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First record of the genus Saccharosydne Kirkaldy 1907 (Hemiptera--Fulgoromorpha--Delphacidae) in Argentina/Primer registro del genero Saccharosydne Kirkaldy 1907 (Hemiptera--Fulgoromorpha--Delphacidae) en Argentina/Primeiro registro do genero Saccharosydne Kirkaldy 1907 (Hemiptera--Fulgoromorpha--Delphacidae) na Argentina.


A new genus, Saccharosydne Kirkaldy, is reported in Argentina. This is the most economically important representative of the tribe Saccharosydnini. The geographical distribution of all species and some morphological and biological relevant data of this genus are added. This new record represents the southern-most limit of the tribe in the Americas.

KEYWORDS / Argentina / Geographical Distribution / Morphology / Saccharosydne /


Se registra por primera vez el genero Saccharosydne Kirkaldy en Argentina. Este es economicamente el mas importante representante de la tribu Saccharosydnini. Se agrega la distribucion geografica de todas las especies y algunos datos morfologicos y biologicos relevantes. Este nuevo registro representa el limite mas austral de la tribu en America.


Registra-se por primeira vez o genero Saccharosydne Kirkaldy na Argentina. Este e economicamente o mais importante representante da tribu Saccharosydnini. Soma-se a distribuicao geo grafica de todas as especies e alguns dados morfologicos e biologicos relevantes. Este novo registro representa o limite mais austral da tribu na America.


The Delphacidae family is the largest and most economically important one amongst the Fulgoroidea, Delphacinae being the most diverse subfamily. According to Asche (1985), the subfamily groups three tribes: Delphacini, Saccharosydnini and Tropidocephalini. All the 3 genera of the Saccharosydnini tribe, Neomalaxa Muir, 1918, Pseudomacrocorupha Muir, 1930 and Saccharosydne Kirkaldy, 1907, are registered in tropical and subtropical regions of America and Asia (Asche, 1985), being Pseudomacrocorupha the only one recorded up to date in Argentina.

The intensification of new cultural practices in Argentina for productivity improvement has greatly changed the vegetal physiognomy, leading to the establishment and increment of foreign insect pest populations. Because of the finding of three possible species of tropical Saccharosydne in recent collections on garlic (Allium sativum L.), rye (Secale cereale L.) and foxtail (Cortaderia spp.) from Mendoza, San Juan and Neuquen provinces of Argentina, the purpose of this contribution is to record in the country this genus for the first time, adding the world distribution and some morphological and biological data of this economically important genus.

The Argentinean specimens were field collected using water traps and nets, and hand captured. They were preserved in the Museo de La Plata collection (MLP). Materials from the collections of MLP and the British Museum (Natural History) (BM), London, were also examined.

Genus: Saccharosydne Kirkaldy, 1907

Genotype: Delphax saccharivora Westwood, 1833: 413, by original designation.

Saccharosydne is distinguished mainly by slender, elongated forms; head much narrower than pronotum, angular in profile; vertex much extended before eyes; frons about twice as long as width with the median carinae not forked; antennae short, reaching the base of clypeus. Anal segment of male without processes.

Although all species have elongated, slightly flattened forms, with elongated fore wings and general light green-yellowish coloration, the male genitalia is further distinctive, particularly by the large development of the aedeagus. It consists of a horizontal, slightly curved tube directed posteriorly with a stout spine, curving upward distally, joined to a long lightly sclerotized whiplike filament inward directed, strongly elongated, coiled within the pygofer reaching far cephalad into the abdomen.

Muir and Giffard (1924) separated this genus and the monotypic Neomalaxa from all other Delphacidae by the male genitalia, and from Stenocranus Fieber, 1866 by the terminalia build, as well as the vertex carinae disposition.

All the seven species of this genus are distinguished from all other Delphacidae principally by the combinated characteristics of the pygofer, aedeagal complex and anal segment.

