Morphology-based phylogeny of the treehopper family Membracidae (Hemiptera: Cicadomorpha: Membracoidea)

Christopher H Dietrich, S. H. Mckamey, L. L. Deitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A parsimony-based phylogenetic analysis of eighty-three morphological characters of adults and immatures of seventy representatives of the tribes and subfamilies of Membracidae and two outgroup taxa was conducted to evaluate the status and relationships of these taxa. Centrotinae apparently gave rise to Nessorhinini and Oxyrhachini (both formerly treated as subfamilies, now syn.n. and syn.reinst, respectively, of Centrotinae). In contrast to previous analyses, a clade comprising Nicomiinae, Centronodinae, Centrodontinae, and the unplaced genera Holdgatiella Evans, Euwalkeria Goding and Antillotolania Ramos was recovered, but relationships within this clade were not well resolved. Nodonica bispinigera, gen.n. and sp.n., is described and placed in Centrodontini based on its sister-group relationship to a clade comprising previously described genera of this tribe. Membracinae and Heteronotinae were consistently monophyletic. Neither Darninae nor Smiliinae, as previously defined, was monophyletic on the maximally parsimonious cladograms, but constraining both as monophyletic groups required only one additional step. The monophyly of Stegaspidinae, including Deiroderes Ramos (unplaced in Membracidae), was supported on some but not all equally parsimonious cladograms. More detailed analyses of individual subfamilies, as well as morphological data on the undescribed immatures of several membracid tribes and genera, will be needed to elucidate relationships among tribes and genera. A key to the subfamilies and tribes is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-239
Number of pages27
JournalSystematic Entomology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 17 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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