Hispines of the World


Oncocephala Agassiz 1846: 259




Onchocephala Chevrolat 1836: 390 Nomen nudum.

Onchocephala Chevrolat 1847: 110 (misspelling).

Oncocephala Chevrolat.

Nepius Thomson 1857b: 225.

Onchocephala Weise 1911a: 50 (not Chevrolat).

Oncocephala Uhmann (misattribution).

Type Species


Oncocephala quadrilobata Guérin-Méneville.



Oncocephala can be distinguished by the following combination of characters:

  • body wedged-shaped
  • lateral margin of pronotum and elytra without long, stiff spines
  • head without frontal horn between antennae, vertex with erect headpiece, labial palps with 3 palpomeres
  • antennae not thickened apically, apical 4 antennomeres similar to others
  • pronotum with seta in each anterior angle, with strong tubercles on anterior ½
  • elytra with costae or tubercles, exterior apical angle rounded or with small tooth
  • apex of elytra without tooth-like projection



Body wedged-shaped; color brown or black.

Head: vertex with erect rhomboid, triangular or oblong headpiece which obscures antennal base; labrum transverse, subemarginate; maxillary palps with apical palpomere oval, longer than preceding; eye oval, coarsely facetted.

Antenna: robust; subfiliform; with 11-antennomeres; antennomeres 1 and 2 subglobose; 3 to 10 cylindrical, 3 longest, 4 to 10 decreasing in length; 11 pointed at apex; 3 to 11 finely striate.

Pronotum: transverse; lateral margin convergent from base to apex, margined; anterior and posterior angles acute; anterior margin weakly projecting over head; surface irregular, with strong tubercles on anterior ½.

Scutellum: elongate; pointed at apex.

Elytron: widens apically; exterior apical angle with tooth-like or spine-like projection; apex truncate; humerus rounded; surface punctate-striate; with interrupted costae and tubercles.

Venter: prosternum wide, convex, not canaliculate, widens posteriorly; mesosternum without swelling on posterior margin; metasternum with tubercle posteriorly.

Leg: short; robust; protibia with small tooth.



Angola, Cameroon, China, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.

World Fauna


Described species: 38 (Staines 2102). Key: Gestro 1899(1901), Maulik 1919, Uhmann 1954h, Chen et al. 1986, Medvedev 1992b, Kimoto 1999.



Commelina (Commelinaceae); Ipomoea (Convolvulaceae); Dioscoreaceae; Orchidaceae; Oryza (Poaceae); Rumex (Polygonaceae); Solanum (Solanaceae); Zingiberaceae.



Agassiz, L. 1846. Nomenclatoris zoologici index universalis: Nomina systematica classium, ordinum, familiarum et generum animalium omnium. Fasciculus XI. Continens Coleoptera. Soloduri. 170 pp.

Chen, S. H., P. Y. Yu, C. H. Sun, C. H. T'an, & Y. Zia. 1986. Fauna Sinica (Insecta: Coleoptera: Hispidae). Science Press, Beijing. 653 pp.

Chevrolat, L. A. A. 1836. in P. F. M. A. Dejean, Catalogue des Coléoptères de la collection de M. le comte Dejean. Troisième edition, revue, corrigée et augmentée, livr. 5, pp. 385‑503. Mequignon-Marvis. Paris.

Chevrolat, L. A. A. 1847. in C. D. d'Orbigny, Dictionnaire universal d'histoire naturelle. Vol. 9. C. Renard. Paris. 766 pp.

Gestro, R. 1899 (1901). Materiali per lo studio delle Hispidae. VIII. Osservazioni sul genere Oncocephala. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova (2)20(40):313-330.

Kimoto, S. 1999. Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera) of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. VI. Hispinae. Bulletin of the Institute of Comparative Studies of International Cultures and Societies 23: 59-159.

Maulik, S. 1919. Hispinae and Cassidinae of India, Burma and Ceylon. The fauna of British India. Taylor & Francis, London. 439 pp.

Medvedev, L. N. 1992b. Revision of the subfamily Hispinae (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) in the fauna of Vietnam. Part 1. pp. 127-156 In L. N. Medvedev (ed). Systematization and ecology of insects of Vietnam. Nauka, Moscow. 264 pp. [in Russian]

Staines, C. L. 2012. Tribe Oncocephalini. Catalog of the hispines of the world (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae). http://entomology.si.edu/Collections_Coleoptera.html

Thomson, J. 1857b. Voyage au Gabon. Archives Entomologiques 2:7-376.

Uhmann, E. 1954h. Coléoptères Chrysomélides Hispinae. 148. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Hispinae (Coleopt. Chrysomelidae). Mémoires de l'Institut Français d'Afrique Noire No. 40. La Réserve Naturelle Intégrale du Mont Nimba Fascicule II:175-198.

Weise, J. 1911a. Coleopterorum Catalogus Chrysomelidae: Hispinae. W. Junk, Berlin. pars 35:1-94.


Content last updated April 2014