Geographieal Distribution

So far, with the exception of two species in Asia, this genus is confined to America. S. brevirostris Muir, 1926, in Ecuador; S. gracillis Muir, 1926 and S. ornatipennis Muir, 1926, in Brazil; S. procerus Matsumura, 1931, in Japan, China, USSR (Maritime and Mainland Territory); S. rostifrons (Crawford, 1914), in Cuba; S. saccharivora (Westwood, 1833), in Antigua, Antillas, Barbados, Cuba, British Guiana, Grenada, Haitf, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Trinidad, USA and Venezuela (Guagliumi, 1953; Giraldo-Vanegas et al., 2004, 2005, 2006), Colombia (Gomez and Lastra Borja, 1995), Grenada (Westwood, 1833) and Cuba (Arocha et al., 2005); and S. viridis Muir, 1926, in British Guiana (Figure 1). The collections in Argentina extends to the south the known geographic distribution.

Host Plants

Several grasses and graminaeous plants have been reported as hosts of the genus Saccharosydne. S. brevirostris was recorded on grass on the shore of the Napo River, Ecuador (Muir, 1926); S. ornatipennis on Paspalum intermedium Munro, from Rezende, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Muir, 1926); S. gracillis off rank grass of Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Muir, 1926); S. viridis on rice and rice grass of Blairmont, British Guiana (Muir, 1926); S. procerus on rice fields and in neighboring water-bamboo Zizania caduciflora L. habitats (XiaoPing et al., 2005); S. saccharivora on sugarcane Saccharum officinarum L. (Westwood, 1833; Guagliumi, 1953; Giraldo-Vanegas et al., 2004, 2005, 2006).

Phytosanitary Importanee

Among Saccharosydne species, only S. saccharivora is well known as a sugarcane pest in Antigua, Antillas, Barbados, Cuba, British Guiana, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Trinidad, USA and Venezuela (Guagliumi, 1953; Giraldo-Vanegas et al., 2004), Colombia (Gomez and Lastra Borja, 1995) and Cuba (Arocha et al., 2005). It causes direct damage to the plant during feeding and oviposition, and indirect damage when the populations are big and the sugary excretes allow the development of fumagina (Fumago sacchari Speg.), impeding normal photosynthesis and transpiration (Guagliumi, 1953; Giraldo-Vanegas et al., 2004, 2005, 2006). This pest acquires more importance because of its displayed vector capacity of the Sugarcane Yellow Leaf Phytoplasma (SCYLP), causing agent of the Sugarcane Yellow Leaf Syndrome (YLS) in Cuba. This infection, characterized by a yellowing of the midrib and lamina, was first reported in the 1960s in East Africa and later in Hawaii, South Africa and Cuba. It is now widely distributed in most sugarcane-growing countries from all continents (Arocha et al., 2005).


Natural Enemies

As natural enemies of S. saccharivora are mentioned several species of insects: egg parasitoids (two species of Hymenoptera); nymphs and adults parasitoids (one species of Hymenoptera and one species of Strepsiptera) (Guagliumi, 1953; Teran, 1980; Giraldo-Vanegas et al, 2004); predators of eggs, nymphs and adults (one species of Diptera, six of Coleoptera, five of Neuroptera, three of Hemiptera, one species each of Dermaptera and Orthoptera), and the pathogen fungii Metarrhizium sp. and Fusarium sp. (Guagliumi, 1953). Anagrus spp. (Hymenoptera) has been mentioned as eggs parasitoid of S. procerus and S. rostifrons (XiaoPing, 2000; Triapitsyn, 2002). No predator or evident parasitoid has been found to date in the material from Argentina.


Among the Argentinean specimens three morphospecies can be distinguished taking into account the relative body measurements, the shape of the posterior margin of pygofer, parameres and aedeagus. These are very similar to S. gracillis, but differ in the anal angles of pygofer caudally produced and the apical shape of the parameres. Further studies are required in order to clarify the identity of these local specimens.

