Neotropical Entomology

, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 559–572 | Cite as

Small Bugs, Big Changes: Taxonomic Revision of Orthorhagus McAtee & Malloch

  • S Leon
  • C Weirauch
Systematics, Morphology and Physiology


The Schizopteridae, the largest family of litter bugs (Hemiptera: Schizopteridae), comprises 53 genera of primarily tropical, tiny true bugs. The largest genus Schizoptera Fieber comprises 64 described species and six subgenera with primarily tropical and subtropical distributions across the New World. Schizoptera species are morphologically diverse with extreme asymmetry of male genitalia and sexually dimorphic wing in females of some species. Subgeneric concepts of Schizoptera are yet to be evaluated in a phylogenetic context. The subgenus Orthorhagus McAtee & Malloch was described from a single specimen as part of Schizoptera based on similarities of wing venation and other structures. The absence of a pronotal collar was used to separate Orthorhagus from other subgenera within Schizoptera, but morphological and molecular data show that the differences between Orthorhagus species and those of Schizoptera extend beyond the lack of a pronotal collar. In this study, we elevate the subgenus Orthorhagus to generic rank and describe five new species in this genus. We provide morphological documentation including digital habitus images, genitalic drawings, and confocal micrographs for all species. Distribution maps and a key to the species of Orthorhagus, n. stat. are also presented.


Dipsocoromorpha morphology neotropics Schizopteridae taxonomy 



We thank curators, collection managers, and research staff at the following institutions for help in facilitating specimen sorting and loans: Rebekah Baquiran and Margaret Thayer (FMNH), Jim Lewis (INBio), Giar-Ann Kung (LACM), Edward Riley (TAMU), and Tom Henry (USNM). We thank Robin Delapena (FMNH) who separated thousands of Dipsocoromorpha out of bulk samples as part of the ARTS Dipsocoromorpha project and retrieved two valuable specimens for this project. We thank John Heraty, Pavel Štys, and Pablo Dellapé for their extremely helpful comments on this manuscript. We thank Serguei Triapitsyn and Vladimir Berezovskiy (UCR) for training and help with permanent slide mounting of specimens and István Mikó (Penn State) for advice on confocal microscopy. Thanks to Aleksandr Knyshov and Rochelle Hoey-Chamberlain and Eric Gordon for help with specimen sorting, discussions, and comments on the manuscript. We thank Doug Yanega for his help with etymological issues pertaining to this manuscript. This project is part of the “ARTS: Litter Bugs: revisionary and phylogenetic research on the least studied true bug infraorder (Insecta: Hemiptera: Dipsocoromorpha)” project supported by the National Science Foundation DEB-1257702.


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Copyright information

© Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept of EntomologyUniv of California RiversideRiversideUSA

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