Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 50 - Heteroptera (Insecta: Hemiptera) catalogue - Abstract

Larivière, M-C; Larochelle, A 2004. Heteroptera (Insecta: Hemiptera): catalogue. Fauna of New Zealand 50, 330 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 50. ISBN 0-478-09358-6 (print), ). Published 14 May 2004


The Heteroptera, or true bugs, are the largest and most diverse group of hemimetabolous insects. They are a highly adaptable group that has managed to occupy most terrestrial as well as many aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats, and to adopt remarkably diverse life habits, on nearly all continents and most islands. They include a number of phytophagous pests and some predacious species that are useful biocontrol agents. They have been collected extensively and are well represented in New Zealand entomological museums and collections.

Despite this, no up-to-date catalogue has been published following Wise's (1977) “... synonymic checklist of the Hexapoda of the New Zealand sub-region ...” which enumerated 100 genera and 170 species. Numerous nomenclatural changes and new taxa have been published since then, and the fauna now totals 136 genera and 305 species in 29 families.

In this biosystematic catalogue, the species-group names of all New Zealand Heteroptera, or true bugs, are catalogued with distribution records and information on biology and dispersal power. Valid names are listed in their current and original combinations with the author(s), publication date, page citation, type status, type repository, type locality, and biostatus. Synonyms are given in their original combinations. Other existing combinations are also provided. Genus-group names are listed with the author(s), publication date, page citation, and type species (including method of fixation), and biostatus. The catalogue is arranged alphabetically by families, subfamilies, tribes, genus-group, and species-group names. Under each species, the geographic distribution, biology, and dispersal power are given. Selected references dealing with taxonomy (including keys and revisions), distribution, biology, and dispersal power, are also provided as appropriate.

The catalogue also includes a bibliography of over 1000 references (including all original taxonomic descriptions), colour photographs of nearly 200 primary types deposited in New Zealand collections (covering about 60% of all described taxa), 305 maps showing species distributions, 4 maps describing patterns of taxonomic diversity and of species endemism, and also a full taxonomic index. Finally, a number of appendices are provided: glossary of technical terms, list of over 350 plants associated with Heteroptera, acronyms of entomological collections and museums, list of taxa incorrectly or erroneously recorded from New Zealand, geographical coordinates of over 500 collecting localities, alphabetical lists of valid taxa by areas of New Zealand, type localities of valid Heteroptera taxa from New Zealand, and a list of about 130 taxa with limited distribution including over 65 species of potential conservation importance. This catalogue brings together the available literature and collection-based information on New Zealand Heteroptera for use by biosystematists, identifiers, biosecurity and conservation managers, ecologists, and other biologists as well as members of the public.

The composition of the New Zealand Heteroptera fauna and its affinities with Australia, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, and New Caledonia are analysed and discussed. It is estimated that, once described, the fauna will reach 400 to 500 species. Endemism is high with 82% of species and 40% of genera currently recognised as being endemic; New Zealand is regarded as a biodiversity "hot spot". The fauna shows greatest affinity to that of eastern Australia. Adventive taxa, some with pest status, account for 33 species. The following taxa have been incorrectly or doubtfully recorded from New Zealand: Diemenia immarginata (Dallas, 1851) (Pentatomidae), Dindymus versicolor (Herrich-Schaeffer, 1853) (Pyrrhocoridae), Eurystylus Stål, 1871 (Miridae), Leptocoris tagalicus Burmeister, 1834 (Rhopalidae), Melanacanthus margineguttatus Distant, 1911 (Alydidae), Peirates ephippiger White, 1843 (Reduviidae), Poecilometis gravis (Fabricius, 1781) (Pentatomidae), Scolopostethus forticornis Gross, 1965 (Rhyparochromidae), Spilostethus hospes (Fabricius, 1794), and S. pacificus (Boisduval, 1835) (Lygaeidae).

The presence of the family Ceratocombidae in New Zealand is confirmed with the description of 2 species: Ceratocombus aotearoae sp. nov., and Ceratocombus novaezelandiae sp. nov.

A first record is given for New Zealand: Mesovelia hackeri Harris & Drake, 1941 (Mesoveliidae), from Auckland.

The areas of New Zealand showing the highest taxonomic diversity are Northwest Nelson (141 species), Northland (123 species), Auckland (124 species), and Mid Canterbury (111 species). The areas with the highest numbers of endemics are Northland (10 species), Fiordland (8 species), Northwest Nelson (5 species), and Wellington (4 species). Heteroptera have not been recorded from the Antipodes Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, and Snares Islands.

The New Zealand fauna is mostly terrestrial, with about 20 species belonging to aquatic or semi-aquatic families. In general, species are diurnal and live in lowland to mountain forests and shrublands, although some groups are found typically in tussock grasslands and subalpine environments. Indigenous species usually live within the confines of their natural habitats, but a few species also live in modified ecosystems and exotic tree plantations. Depending on family, species can be predominantly epigean, planticolous, or even arboreal. The majority of species are phytophagous. The host plants of less than 25% of taxa are known with certainty. The biology of immature stages is almost unknown and these remain undescribed for the majority of taxa. Hymenopteran egg-parasites, birds, spiders, damsel-bugs, ground-beetles, and mites are among the major natural enemies of New Zealand Heteroptera. Overall, about 25% of the fauna is flightless; in Aradidae and Rhyparochromidae flightlessness reaches 65-70%.

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