Genus Colpoptera Burmeister, 1835

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Family Nogodinidae Melichar, 1898

Subfamily Colpopterinae Gnezdilov 2003

Tribe Colpopterini Gnezdilov, 2003

Genus Colpoptera Burmeister, 1835.

Type species (in original combination): Colpoptera sinuata Burmeister, 1835

  • Hesperophara Kirkaldy, 1904: 279 (Type species Flata rustica Fabricius, 1803: 53); replacement name for unavailable Leptophara Stål, 1869 (nec Billberg); syn by Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008: 21.
  • Leptophara Stål, 1869: 102 (nec. Billberg 1820) (Type Flata rustica Fabricius, 1803); replaced by Hesperophara by Kirkaldy 1904: 279.

Widespread in Neotropics; 1 species adventive species in Florida.

Distribution of Colpoptera from Flow

Distribution of Colpoptera from FLOW (as of 22 Dec 2020).

Recognized species

There are 22 species currently in this genus (this from unpublished list by Lois O’Brien) [see Metcalf 1958: 202]

(Distribution records may be incomplete)

Colpoptera acutata Caldwell 1945:114 – Mexico (Oaxaca)
Colpoptera albavenosa Caldwell 1945:113 – Mexico (San Luis Potosí)
Colpoptera bifurcata Caldwell 1945:116 – Mexico (Oaxaca, Sonora, Veracruz)
Colpoptera brunnea Muir 1924:465 (see also Caldwell 1951) – Puerto Rico
Colpoptera caldwelli Metcalf 1958:205 – Mexico (Guanajuato)
Colpoptera carinata Caldwell 1945 (not C. maculifrons carinata Dozier 1936) by Metcalf 1958.
Colpoptera carinata Caldwell 1945:116, pl.4, – jr syn of Colpoptera caldwelli 
Colpoptera carlota Myers, 1928 moved to Caudibeccus Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008 (by Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008: 22) 
= Colpoptera chrysops Fennah, 1955 moved to Jamaha Gnezdilov & O’Brien, 2008 (by Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008: 25)
Colpoptera clerodendri Dozier 1931:19 – Haiti
Colpoptera cyatheae Fennah 1955:26 – St. Lucia
Colpoptera elevans Walker, 1858 moved to Jamaha Gnezdilov & O’Brien, 2008 (by Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008: 25)
Colpoptera elongata Caldwell 1945:117 – Mexico (Chiapas)
Colpoptera fusca Caldwell 1951:256 – Puerto Rico
Colpoptera galatea Fennah 1965:103 – Barbados
Colpoptera insularis Dozier 1931:20 – Haiti 
Colpoptera lucaris Fennah, 1955: 28 moved to Caudibeccus Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008 (by Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008: 22).
Colpoptera longula (Lethierry, 1890) – Venezuela
= Issus longulus Lethierry, 1890: 149.
= Thionia longula (Lethierry, 1890) comb. by Melichar (1906: 286)
= Colpoptera longula (Lethierry, 1890) comb. by Gnezdilov (2012: 766)
Colpoptera maculifrons Muir 1924:466 (see also Caldwell & Martorell 1951) – Puerto Rico, St. Croix
Colpoptera maculifrons angustior Fennah 1955:31 – Antigua, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, St. Croix
Colpoptera maculifrons carinata Dozier 1936:99 (see also Caldwell & Martorell 1951) – Puerto Rico
Colpoptera maculifrons dominica Fennah 1955:35 – Dominica
Colpoptera maculifrons flavifrons Osborn 1935:212 (see also Ramos 1947) – Antigua (Virgin Is.), Puerto Rico, Mona Is.,
Colpoptera maculifrons grenedana Fennah 1955:32 – Grenada
Colpoptera maculifrons maculata Dozier 1931:16 (see also Caldwell & Martorell 1951) – Puerto Rico (inc. Mona Is., Vieques, Caja de Muertos), Virgin Is.,
Colpoptera marginalis Burmeister 1835:156 (see also Metcalf 1938) – Mexico, Panama, Guyana
Colpoptera meleagris Fennah, 1955: 27 moved to Caudibeccus Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008 (by Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008: 22).

