination
= Thionia (Cheiloceps) musca (Uhler 1895: 68); comb. by Fennah 1945 :122.
= Cheiloceps musca Uhler 1895: 68; comb. restored by Gnezdilov, 2018: 162.

Cheiloceps musca grenadana (Fennah 1955: 34) – Dominica
= Thionia (Cheiloceps) musca grenadana Fennah 1955: 34, original combination
= Cheiloceps musca grenadana (Fennah 1955: 34); comb. by implication Gnezdilov, 2018: 162.

Cheiloceps puertoricensis (Caldwell 1951: 251, in Caldwell & Martorell 1951)  – Puerto Rico
= Thionia puertoricensis Caldwell 1951: 251 (in Caldwell & Martorell 1951).
= Cheiloceps puertoricensis (Caldwell 1951: 251, in Caldwell & Martorell 1951); comb. by Gnezdilov, 2018: 163.

Economic Importance:


Known host plants:

Cheiloceps argo – Coccoloba uvifera (L.) L. (seagrape, Polygonaceae)
Cheiloceps borinqueta – Coccoloba uvifera (L.) L.


As noted by Gnezdilov 2018 [comments in square brackets] (Figure references are for Gnezdilov, 2018).

“Fennah (1955: 34) mentioned in his diagnosis of Cheiloceps, this group of species is distinguished from typical Thionia by [a] peculiar “…elongate strongly tapering distad, decurved, and acute at apex” ovipositor (Fig. 7).

“Examined structure and venation of hind wing of Thionia cinctifrons (Stål) (Fig. 2) [type species of Thionia] are very close to those of Cheiloceps musca Uhler (Fennah 1955, fig. 4d) (Figs 4, 9). However all species of the genus Cheiloceps are well distinguished by uniform nearly square coryphe and elongate metope with distinct median carina and weak sublateral carinae (Fennah 1965, figs 29, 30). In my [V. M. Gnezdilov] opinion these features of head and ovipositor mentioned above are good enough to treat Cheiloceps Uhler, 1895 as a separate genus of the family Issidae (Gnezdilov 2013).
Currently this genus comprises 8 species from Puerto Rico and Lesser Antilles including the new combinations proposed below.

Description from Gnezdilov, 2018

“Diagnosis. Metope elongate, with distinct (sometimes not for the whole length) median carina and sublateral carinae (sometimes weak) (Fennah 1965, fig. 29) (Fig. 6). Median and sublateral carinae joined below upper margin of metope. Coryphe nearly square, often with incomplete median carina (Fennah 1965, fig. 30) (Fig. 4). Second and third segments of rostrum are almost equal in length; third segment narrowing apically (Fig. 17). Fore
wings elongate, surpassing abdomen, without hypocostal plate. Forewing vein sequence: R 2–3, with first furcation near to basal cell; M 2, furcating before wing middle; CuA 1. Clavus long, open—Pcu+A1 runs into apex of clavus (Fennah 1965, fig. 32). Hind wings well developed, 3-lobed, with distinct coupling lobe on its anterior margin (Figs 9, 10). Hindwing vein sequence: R 2, furcating after wing middle; M 1; CuA 2, furacting apically; CuP 1; Pcu 2, furcating apically and partly fused with A1.1 at mid length; A1 2; A2 2–3, firstly furcating at mid length (Figs 4, 5). Hind tibia with 2 lateral spines in distal half. First metatarsomere with a whole row of spines arranged in arc. Phallobase poorly sclerotized dorso-apically. Aedeagus with often poorly sclerotized ventral hooks, curved and directed ventrocephalad (Fennah 1965, fig. 33). Gonoplacs elongate and tapering distad (Figs 4, 7). Female anal tube long and narrow.”

Cheiloceps musca Uhler, cotype, from Gnezdilov, 2018

Online resources

[still to come]



Adults are taken beating woody vegetation or by inspection of hosts, sometimes in passive traps (windowpane traps).

Molecular resources:

 There are no data for this genus on Genbank; Barcode of Life has data for three Thionia (Thionia ellipticus, T. gibbicollis,and T. simplex).

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.

Caldwell, J. S. and L. F. Martorell. 1951 [dated1950]. Review of the Auchenorynchous [sic] Homoptera of Puerto Rico. Part II. The Fulgoroidea except Kinnaridae. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico 34(2): 133-269.

Dozier, H. L. 1931. New and interesting West Indian Homoptera. American Museum Novitates. Published by the American Museum of Natural History 510: 1-24.

Fennah, R. G. 1949. On a small collection of Fulgoroidea (Homoptera) from the Virgin Islands. Psyche 56(2): 51-65.

Fennah, R. G. 1955. Lanternflies of the Family Issidae of the Lesser Antilles (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Proceedings of the United States Museum 105(3350): 23-47.

Fennah, R. G. 1965. New Species of Fulgoroidea (Homoptera) from the West Indies. Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 117(4): 95-126.

Fowler, W. W. 1904. Order Rhynchota. Suborder Hemiptera-Homoptera. (Continued). Biologia Centrali-Americana; contributions to the knowledge of the fauna and flora of Mexico and Central America 1: 85-124 (1904),

Gnezdilov, V. M. 2016. Notes on the phylogenetic relationships of planthoppers of the family Issidae (Hemiptera, Fulgoroidea) of the Western Palaearctic fauna, with descriptions of two new genera. Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie 95(2): 362-382.

Gnezdilov, V. M. 2018. To the revision of the genus Thionia Stål (Hemiptera, Fulgoroidea, Issidae), with description of new genera and new subtribe. Zootaxa 4434 (1): 158–170.

Melichar, L. 1906. Monographie der Issiden. (Homoptera). Abhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königliche Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 3: 1-327.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1958. General Catalogue of the Homoptera. Fascicle IV, Fulgoroidea, Part 15, Issidae. Waverly Press, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland.

Muir, F. A. G. 1923. On the classification of the Fulgoroidea (Homoptera). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society. Honolulu 5: 205-247.

Spinola, M. 1839a. Essau sur les Fulgorelles, sous-tribu de la tribu des Cicadaires, ordre des Rhyngotes. Annales de la Société entomologique de France 8: 133-454.

Uhler, P. R. 1876. List of Hemiptera of the region west of the Mississippi River, including those collected during the Hayden Explorations of 1873. Bulletin of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories. 1 (5): 269-361.

Uhler, P. R. 1895. An enumeration of the Hemiptera-Homoptera of the Island of St. Vincent, W. I. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1895: 55-84.

Walker, F. 1858. Supplement. List of the specimens of Homopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. 307 pp.

Wang, M. L., Y. L. Zhang and T. Bourgoin. 2016. Planthopper family Issidae (Insecta: Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha): Linking molecular phylogeny with classification. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 105:224-234.

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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