Genus Osbornia Ball, 1910

[Back to Planthoppers of North America]
[Back to North American Tropiduchidae]

Family Tropiduchidae Stål, 1866

Subfamily Elicinae Melichar, 1915

Tribe Elicini Melichar, 1915

= Tribe Gaetuliini Fennah, 1978 (sensu Gnezdilov 2007)

(Note: Historically part of Issidae [e.g., Fennah 1954]; subsequently transferred to Nogodinidae [Fennah 1984], then to Tropiduchidae [Gnezdilov 2007]). 

Genus Osbornia Ball, 1910: 41.

(not the plant)

Type species: Osbornia cornuta Ball, 1910.


Note: The Gaetuliini were were described as a subtribe (Gaetuliina) of Bladinini (Nogodinidae) by Fennah (1978), then recharacterized by Fennah (1987) to include a series of North American forms formerly in the Issidae.  Gnezdilov (2007), used morphological reasoning with reference to molecular data presented by Urban & Cryan (2007), to recognize that the Gaetuliina were not closely related to Bladina (nor Nogodina), and remained misplaced at the family level, which led him to transfer the Gaetuliina into the Tropiduchidae as a tribe. This situation requires further study to clarify relationships among these taxa.


Southwestern US.

Recognized species

There are 2 recognized species and a subspecies [see also Metcalf 1958: 329]:

Osbornia arborea Ball, 1935a: 38 – USA: AZ, CA, NM, TX, UT

Osbornia arborea var. fusca Doering, 1939: 98 – USA: NM

Osbornia cornuta Ball, 1910 – USA: CA, TX, UT

Economic Importance:


Known host plants:
  • Osbornia arborea – Juniperus sp. (Juniper, Cupressaceae)

Hosts from Doering 1939, Wilson et al. 1994; plant names from USDA PLANTS.


Usually brachypterous, wings at least partly reticulate.


Description of genus from Ball 1910: 41-42 (the description based on O. cornuta).

Somewhat resembling Danepteryx but with elytra oval and abbreviated, and the margin of vertex and front produced into a pair of acute horn-like angles above the eyes.
Vertex transversely concave, inclined, wider than long, anterior margin elevated, meeting the front in an acute angle which is accentuated at the lateral carinae, forming two acutely triangular “horns” nearly as high as the width of an eye. The anterior margin of vertex broadly triangularly emarginate, posterior margin deeply roundingly emarginate. Front nearly horizontal, broad, convex below, slightly narrowing above to just before the apex where it expands into the horns. Median carina distinct and extending onto vertex. Clypeus strongly inflated. Pronotum long on the median line, very narrow behind the eyes, median carina distinct, mesonotum tricarinate. Elytra brachypterous, oval, corium with three principal veins and irregular reticulations. Abdomen with the exposed segments strongly tubercularly elevated. Legs as in Danepteryx, posterior tibia with a single spine. Type of the genus O. cornuta.

OsborniacornutaDV0054 Osborniacornutafrons0057

Osbornia cornuta (all photographs by Kimberley Shropshire, University of Delaware)

Osbornia cornuta (all photographs by Kimberley Shropshire, University of Delaware)

Osborniaarborea-LAT-ALIGNED OsborniaarboreaDOR-ALIGNED

Osbornia arborea

Osbornia arborea

Doering 1939, plate 15, showing Osbornia habitus.


This genus is most often collected sweeping likely hosts.

Molecular resources:

As of this writing, no data for this genus appears on Barcode of Life or Genbank. (There is data on the plant genus Osbornia (Myrtaceae)).

Selected references:

Ball, E. D. 1910b. New genera and species of Issidae (Fulgoridae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 23: 41-45.

Ball, E. D. 1935a. Some new Issidae with notes on others (Homoptera: Fulgoridae). Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 30: 37-41.

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.

Doering. K. C. 1939 [1940a]. A contribution to the taxonomy of the subfamily Issinae in America north of Mexico (Fulgoroidea: Homoptera. Part III. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 26(2): 83-167.

Fennah, R. G. 1978. The higher classification of the Nogodinidae (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea) with a description of a new genus and species. Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 113(1977): 113-120.

Fennah, R. G. 1987. A new subfamily of Nogodinidae (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea) with the description of a new species of Gastrinia. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 89(2): 363-366.

Gnezdilov, V. M. 2007. On the systematic positions of the Bladinini Kirkaldy, Tonginae Kirkaldy, and Trienopinae Fennah (Homoptera, Fulgoroidea). Zoosystematica Rossica 15(2): 293–297.

Melichar, L. 1915. Monographie der Lophopinen. Annales Historico-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici 13: 337-385 [379].

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

O’Brien, L. B. 1988. Taxonomic changes in North American Issidae (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 81(6): 865-869.

Stål, C. 1866. Hemiptera Homoptera Latr. Hemiptera Africana vol. 3-4. Officina Norstedtiana, Stockholm, Sweden. 200 + 276 pp.

Urban J. M. and J. R. Cryan. 2007. Evolution of the planthoppers (Insecta: Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 42(2): 556-572.

Van Duzee, E. P. 1916a. Check list of Hemiptera (excepting the Aphididae, Aleurodidae and Coccidae) of America North of Mexico. New York Entomological Society, New York. 111 pp. [see p. 78 onward]

Van Duzee, E. P. 1917b. Catalogue of the Hemiptera of America North of Mexico (excepting the Aphididae, Coccidae and Aleurodidae). University of California Publications, Technical Bulletins, vol. 2. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. i-xiv, 1-902. [from Google books] [see p. 716 onward] [p. 748]

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email