North American Kinnaridae


Undetermined Kinnaridae from Belize.

Undetermined Kinnaridae from Belize.

Kinnaridae is a small group of mostly tropical species, consisting of 21 genera and 104 species (Bourgoin 2012).  The higher classification was most recently addressed by Emeljanov (1985, 2006), who defined Oeclidiini for the three New World kinnarid genera Oeclidius, Southia and Micrixia (the recently described Kinnapotiguara troglobia probably belongs to this tribe).  Kinnaridae is a relatively primitive taxon, derived near the base of the planthopper phylogeny, although fossils are known only since the mid Mesozoic (Bourgoin & Lefebvre 2002, Szwedo et al. 2004, Urban & Cryan 2007).

Kinnaridae is represented in America north of Mexico by 5 species in the genus Oeclidius found entirely in the southwest, with 18 additional Oeclidius species found in Central America (1 of these reported from South America)

Distribution of Kinnaridae in the U.S. (from Bartlett et al. 2014)

Distribution of Kinnaridae in the U.S. (from Bartlett et al. 2014)

Kinnarids are similar to small Cixiidae in general appearance, and they share the row of spines on the second segment of the hind tarsomere and may have a median ocellus near the frontoclypeal suture.  Unlike cixiids, females have a reduced ovipositor and abdominal tergites 7-9 are “chevron-shaped” wax-producing plates.  Oeclidius was revised by Ball (1934).

There appear to be undescribed Kinnaridae from the south west, and there are many undescribed species in the tropics.

Kinnaridae (Quilessa sp., Dominica) showing 'chevron shaped' tergites.

Kinnaridae (Quilessa sp., Dominica) showing ‘chevron shaped’ tergites.

The nymphal habits and host biology of Kinnaridae are largely unknown.  There are few host records (most of these on Asteraceae or Lamiaceae), with most species reported as monophagous (Wilson et al. 1994).  Nymphs are evidently subterranean, with adults found on above-ground portions of plants, although adults have also been found on roots (Fennah, 1980, Wilson et al. 1994).

Kinnarinae Muir, 1925
Oeclidiini Emeljanov, 2006
Oeclidius Van Duzee, 1914 (Type species Oeclidius nanus Van Duzee, 1914).


Undetermined Kinnaridae from Costa Rica.

Undetermined Kinnaridae from Costa Rica.


Undetermined Kinnaridae from Ecuador

Undetermined Kinnaridae from Ecuador


Undetermined Kinnaridae (possibly Southia sp.) from Ecuador.

Undetermined Kinnaridae (possibly Southia sp.) from Ecuador.

Selected references

Ball, E. D. 1934. The genus Oeclidius Van Duzee (Homoptera Fulgoridae). Pan Pacific Entomologist 10: 77 80.

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. 2012. FLOW (Fulgoromorpha Lists on The Web): a world knowledge base dedicated to Fulgoromorpha. Version 8, updated June 5, 2012. (accessed June 5, 2012).

Bourgoin, T. and F. Lefebvre. 2002. A new fossil Kinnaridae from Dominican amber (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha). Annales Zoologici 52: 583–585.

Bourgoin, T. and V. Deiss. 1994. Sensory plate organs of the antenna in the Meenoplidae-Kinnaridae group (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha). International Journal of Insect Morphology and Embryology 23: 159-168.

Emeljanov, A. F. 1985. A contribution to knowledge of the families Kinnaridae and Meenoplidae (Homoptera, Fulgoroidea). Entomological Review 64: 49 65.

Emeljanov, A. F. 2006. Suddivision of the family Kinnaridae into subfamilies and tribes (Homoptera, Fulgoroida). Zoosystematica Rossica 15: 77-78.

Fennah, R. G. 1945. Tropiduchidae and Kinnaridae from the Greater Antilles (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Psyche 52: 119-138.

Fennah, R. G. 1980. New and little known Neotropical Kinnaridae (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 93: 674-696.

Hoch, H. and R. Lopes Ferreira. 2013. Potiguara troglobia gen. n., sp. n. – first record of a troglobitic Kinnaridae from Brazil (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 60(1): 33-40.

Liang, A. P. and G. M. Jiang. 2003. Wax-exuding cuticular pores in Oeclidius nanus Van Duzee (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Kinnaridae). Journal of Entomological Science 38: 247-253.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1945. General catalogue of the Hemiptera. Fasc. IV. Fulgoroidea, Parts 4. Derbidae, 5. Achilixiidae, 6. Meenoplidae, and 7. Kinnaridae, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. 252 pp.

Muir, F.A.G. 1925. On the genera of Cixiidae, Meenoplidae and Kinnaridae (Fulgoroidea, Homoptera). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 1: 97-110.

Ramos, J. A. 1957. A review of Auchenorhynchous Homoptera of Puerto Rico. The Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico 41: 38-117.

Szwedo, J., T. Bourgoin and F. LeFèbvre. 2004. Fossil planthoppers (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha) of the world. An annotated catalogue with notes on Hemiptera classification. Studio 1, Warszawa. 199 pp.

Urban, J. M. and J. R. Cryan. 2007. Evolution of the planthoppers (Insecta: Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 42: 556-772.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1914. A preliminary list of the Hemiptera of San Diego Country, California. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 2: 1-57.

Xing, J.C., H. Hoch and X.S. Chen. 2013. New replacement name for the planthopper genus Potiguara Hoch et Ferreira, 2013 (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Kinnaridae). Zootaxa 3734(3): 400.

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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