Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


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Compiler and date details

15 February 2002


The Plataspidae are a family of pentatomoid bugs, restricted to the Eastern Hemisphere. They are primarily a tropical group with the greatest diversity occurring in the Oriental Region (Slater 1982, Schuh & Slater 1995). The family currently comprises reported that the family comprises about 56 genera and 560 species (Jessop 1983; Henry 2009; cf. Schaefer et al. 2000 who reported a world fauna of 150 species; this report is considered erroneous).

The plataspids were first accorded family status by Dallas (1851). Stål (1865, 1876) recognised the group as a subfamily of Pentatomidae, which was followed by most other early workers (e.g. Kirkaldy 1909). Leston (1952) revised the family level status (= Brachyplatidae), an arrangement which has been followed by most modern workers (e.g. Stonedahl & Dolling 1991; Carver et al. 1991—as Plataspididae; Schuh & Slater 1995). Stål (1876) provided a checklist of the fauna and a key to genera. Lethierry & Severin (1893) catalogued the world fauna, and this work was updated subsequently by Bergroth (1908, 1913). No intrafamilial classification has been proposed for the family and none is used in this Catalogue.

The Australian plataspids number two species of Brachyplatys Boisduval and sixteen species of Coptosoma Castelnau. There has been no modern treatment of Australian species, and only one species has been described since 1900. Most of the species are found in the tropical parts of Queensland, and a number of these species are also known from the Oriental Region and/or Melanesia.

Plataspids are phytophagous bugs that feed chiefly on legumes (Schaefer 1988). Davidová-Vilímová & Štys (1980) reported that Coptosoma Laporte species lay their eggs on leaves or stems of legumes. They also indicated that the larvae live in large aggregations. The only Australian host record is for Coptosoma aciculata Montandon which is known from the legume, Desmodium novaehollandiae latifolium F.Domin.

Schaefer et al. (2000) summarised information on the bionomics of the family and gave details of pest species. In the Oriental Region, plataspids are known as pests of crops such as soybeans, sugarcane, rice and sweet potato. Plataspids have not been recorded as pests in Australia.



Plataspids are ovoid bugs, which are strongly convex dorsally. The body is often shiny and variable in colour, mostly iridescent black or brown, or variolate. The head is often rounded, flattened and laterally keeled. The eyes are prominent. The antennae are 5-segmented and the labium is 4-segmented. The pronotum is subtrapezoidal, with the lateral margins divergent. The scutellum completely covers the abdomen and most of the hemelytra, with only the external part of the corium uncovered. The tarsi are 2-segmented. The larvae have dorsal abdominal gland openings between terga III/IV, IV/V and V/VI. (Miller 1956; Davidová-Vilímová & Štys 1980; Slater 1982; Schuh & Slater 1995)


General References

Bergroth, E. 1908. Enumeratio Pentatomidarum post Catalogum bruxellensem descriptarum. Mémoires de la Société Entomologique de Belgique 15: 131-200

Bergroth, E. 1913. Supplementum Catalogi Heteropterorum Bruxellensis II. Coreidae, Pyrrhocoridae, Colobathristidae, Neididae. Mémoires de la Société Entomologique de Belgique 22: 125-183

Carver, M., Gross, G.F. & Woodward, T.E. 1991. Hemiptera (bugs, leafhoppers, cicadas, aphids, scale insects, etc.) [with contributions by Cassis, G., Evans, J.W., Fletcher, M.J., Hill, L., Lansbury, I., Malipatil, M.B., Monteith, G.B., Moulds, M.S., Polhemus, J.T., Slater, J.A., Štys, P., Taylor, K.L., Weir, T.A. & Williams, D.J.]. pp. 429-509 in CSIRO (ed.). The Insects of Australia. A textbook for students and research workers. Melbourne : Melbourne University Press Vol. 1 xiii 542 pp.

Dallas, W.S. 1851. List of the Specimens of Hemipterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. London : Richard Taylor Part 1 368 pp. XI pls.

Davidová-Vilímová, J. & Štys, P. 1980. Taxonomy and phylogeny of West Palaearctic Plataspidae (Heteroptera). Studie CSAV 4: 1-155

Henry, T.J. 2009. Biodiversity of the Heteroptera. pp. 223–263 in Foottit, R.G. & Adler P.H. (eds). Insect Biodiversity: Science and Society. Oxford : Wiley-Blackwell.

Jessop, L. 1983. A review of the genera of Plataspidae (Hemiptera) related to Libyaspis, with a revision of Cantharodes. Journal of Natural History 17: 31-62

Kirkaldy, G.W. 1909. Catalogue of the Hemiptera (Heteroptera) with biological and anatomical references, lists of foodplants and parasites, etc. Prefaced by a discussion on nomenclature, and an analytical table of families. Cimicidae. Berlin : Felix L. Dames Vol. 1 xl 392 pp.

Leston, D.H. 1952. Notes on the Ethiopian Pentatomoidea (Hemiptera). V. On the specimens collected by Mr. A.L. Capener, mainly in Natal. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 12 5: 512-520

Lethierry, L. & Severin, G. 1893. Catalogue Général des Hémiptères. Tome I. Hétéroptères Pentatomidae. Bruxelles : F. Hayez xi 286 pp.

Miller, N.C.E. 1956. The Biology of the Heteroptera. London : Leonard Hill Ltd x 162 pp.

Schaefer, C.W. 1988. The food plants of some "primitive" Pentatomoidea (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Phytophaga. Palermo 2: 19-45

Schaefer, C.W., Panizzi, A.R. & James, D.G. 2000. Several small Pentatomoid Families (Cyrtocoridae, Dinidoridae, Eurostylidae [sic], Plataspidae, and Tessaratomidae. pp. 505-512 in Schaefer, C.W. & Panizzi, A.R. (eds). Heteroptera of Economic Importance. Boca Raton : CRC Press 828 pp.

Schuh, R.T. & Slater, J.A. 1995. True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Classification and Natural History. Ithaca : Cornell University Press xii 336 pp.

Slater, J.A. 1982. Hemiptera. pp. 417-447 in Parker, S.P. (ed.). Synopsis and Classification of Living Organisms. New York : McGraw Hill Book Co.

Stål, C. 1865. Hemiptera Africana. Holmiae : Norstedtiana Vol. 1 iv 256 pp.

Stål, C. 1876. Enumeratio Hemipterorum. Bidrag till en förteckning öfver aller hittills kända Hemiptera, jemte systematiska meddelanden. 5. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Academiens Nya Handlingar, Stockholm 14(4): 1-162

Stonedahl, G.M. & Dolling, W.R. 1991. Heteroptera identification: a reference guide, with special emphasis on economic groups. Journal of Natural History 25: 1027-1066


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
15-Aug-2012 15-Aug-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)