chapter  5
4 Pages

Palm Bugs (Thaumastocoridae)

The family Thaumastocoridae comprises two subfamilies, Thaumastocorinae in Australia and India and Xylastodorinae in South America and Cuba. The Cuban

Xylastodorus

species has been introduced into Florida (U.S.A.). Six genera and 19 species (Cassis et al. 1999) are included in these two subfamilies. Six of these live in the New World, one in India, and the remainder in Australia. In addition, Poinar and Santiago-Blay (1997) described an extinct xylastodorine genus from Dominican amber 20 to 40 million years old. They characterize the family as a Gondwanan relict with one species introduced by humans to Florida. Drake and Slater (1957) first revised the family and established one third of the species. Schaefer (1969) provided morphological and phylogenetic notes on the family. Family summaries are provided by Cassis and Gross (1995) and Schuh and Slater (1995). The phylogenetic relationships of the family are still being resolved (Schaefer 1969, Slater and Brailovsky 1983).