Genus Melanoliarus Fennah, 1945

[Back to North American Cixiidae]

Family Cixiidae Spinola, 1839

Subfamily Cixiinae Spinola, 1839

Tribe Pentastirini Emeljanov, 1971
Genus: Melanoliarus Fennah, 1945.

Note: Melanoliarus was originally described as a subgenus of Oliarus (including those species with a median spine on the anal tube).  Oliarus as historically defined was of world distribution, but Emeljanov (2001) and later Holzinger et al. (2003) asserted that the New World Oliarus did not belong to the genus in the strict sense, and removed all New World species into Melanoliarus (new status, genus), except for a few species explicitly placed in Reptalus or Pentastiridius. The features of Melanoliarus (especially as compared with Oliarus and Reptalus) remain incompletely elaborated.  Melanoliarus is unlikely to be monophyletic as currently comprised, and additional changes in the composition of the genus are highly likely.

Melanoliarus in the strict sense includes M. maidis Fennah, M. complectus Ball, M. viequensis Caldwell and M. acicus Caldwell and perhaps some additional species south of Texas.

Type species: Oliarus (Melanoliarus) maidis Fennah, 1945: 141.

Synonyms:

Oliarus Stål, 1862a in part (auctorum) (Type species Cixius walkeri Stål, 1859); Emeljanov 2001 (all Nearctic and Neotropical species of Oliarus auctt. moved to Melanoliarus by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122).

Distribution:

Widespread and common in Nearctic and Neotropical regions

Recognized species

There are 48 species reported north of Mexico and 31 additional species from the Neotropics (including Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018)  as follows:

Melanoliarus acicus (Caldwell, 1947a) – USA: AZ, CA, TX; Mexico (Baja California, Sinaloa,  Sonora)
Oliarus acicus Caldwell, 1947a: 76.
Melanoliarus acicus (Caldwell, 1947a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus altanatus (Caldwell, 1951) – USA: TX; Mexico (Chiapas, Jalapa, Federal District, Hidalgo, Morelos, Veracruz)
Oliarus altanatus Caldwell, 1951: 35.
Melanoliarus altanatus (Caldwell, 1951); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus altanus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ
Oliarus altanus Ball, 1934b: 276.
Melanoliarus altanus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus apache (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ, CA; Mexico (Sonora)
Oliarus apache Ball, 1934b: 275.
Melanoliarus apache (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
5 Melanoliarus aridus (Ball, 1902a) – USA: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, IL, LA, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WY; CAN: ON; Mexico (Durango)
Oliarus aridus Ball, 1902a: 151.
Melanoliarus aridus (Ball, 1902a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus arizonensis (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: AZ
Oliarus arizonensis Mead & Kramer, 1982: 428-432.
Melanoliarus arizonensis (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus bispinus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: OK, TX
Oliarus bispinus Caldwell, 1947b: 150-151.
Melanoliarus bispinus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus caldwelli (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: NM, TX
Oliarus caldwelli Mead & Kramer, 1982: 523-527.
Melanoliarus caldwelli (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Melanoliarus californicus (Van Duzee, 1914) – USA: CA
Oliarus californicus Van Duzee, 1914: 36.
Melanoliarus californicus (Van Duzee, 1914); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
10 Melanoliarus canyonensis (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: CA, NM
Oliarus canyonensis Mead & Kramer, 1982: 535-537.
Melanoliarus canyonensis (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
11 Melanoliarus catus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: AZ
Oliarus catus Caldwell, 1947b: 147.
Melanoliarus catus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
12 Melanoliarus chuliotus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, KS, MS, NC, OH, SC, TN
Oliarus chuliotus Ball, 1934b: 271.
Melanoliarus chuliotus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Oliarus gladensis Caldwell, 1951: 35; syn. by Mead & Kramer 1982: 478-480.
13 Melanoliarus coconinus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ, CO, NV, TX, UT; CAN: BC
Oliarus coconinus Ball, 1934b: 274.
Melanoliarus coconinus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
14 Melanoliarus concinnulus (Fowler, 1904) – Mexico (Guerrero, Veracruz) (reported in error: USA: TX)
Oliarus concinnulus Fowler, 1904: 92.
Melanoliarus concinnulus (Fowler, 1904); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Oliarus texanus Metcalf, 1923: 181; syn. by Ball 1934: 275 (error, see Mead & Kramer 1982: 389, 436).

