chapter  6
122 Pages

Seed and Chinch Bugs (Lygaeoidea)

The family Lygaeidae has recently been subdivided into 11 families, which are included with 5 other families in the Lygaeoidea (Henry 1997). As Henry noted, this author has long worked on this same subject, and agrees (Sweet 1992) with Henry that the long-established family concept of the Lygaeidae is not cladistically monophyletic. However, this arrangement, based on other data, differs in some taxa from the proposal of Henry. Unfortunately this work has not yet been published as Sweet had hoped to add molecular data to the analysis to substantiate such a seemingly radical proposal. As noted by Slater and O’Donnell (1995), the problem is that Lygaeidae

sensu lato

comprise a paraphyletic “stem” group. If treated as a family clade, to avoid paraphyly, the monophyletic taxon should include as well the Malcidae, Colobathristidae, Berytidae, Piesmatidae, and the superfamilies Pyrrhocoroidea and (probably) Coreoidea (Coreidae, Alydidae, Rhopalidae). All but the first two are treated elsewhere in this book. The Malcidae and the Colobathristidae are treated in this account: the former was originally included in the

Catalogue of the Lygaeidae

(Slater 1964a); and the latter was formerly included in the Lygaeidae by Stål (1874). This chapter will follow the arrangement of Henry, except that the Orsillinae (Orsillidae) and the Ischnorhynchinae (Ischnorhynchidae) are considered families distinct from the Lygaeinae (Lygaeidae

sensu stricto

) based on a large suite of synapomorphies (M. H. Sweet, unpublished).