New Plant Bug Genus Discovered in Australia

Posted on December 7, 2015

Restiophylus lyginiae

A new genus of plant bug and four new species have been discovered in Australia. The insects belong to the family Miridae and the subfamily Phylinae. They were discovered by University of California, Riverside entomologists Stephanie Leon and Christiane Weirauch.

Leon and Weirauch studied 761 specimens from museum collections and found that some were mislabeled and belonged to new insect species. The new genus has been named Restiophylus. The "Restio" portion of the name comes from the fact that most members of the genus are associated with the Restionaceae plant family.

The four species discovered have been named R. hypolaenae, R. leptocarpi, R. lyginiae, and R. meeboldinae. A photograph of R. lyginiae is pictured above. The researchers say that Restiophylus species are currently the only arthropods that are documented to be closely associated with Australian restiid clade (Poales).

A research paper on the new species was published here in the journal, Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

Photo: Entomological Society of America