Hispines comprise half of the subfamily
Cassidinae (sensu lato) in the family Chrysomelidae within the order Coleoptera. The Cassidinae
currently consists of approximately 6000 species placed in 42 tribes. The combination of the
Hispinae with the Cassidinae (s. str.) is historically recent (2002). Since the union of the two subfamilies
causes difficulty in what to call the groups, the name “hispines” is still used to enable quick
recognition of the genera and species of the former subfamily Hispinae.
Adult hispine morphology
- Body narrow, parallel
to broadly ovate
broadly explanate body;
dorsum nearly flat
body flattened laterally to
convex body. Vary in size from 2 to 40 mm.
- Surface finely to deeply punctate.
- Pronotal and elytral margins narrow to broadly explanate, often
serrate elytra or with
body with spines.
- Head broadly
head broadly exposed
to narrowly exposed, sometimes hidden
head hidden by explanate anterior margin of pronotum by explanate anterior margin of pronotum.
- Mouthparts in circular cavity
ventral view of head;
frons and clypeus slanted posteriorly
lateral view of head, frons and clypeus slanted posteriorly.
prosternum projecting forward by anterior margin of prosternum.
- Antenna with 3
3-7 antennomeres to
distinct antennomeres, terminal antennomeres sometimes fused to form
clavate antennae; inserted on frons between eyes.
pronotum with or without seta in anterior and posterior angles.
- Elytral punctures generally arranged in 8 to 10 rows
costa between punctures
and short scutellar row but the punctures and scutellar rows are often modified or absent
elytra nearly smooth.
- Elytral intervals often costate
tuberculate elytra) in narrow-bodied species.
- Many genera with stridulatory organs on head and anterior margin of
pronotum (Anisodera, Estigmena (Anisoderini), Hispa (Hispini), Botryonopa
(Botryonopini), Hispodonta (Callispini), Leptispa (Leptispini), Odontota
(Chalepini), Oxycephala (Cryptonychini), Prosopodonta (Prosopodontini), Sceloenopla
(Sceloenoplini), and Wallacea (Gonophorini)). These organs are only present in males
of Hispodonta imperalis (Baly) (Callispini).
Larval hispine morphology
- Nearly worldwide, with more species found in tropical areas. No species have been reported from New Zealand.
- There is little overlap between the Old World and New World faunas.
- There is little published information on the biogeography of hispines.
- Most species are monophagous or oligophagous at the generic level.
Adults tend to be more polyphagous than larvae. Some species feed on widely separated plant families.
- Most species feed on monocots- in Zingiberaceae, Arecaceae, Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Musaceae, Orchidaceae, and Pandanaceae.
- Some species feed on dicots- in Fabaceae, Caesalpiniaceae, Malvaceae, and Asteraceae. This is thought to be a recent shift evolutionarily.
Types of feeding behavior
- Leaf-shelter building has been reported for larval Leptispa (Leptispini) and adult
Imatidium (Imatidiini). The substance used to hold the leaves together has not been identified.
- Stem borers have been reported for larvae of Anisodera, Estigmena (Anisoderini), Cryptonychus, and
- Rolled-leaf feeders are found in thirteen genera in the tribes Arescini and Imatidiini.
- Bract scrapers have been reported for the larvae of Xenarescus (Arescini) and some
Cephaloleia (Imatidiini). This group is often subsumed into the rolled-leaf feeders,
but since they are specialists, they should be treated separately.
- Adpressed leaf feeders have been reported for Stenispa (Imatidiini).
- Leaf miners are known from twenty-two tribes and over 2500 species. The shape and size of the mine vary considerably (e.g.
blotch leaf mine
blotch leaf mine,
linear leaf mine
linear leaf mine).
- Open-leaf feeding is rare in larvae and is only reported in Aproida (Aproidini) and Oediopalpa (Spilophorini).
Hispines as plant pests
- Some species are economic pests, most seriously in Africa and Asia, especially on rice, oil palms, and gingers.
- Palms are damaged by Alurnus, Coraliomela, Mecistomela, Platyauchenia (Alurnini), Aulostyrax,
Brontispa, Caledonispa, Callistola, Ceratispa, Cryptonychus, Gestronella, Isopedhispa, Octodonta,
Plesispa (Cryptonychini), Calyptocephala (Spilophorini), Cephaloleia, Demotispa, Parimatidium
(Imatidiini), Coelaenomenodera, Javeta (Coelaenomenoderini), Hispoleptis (Hispoleptini), and
- Rice is attacked by Dicladispa armigera (Olivier), Trichispa (Hispini) and Leptispa (Leptispini).
- Gingers are damaged by Anisodera (Anisoderini); Chelobasis, Nympharescus, Xenarescus (Arescini);
Hispodonta (Callispini); Platocthispa, Sumitrosis (Chalepini); Pharangispa (Coelaenomenoderini);
Cryptonychus, Gyllenhaleus, Oxycephala (Cryptonychini); Agonita, Gonophora, Micrispa (Gonophorini);
Dactylispa, Dicladispa (Hispini); Cephaloleia, Demotispa, Parimatidium (Imatiidini); Chaeridionia,
Oncocephala, Prionispa (Oncocephalini); and Promecotheca (Promecothecini).
- Sugarcane is attacked by Craspedonispa saccharina Maulik (Chalepini).
- Bamboos are attacked by Anisodera (Anisoderini), Cliniocarispa humeralis (Fabricius),
Sumitrosis heringi (Uhmann) (Chalepini, and Callispa (Callispini).
- Soybean is attacked by Odontota dorsalis (Thunberg) and O. horni (Smith) (Chalepini).