Colpoptera memnonia Fennah, 1955: 26 moved to Neocolpoptera Dozier, 1931 by Gnezdilov et al. 2004.
Colpoptera minuta Caldwell 1951:256 (in Caldwell & Martorell 1951) – Puerto Rico
Colpoptera nana Dozier 1931:20 – Haiti
Colpoptera nigridorsa Caldwell 1945:114 – Mexico (Guerrero, Morelos)
Colpoptera punctata Metcalf, 1954 moved to Caudibeccus Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008 (by Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008: 22).
Colpoptera rotunda Caldwell 1945:113 – Mexico (Yucatan)
Colpoptera rugosa Van Duzee 1907:36 – Jamaica
Colpoptera rustica (Fabricius 1803:53) – West Indies, South America (locality unclear; not US, see Doering 1938:457, also Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008: 21)
Colpoptera sinuata Burmeister 1835:155 (see also Fowler 1904, pl.12 and Gnezdilov & O’Brien 2008) – Mexico (Guerrero, Veracruz), Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica
Colpoptera stigmata Caldwell 1945:114 – Mexico (Sonora)
Colpoptera thyone Fennah 1955:29 – St. Lucia

Colpoptera sp. [species undetermined] – USA: Florida

Distribution information primarily from Metcalf (1958)

Economic Importance

Apparently low, but the genus has been found in economic situations.

Plant associations
  • Colpoptera brunnea – Piper aduncum L. (higuillo de hoja menuda, Piperaceae; swept from many taxa)
  • Colpoptera clerodendri – Clerodendron fragrans Vent. (Lamiaceae)
  • Colpoptera cyatheae – Cyathea Sm. (Treefern, Cyatheaceae), Lantana L. (Verbenaceae)
  • Colpoptera maculifrons – Clerodendrum aculeatum (L.) Schltdl. (as Volkameria aculeata, haggarbush, Verbenaceae) (swept from many taxa)
  • Colpoptera  rugosaLantana L. (Verbenaceae)
  • Colpoptera thyone – Lantana L. (Verbenaceae)
  • Colpoptera albavenosaParthenium hysterophorus (McClay et al. 1995)

Hosts from Wilson et al. 1994, McClay et al. 1995 (2 from unpublished); see also plant associations in Palmer and Pullen (1995) and those listed in FLOW; plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos.


Colpoptera has functional hind wings (like Thionia & Picumna), but is more slender and elongate with the hind tibiae bearing only 1 spine. The genus tends to be common in the Caribbean and Central America, where it is most similar to Neocolpoptera Dozier 1931; which according to Caldwell & Martorell is a more elongate slender form.  Superficially may be mistaken for Paradascalia (Flatidae).

The species of Colpoptera are best separated by male genitalia.

Key to genus from Caldwell & Martorell (1951) (genera of Puerto Rico)

Key to genus from Caldwell & Martorell (1951) (genera of Puerto Rico)

(I have specimens I’ll photograph, someday)

Colpoptera 1 Colpoptera 2

Colpoptera sp. adventive in Florida (images from Susan Halbert, FSCA)

Colpoptera sp. adventive in Florida (images from Susan Halbert, FSCA)

Colpoptera sp Panama

Colpoptera sp from Panama

Colpoptera nana

Colpoptera nana

Colpoptera cf meleagris

Colpoptera prob. meleagris (From Guadalope)

Colpoptera caldwelli

Colpoptera caldwelli

Colpoptera sinuata Fowler 1904 (fig. 32 from Fowler 1904)

Colpoptera sinuata Fowler 1904 (fig. 32 from Fowler 1904)

Plate 50 (Colpoptera) and 51 (Neocolpotera) from Caldwell & Martorell (1951)

Plate 50 (Colpoptera) and 51 (Neocolpotera) from Caldwell & Martorell (1951)

Colpoptera plate 50 from Caldwell and Martorell 1951

Colpoptera – Plate 50 from Caldwell and Martorell 1951

Colpoptera Fennah 1955 plate 1

Colpoptera from Fennah 1955 (plate 1)

Colpoptera from Fennah 1955 plate 1 caption

Colpoptera caption from Fennah 1955 plate 1

Colpoptera 10Colpoptera 12

Colpoptera cyatheae from Fennah 1955 plate 3

Colpoptera cyatheae from Fennah 1955 plate 3

Online resources

Bugguide (genus not present – link to superfamily)
Discover Life. (genus present but no information)
3i (Dmitry Dmitriev).
GenBank. (data, several genes, for ‘sp.’)
BOLD. (they use an old classification, most of these data not public)


Adults are taken most often by sweeping or beating (and, as it turns out, canopy fogging).