15 Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902a) – USA: FL; Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico (Inc. Caja de Muertos, Mona and Vieques Islands), Virgin Islands (Jost van Dyke, St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. Vincent) (reported in error: USA: AZ, Mexico)
Oliarus complectus Ball, 1902a: 152.
Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Oliarus (Melanoliarus) campestris Fennah, 1945b: 141; syn. by Caldwell 1951 (in Caldwell & Martorell 1951): 138-141.
Oliarus franciscanus (Stål, 1859: 273); senior syn. by Van Duzee 1917a: 309 (error).
16 Melanoliarus corvinus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ, CA, TX
Oliarus corvinus Ball, 1934b: 273.
Melanoliarus corvinus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.

17a Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018 – Chile (Mamiña, Tamarugal Province, Tarapacá Region)
17b Melanoliarus difficilis (Van Duzee, 1912) – USA: FL, TX
Oliarus difficilis Van Duzee, 1912a: 494.
Melanoliarus difficilis (Van Duzee, 1912a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Oliarus vittatus Metcalf, 1923: 181; syn. by Mead & Kramer 1982: 408, 411.
18 Melanoliarus dondonius (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT; CAN: AB, BC, SK; Mexico (Baja California, Mulge, San Francisco, San Lorenzo, and Santa Inez Islands, Gulf of California)
Oliarus dondonius Ball, 1934b: 276.
Melanoliarus dondonius (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
19 Melanoliarus ecologus (Caldwell, 1947a) – USA: AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IL, KS, KY, MD, MS, NC, NJ, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA (reported in error: CAN: NS, ON)
Oliarus ecologus Caldwell, 1947a: 76.
Melanoliarus ecologus Caldwell, 1947a; comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
20 Melanoliarus eximus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: CA, NM
Oliarus eximus Caldwell, 1947b: 145.
Melanoliarus eximus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
21 Melanoliarus forcipatus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: AZ, TX
= Oliarus forcipatus Caldwell, 1947b: 146.
Melanoliarus forcipatus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
22 Melanoliarus franciscanus (Stål, 1859) – Puerto Rico, Haiti, Jamaica, Isle of Pines, Cuba, Mexico (Baja California)
(reported in error: USA: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, IA, MA, MD, KS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, UT; CAN: AB, BC)
Cixius franciscanus Stål, 1859: 273.
Oliarus franciscanus (Stål, 1859); comb. by Stål 1862a: 306.
Melanoliarus franciscanus (Stål, 1859); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
Oliarus fransiscanus (Stål, 1859); missp. by Strickland 1940: 87.

