Notes on identification of the cactus bugs, Chelinidea, in the U. S.

Unfortunately, most photos aren't clear enough to show identifying characters in adults. The most important thing to see clearly is the head and "neck" region.

For nymphs, we're missing information about the two less commonly encountered species (C. canyona and C. hunteri).

Chelinidea canyona

  • jugae bluntly pointed and near the length of the tylus (holotype)
  • head with dark stripes adjacent to pale midline stripe
  • under surface of front femora bearing distally two or three small teeth
  • otherwise, resembles C. tabulata
  • Nymphs with greenish body, reddish-brown head, pale yellowish legs
  • holotype
  • TX, AR

Chelinidea tabulata

  • jugae acutely pointed and extending well beyond the tylus (BG image)
  • femurs with anterior longitudinal ridge
  • anterior pronotum with a distinct tubercle on each side of head, lacking a notch at base
  • under surface of front femora bearing distally a double row of teeth, decreasing in prominence proximally, and totaling from five to nine, teeth
  • head lacks dark stripes adjacent to pale midline stripe
  • nymphs green with light tan legs and antennae
  • TX, AZ, CO, CA, UT

Chelinidea vittiger

  • femurs rounded, lacking ridge
  • anterior pronotum with a very short tubercle on each side of head with distinct notch at base or almost absent altogether
  • nymphs green or brownish red with black heads, legs, and antennae
  • Widespread; wherever prickly pear occurs

1924 paper describing each species:
Hamlin, J. C. (1924). A review of the genus Chelinidea (Hemiptera-Heteroptera) with biological data. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 17(2), 193-208.

Chelinidea hunteri

  • anterior pronotum lacking tubercles, but with a cylindrical collar set off from the rest of the pronotum by a deep incision
  • AZ, TX

Publicado por pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton, 27 de diciembre de 2021


Nice write up.

Have you seen anything on nymphs of canyona or hunteri? I still hesitate to ID the nymphs because I have never seen these. Though it's probably pretty safe in most places since these species are so uncommon.

Publicado por ncb1221 hace 5 meses (Marca)

I haven't found anything on the nymphs, yet. I was hesitant also...but I figured if the adults haven't been seen in the area, we'd probably not be seeing the nymphs (not best practice...but sometimes I have an itchy trigger finger.

This 1924 paper describes nymphs of canyona--but the author had no experience with hunteri:
Third instar...."Head, reddish-brown; thorax greenish with black lines on either side just above coxae; legs and antennae pale yellowish; tip of beak and tarsi, black; abdomen pale dull green with two dorsal, yellow slits inconspicuous, and margins sawlike and blackened. "

Publicado por pfau_tarleton hace 5 meses (Marca)

Thanks for the info. I'll keep any eye out too for any different looking nymphs. Interesting bugs

Publicado por ncb1221 hace 5 meses (Marca)

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