Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Creature 134: Stemmocryptidae

A very mysterious bug

Stemmocryptidae is a family of Heteroptera which has no common name, as it is not commonly known of.  There is only a single species and a single genus, Stemmocrypta antennata. To add to its rarity this species is known from only a single collection event in Liang Island, Papua New Guinea. The collector was the renowned heteropterist Pavel Štys. No other specimens are known. The specimens from this collection event were collected in leaf litter and at UV light. They Family was first described by Štys in 1983, in Acta entomologica bohemoslovaca, not the most readily available of journals. I can't even find photos of the specimens, all I have seen of them is a drawing from the article which described them reprinted in a book by called true bugs of the world by R.T. Schuh and J.A. Slater (1995).

They may only be a few specimens from a single locality but their unusual combination of characteristics confuses the classification of  heteropteran groups. Their genitalia and forewings share similarities with the Dipsocoromorpha, while their antennal segmentation and their overall appearance more closely resembles certain land bugs in the Cimicomorpha. Just to add an extra bizarre twist, they are the only species of true bug to hold their rostrum forward at rest.

Stemmocryptidae are only known from Liang Island, Papua New Guinea.

The Stemmocryptids have been tentatively placed in the infraorder Dipsocoromorpha. However there is a possibility that evidence provided by Stemmocryptidada will split the infraorder into different groups.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Stemmocryptidae

Image Reference:
 Štys, P. (1983): New family of Heteroptera with Dipsocoromorphan affinities from Papua New Guinea Acta entomologica bohemoslovaca.

No comments:

Post a Comment