23 Melanoliarus hesperius (Van Duzee, 1917a) – USA: CA, NV, OR
Oliarus hesperius Van Duzee, 1917a: 307.
Melanoliarus hesperius (Van Duzee, 1917a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
24 Melanoliarus humilis (Say, 1830) – USA: AZ, CT, DC, DE, IA, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, UT, WI; CAN: AB, BC, ON, QC, SK
Flata humilis Say, 1830: 241.
Oliarus humilis (Say, 1830); comb. by Van Duzee 1890: 389.
Melanoliarus humilis (Say, 1830); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
25 Melanoliarus kieferi (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: AZ, UT
Oliarus kieferi Mead & Kramer, 1982: 559-561.
Melanoliarus kieferi (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
26 Melanoliarus knullorum (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: AZ, TX
Oliarus knullorum Mead & Kramer, 1982: 529-531.
Melanoliarus knullorum (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
27 Melanoliarus littoralis (Ball, 1934b) – USA: FL; Dry Tortugas (Garden Key)
Oliarus littoralis Ball, 1934b: 274.
Melanoliarus littoralis (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
28 Melanoliarus lobatus (Caldwell, 1938b) – USA: NM, TX
Oliarus lobatus Caldwell, 1938b: 305.
Melanoliarus lobatus (Caldwell, 1938b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
29 Melanoliarus montanus (Metcalf, 1923) – USA: DE, GA, IL, KS, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA
Oliarus montanus Metcalf, 1923: 179.
Melanoliarus montanus (Metcalf, 1923); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
30 Melanoliarus papagonus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ
Oliarus papagonus Ball, 1934b: 272.
Melanoliarus papagonus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
31 Melanoliarus pima (Kirkaldy, 1907b) – USA: AZ, CA, NM, UT
Oliarus pima Kirkaldy, 1907b: 62.
Oliarus nogalanus Ball, 1934b: 272 (syn. Mead & Kramer 1982: 390, 550-551, 554; see also Ball 1937: 180).
Melanoliarus pima (Kirkaldy, 1907b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
32 Melanoliarus placitus (Van Duzee, 1912a) – USA: AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, KS, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA; CAN: ON
Oliarus placitus Van Duzee, 1912a: 493.
Melanoliarus placitus (Van Duzee, 1912a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
33 Melanoliarus pygmaeus (Ball, 1937) – USA: AZ
Oliarus pygmaeus Ball, 1937: 180.
Melanoliarus pygmaeus (Ball, 1937); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
34 Melanoliarus quinquelineatus (Say, 1830) – USA: AL, AR, CT, CO, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, WI; CAN: NS, ON, QC
Flata quinquelineata Say, 1830: 241.
Oliarus quinquelineatus (Say, 1830); comb. by Provancher 1889: 223.
Oliarus quinquelineata (Say, 1830);unjustified emendation by Smith 1900: 89.
Melanoliarus quinquelineatus (Say, 1830); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
35 Melanoliarus retentus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: AZ, CO, UT
Oliarus retentus Caldwell, 1947b: 148.
= Melanoliarus retentus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
36 Melanoliarus sablensis (Caldwell, 1951) – USA: CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MN, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, WV; CAN: NB, NS, ON
Oliarus sablensis Caldwell, 1951: 34.
Melanoliarus sablensis (Caldwell, 1951); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
37 Melanoliarus sementinus (Ball, 1902a) – USA: AZ, CA, CO, NM, UT
Oliarus sementinus Ball, 1902a: 152.
Melanoliarus sementinus (Ball, 1902a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
38 Melanoliarus slossonae (Van Duzee, 1912a) – USA: FL; Cuba; Puerto Rico; Virgin Islands (Great Camanoe, Guana, Jost Van Dyke, Little Thatch, St. John, St. Thomas, Tortola) (reported in error: USA: MS, TX)
Oliarus hyalinus Van Duzee, 1908: 487 (nec. Fieber) (preoccupied).
Oliarus slossoni Van Duzee, 1912a: 494; replacement name for preoccupied O. hyalinus Van Duzee, 1908.
Oliarus borinquensis Caldwell, 1951: 137 (in Caldwell & Martorell 1951); syn. by Mead & Kramer 1982: 424-426.
Oliarus slossonae Van Duzee, 1912a: 494; emendation by Mead & Kramer 1982: 424.
Melanoliarus slossonae (Van Duzee, 1912a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
39 Melanoliarus sonoitus (Ball, 1937) – USA: AZ, CA, NM, TX; Mexico (Chihuahua, Tamaulipas)
Oliarus sonoitus Ball, 1937: 179.
Oliarus nigravittus Caldwell, 1938b: 304; syn. by Mead & Kramer 1982: 554-556, 558.
Melanoliarus sonoitus (Ball, 1937); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
40 Melanoliarus sylvaticus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: CA
Oliarus sylvaticus Caldwell, 1947b: 151.
Melanoliarus sylvaticus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
41 Melanoliarus texanus (Metcalf, 1923) – USA: OK, TX; Mexico (Chiapas, Michoacán, Veracruz)
Oliarus texanus Metcalf, 1923: 181.
Melanoliarus texanus (Metcalf, 1923); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
42 Melanoliarus teximus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: TX
Oliarus eximus teximus Caldwell, 1947b: 146.
Oliarus teximus Caldwell, 1947b; status by Mead & Kramer 1982: 517-518, 521.
Melanoliarus teximus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
43 Melanoliarus truncatus (Van Duzee, 1929b) – USA: CA; Mexico (Baja California)
Oliarus truncatus Van Duzee, 1929b: 72.
Melanoliarus truncatus (Van Duzee, 1929b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
44 Melanoliarus uncatus (Caldwell, 1947b) – USA: AZ
Oliarus uncatus Caldwell, 1947b: 151.
= Melanoliarus uncatus (Caldwell, 1947b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
45 Melanoliarus vicarius (Walker, 1851) – USA: FL, GA, IL, MS, NC, SC (Reported in error: USA: CO, MA, MD, NJ, TX)
Cixius vicarius Walker, 1851: 343.
Oliarus vicarius (Walker, 1851); comb. by Distant 1907a: 280.
= Oliarus vitreus Metcalf, 1923: 180; syn. by Mead & Kramer 1982: 506, 509.
Melanoliarus vicarius (Walker, 1851); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
46 Melanoliarus viequensis (Caldwell, 1951) (in Caldwell & Martorell 1951) – USA: FL; Belize, Haiti, Puerto Rico (Vieques Island); Virgin Islands (Anegada, Antigua, Guana, St. John)
Oliarus viequensis Caldwell, 1951: 141.
Melanoliarus viequensis (Caldwell, 1951); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
47 Melanoliarus yavapanus (Ball, 1934b) – USA: AZ, CA, TX, UT
= Oliarus yavapanus Ball, 1934b: 274.
Melanoliarus yavapanus (Ball, 1934b); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.
48 Melanoliarus zyxus (Caldwell, 1947a) – USA: AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT; CAN: BC; Mexico (Coahuila, Nayarit, Nuevo León)
Oliarus zyxus Caldwell, 1947a: 76-77.
Melanoliarus zyxus (Caldwell, 1947a); comb. by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122.

