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Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina

versión impresa ISSN 0373-5680versión On-line ISSN 1851-7471

Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argent. v.67 n.3-4 Mendoza jul./dic. 2008


First record of the genus Typhlocybella (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Typhlocybinae: Dikraneurini) from Argentina

Primer registro del género Typhlocybella (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Typhlocybinae: Dikraneurini) para Argentina

María I. Catalano, Susana L. Paradell and Ana M. M. de Remes Lenicov

Universidad Nacional de La Plata, División Entomología, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo de La Plata, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina; e-mail:;;

ABSTRACT: The genus Typhlocybella Baker is quoted for first time for Argentina from specimens collected on maize crops in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Córdoba and Tucumán provinces. This contribution adds taxonomic and bioecologic knowledge about the genus as well as observations about the leaf damage produced on this crop.

KEY WORDS: Cicadellidae; Typhlocybella; Maize; Argentina.

RESUMEN: El género Typhlocybella Baker se cita por primera vez para la Argentina a partir de ejemplares recogidos sobre cultivos de maíz en las provincias de Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Córdoba y Tucumán. En esta contribución se reúne información relevante acerca de los aspectos taxonómicos y bioecológicos del género, y se adicionan observaciones acerca de los daños foliares que provocan sobre el mencionado cultivo.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Cicadellidae; Typhlocybella; Maíz; Argentina.

Recibido: 11-03-2008;
: 01-07-2008

Typhlocybinae is extremely diverse, small sized, with more than 450 genera and subgenera and approximately 5,000 described species (McKamey, 2002); they comprise a dominant component of phytophagous species richness in temperate and tropical forests, where individual forest trees may harbor 12-30 species (Balme, 2007).
The tribe Dikraneurini McAtte is characterized by the presence, in the hind wing, of a submarginal vein which extends around the wing apex, beyond the apex of vein R+M, then basal along the costal margin. This tribe is represented in the Afrotropical, Australian, Indomalayan, Paleartic, Nearctic and Neotropical regions (Balme, 2007). In the Neotropical region 19 genera and 100 species are known (Freytag & Sharkey, 2002), but only the genus Parallaxis McAtee with four species (P. donaldsoni Baker; P. praenubila Linnavuori; P. imitans Linnavuori; and P. permunda Stål) is previously recorded in Argentina (Linnavuori, 1954).
Samplings performed on maize and Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) -with net and aspirator- in different fields of maize in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Córdoba and Tucumán, allowed the capture of numerous specimens belonging to the genus Typhlocybella Baker. The purpose of this contribution is to formally record this genus for Argentina and to compile taxonomic and bioecologic information about that genus. Some observations about the leaf damage produced on this crop are included. The specimens studied are deposited and preserved in the Entomology Collection of Museo de Ciencias Naturales de La Plata (MLP). Other specimens were studied from Ohio State University (OSUC, Creighton Freeman), Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS, Chris Dietrich) and the United State National Museum (USNM, Stuart McKamey).

Typhlocybella Baker, 1903

Type species: Typhlocybella minima Baker, 1903: 3; by monotypy.

According to Young (1952), this genus is characterized by hind wings with vannal veins completely fused, submarginal vein absent at wings apex; fore wings with short, triangular, petiolate third apical cell embracing entire wing apex (Figs. 1, 2); male plates finely pilose.

Figs. 1-3. 1, fore wing; 2, hind wing; 3, aedeagus, lateral view. Scale bar = 1 mm.

Presently, Typhlocybella includes the following four species: Typhlocybella minima Baker from Nicaragua; on grasses, weeds, bushes (Caldwell & Martorell, 1952); T. maculata Caldwell & Martorell from Puerto Rico on grass; T. parva Ruppel & DeLong from Mexico and T. minuta (DeLong) from Florida (USA).
Remark: The Argentinian specimens display the genus' characteristics and can be distinguished from their congeners by the following combination of characters of the male genitalia: processes of pygofer, a pair of parallel ventral aedeagal processes twice longer than aedeagus length (Fig. 3). They are going to be proposed as new species for science, though they are not unnamed yet.

We found Typhlocybella specimens heavily colonizing the maize crops in one of the Central Argentina areas where maize is extensively grown. The observed injury on maize and Digitaria sanguinalis consists in several white spot marks of the leaves -caused by chlorophyll removal during feedingshowing a typical zig-zag pattern along the leaf. We consider it important to highlight that this damage has been easily detected anywhere these specimens are found.

Material examined. ARGENTINA. Buenos Aires: Chacabuco, XI/06-III/07, Catalano, Toledo, Brentassi, Dellapé cols., 10 males, 6 females; Mendoza: La Consulta, 12/II/07, Lanati col., 2 males, 2 females; Tucumán: IX/05, Luft Albarracín col., 3 males; Córdoba: 14/XI/06, Carloni col., 2 males.

Other species examined. Typhlocybella parva: 1 male holotype Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, XII-28-1949, Beamer col., 1 male paratype Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, XII-28-1949, Beamer col., 4 males, 3 females paratypes Mex. City, Guerrero, Mexico, XII-27-1949, Beamer col., Shaw col. OSUC.
Typhlocybella maculata: 1 male holotype, Maricao Insular Forest, Puerto Rico, X-XI/1947, Caldwell and Martorell cols. USNM.
Typhlocybella minima: 2 males and 2 females non-types, Lake City, Fla. XII-11-1949, Stannard et al. INHS.


The authors wish to thank Dr Stuart McKamey, Creighton Freeman and Chris Dietrich for the loan of type specimens. We also thank Dr. Paul Freytag for the valuable information and bibliography sent. This work was supported by Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (CIC), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina.


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