Referenee Specimens

11 [male] [male] and 10 [female] [female], "La Consulta", Mendoza, Argentina, with water trap on garlic crop, 22/VIII, 5/IX, 26/IX and l/X/03; 23-27/VIII, 27/ IX-01/X and 04-08/X/04; 14/ IX, 21/IX and 20/X/05; 20/IX and 12/X/06. Lanatti leg.

Other examined materials from Argentina: 1 [female], Dto. Pocito, San Juan, 23/1/64, Torres-Ferreyra leg.; 1 [male], 1 [female], Dto. Pocito, San Juan, with net on rye, 13-17/IX/04, Meneguzzi leg; 9 [male], 5 [female] 30/IX/02; 18/ VI1, 22/VIII, 05/IX, 12/IX, 26/IX and 07/XI/03, 6 [female] 9-13/ VIII, 20-24/IX, 27/IX-1/X, 04-08/X, 29-03/XII and 13-17/ XII/04, 4 [male], 1 [female] 13/IX, 15/ IX, 18/IX, 02/X and 12/X/06, "La Consulta", Mendoza, with water trap on garlic, Lanatti leg.; 5 [male], 9 [female], 1 nymph, hand captured on foxtail, San Martin de los Andes, Neuquen, 26/ II/07, Logarzo leg.

Examined materials from the BM collection: 1 [male] Oxycranus procerus Matsumura, Nagazaki, Japan (1913), F. Muir coll., BM 1932-279; 1 [male] S. procerus (Matsumura), Foochow, China (1935), MS Yang leg., Pres. by Com. Inst. Ent. BM 1948-548; 1 [female] S. procerus (Matsumura), Nantou, Taiwan (1984), CT Yang col. and det.; 1 [male] S. viridis Muir, paratype, (1923), on rice Blairmont, FX Williams leg., BM 1929-293; 1 [male], 1 [female] S. gracilis Muir, paratypes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1924), FX Williams leg., BM 1929-293; 1 [female] S. brevirostris Muir, paratype, ex beach grass, Napo River, Ecuador (1923), FX Williams leg., BM 1929-293; 1 [female] S. ornatipennis Muir, paratype, on grass, Rezende, Brazil (1924), FX Williams leg., BM 1929-293; 1 [female] S. cf rostifrons, Jacareacanga, Brazil (1984), M Alvarenga leg., M Asche det., BM 1971-165; 1 [male] S. rostifrons on Paspalum conjugatum, Cayo District Central Farm, Honduras, E Garcia leg., Pres. by Com. Inst. Ent., BM 1988-26; 1 [male] S. saccharivora (Westwood), Bermuda Sandys P, Fort Scaur (1988), MR Wilson & D. J Hilburn leg., MR Wilson det.; 1 [male] S. saccharivora (Westwood) on sugarcane, Grenada (1961), FD Bennett leg., MSK Ghauri det., Pres. by Com. Inst. Ent., BM 1961-6.


The authors thank Silvio Lanatti, Natalia Meneguzzi, and Guillermo Logarzo for collecting and providing specimens for this smdy. Special thanks to Mick Webb for the access to the material housed in the collection of the British Museum (Natural History), London. The work was supported by FONCyT (PICT/03 08-15219), CONICET and UNLP.

Received: 02/11/2008. Modified: 12/19/2008. Accepted: 12/19/2008.


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Marra F. Rossi Batiz. Biologist, Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP), Argentina. Professor, Division Entomologia, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo (UNLP), Argentina. e-mail:

Ana M. Marino de Remes Lenicor. Doctor in Natural Scienc es, UNLR Argentina. Professor UNLP, Argentina. Researcher, CONICET, Argentina. Address: Division Entomologia, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo (UNLP), Paseo del Bosque S/N (1900) La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. e-mail:
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Author:Batiz, Maria F. Rossi; Lenicov, Ana M.M. de Remes
Date:Feb 1, 2009
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