Molecular resources

As of this writing, there some data for ‘Colpoptera sp.’ in Genbank; in Barcode of Life there is a lot of sequences but they are not (as of this writing) public.

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.

Burmeister, H. C. C. 1835. Schnabelkerfe. Rhynchota. Fascicule 1. In: Burmeister H. C. C. Handbuch der Entomologie 2: 99-183 (see p. 155)

Caldwell, J. S. 1945. Notes on Issidae from Mexico (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 38: 89-120.

Caldwell, J. S. and L. F. Martorell. 1951 [dated 1950]. 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. New and interesting West Indian Homoptera. American Museum Novitates. American Museum of Natural History 510: 1-24.

Fabricius J. C. 1803. Systema Rhyngotorum secundum ordines, genera, species, adiectis synonymis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. 1803: 314 pp.

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: 95-125.

Gnezdilov, V. M. 2003. A new tribe of the family Issidae (Homoptera, Cicadina) with comments on the family as a whole. Zoosystematica Rossica (2002) 11(2): 305-309.

Gnezdilov, V. M. 2012d. Revision of the tribe Colpopterini Gnezdilov, 2003 (Homoptera, Fulgoroidea: Nogodinidae). Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie XCI(4): 757-774.

Gnezdilov, V. M. and L. B. O’Brien. 2008. New taxa and combinations in Neotropical Issidae (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). Insecta Mundi 31: 1-26.

Gnezdilov, V. M., S. Drosopoulos and M. R. Wilson. 2004. New data on taxonomy and distribution of some Fulgoroidea (Homoptera, Cicadina). Zoosystematica Rossica 12(2): (2003) 217-223.

Holzinger, W. E., I. Kammerlander and H. Nickel. 2003. Fulgoromorpha, Cicadomorpha excluding Cicadellidae. Volume 1. The Auchenorrhyncha of Central Europe. Brill Academic Publishing, Leiden, Netherlands.

Kirkaldy, G. W. 1904. Bibliographical and nomenclatorial notes on the Hemiptera No. 3. The Entomologist. An illustrated Journal of Entomology. London 37: 279-283 [279].

Lethierry, L. F. 1890. Voyage de M. E. Simon au Venezuela (Décembre 1887-Avril 1888) 9e mémoire Hémiptères Homoptères. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (Ser. 6) 10: 147-160 [p. 149].

McClay, A. S., W. A. Palmer, F. D .Bennett and K. R. Pullen. 1995. Phytophagous arthropods associated with Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae) in North America. Environmental Entomology 24(4): 796-809.

Melichar, L. 1898. Monographie der Ricaniiden (Homoptera). Annalen des k.k Naturhistorischen Hofmuseums 13: 197-359.

Metcalf, Z. P. 1954. Homoptera from the Bahama Islands. American Museum Novitates 1698: 1-46.

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

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

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

Myers, J. G. 1928. Notes on Cuban Fulgoroid Homoptera. Studies on Cuban insects. 11-31 (Cambridge, Mass.).

Palmer, W. A. and K. R. Pullen. 1995. The phytophagous arthropods associated with Lantana camara, L. hirsuta, L. urticifolia, and L. urticoides (Verbenaceae) in North America. Biological Control 5: 54-72.

Stål, C. 1869. Hemiptera Fabriciana. Fabricianska Hemipterarter, efter de Köpenhamn och Kiel förvarade typexemplaren granskade och beskrifne. 2. Handlingar. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps Akademien. Stockholm 8(1): 1-130 [103].

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.

Walker, F. 1858. Supplement. List of the specimens of Homopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. 369 pp.

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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