Hispines of the World


About this tool


Hispines comprise half of the subfamily Cassidinae (sensu lato) in the family Chrysomelidae within the order Coleoptera. It currently consists of 6000 species placed in 42 tribes. The combination of the Hispinae with the Cassidinae (sensu stricto) (Staines 2002b) is historically recent. This tool uses “hispines” in the traditional sense of the genera and species in the former subfamily Hispinae to enable quick recognition.

Hispines are a group of approximately 3000 species worldwide. Currently they are placed in 195 genera and subgenera in 24 tribes. According to the present classification, there are no tribes or genera indigenous in both the Old and New Worlds. The biology and host plants of most hispines are unknown. However, a number of hispines are major pests of economic importance. Some of the most serious are the ones that attack palms (Alurnus humeralis Rosenberg, Brontispa longissima (Gestro), Coelaenomenodera elaeidis Maulik, Promecotheca caeruleipennis Blanchard, and many others) and rice (Dicladispa armigera (Olivier), Leptispa pygmaea Baly, and many others).

Other species have been successfully used as biological control agents against invasive weeds. The best documented example is the use of Octotoma scabripennis Guérin-Méneville and Uroplata girardi Pic against Lantana camara. A number of other species have been or are currently being evaluated for release.

The last key to the hispine genera of the world was by Weise (1911b). Würmli (1975a) presented the last key to the Old World genera. Staines (2002b) presented the last key to the New World genera. The key included in this tool is an attempt to provide a simple, workable key to the world hispine genera that is usable by a non-specialist. Additional information on hispine genera and species is available at the Catalog of the hispines of the world. Additional information on cassidine genera and species is available at Cassidinae of the world - an interactive manual.

This tool contains an interactive key, fact sheets, an image gallery, and an illustrated guide to hispine morphology. Please see the How to use page for detailed instructions on how to use the key. The image gallery offers you the opportunity to see a comparison of all hispine genera in the tool. The Hispine morphology page provides definitions and illustrations of terms used in the key.


Content last updated April 2014