Neotropical species (combinations by implication Emeljanov 2001: 122). (based on unpublished list by Lois O’Brien, distributions may be incoomplete)

Melanoliarus abacus (Caldwell 1947) – Mexico
Melanoliarus aridus (Ball 1902) – Mexico, US
2 Melanoliarus aztecus (Caldwell 1947) – Mexico
Melanoliarus atkinsae (Myers 1928) – Cuba
Melanoliarus beebei (Metcalf 1945) – British Guiana
O. borinquensis see Melanoliarus slossonae
Melanoliarus chiriquiensis (Fowler 1904) – Panama
Melanoliarus cinereus (Wolcott 1921) – Puerto Rico
Melanoliarus complectus (Ball 1902) – Puerto Rico, Cuba, US
O. campestris Fennah 1945 Antigua
Melanoliarus concinnulus (Fowler 1904) – Mexico
Melanoliarus dimidiatus (Berg 1879: 184) – Argentina
10 Melanoliarus excelsus (Fowler 1904) – Mexico (Baja California)
Melanoliarus franciscanus (Stål 1859) – South America
11 Melanoliarus fulvus (Walker 1858) – Brazil
13 Melanoliarus humeralis (Fowler 1904) – Guatemala
14 Melanoliarus kindli (Bourgoin & Wilson 1998) – French Guiana
15 Melanoliarus insignior (Fowler 1904) – Panama, Guatemala
16 Melanoliarus isolatus (Caldwell 1947) – Mexico
17 Melanoliarus lacteipennis (Fowler 1904) – Panama
18 Melanoliarus latifrons (Walker 1851) – location unknown
19 Melanoliarus lunata (Fabricius 1803) – West Indies, Isle of Pines, South America
20 Melanoliarus maidis (Fennah 1945) – Trinidad
21 Melanoliarus nanus (Caldwell 1947) – Mexico
22 Melanoliarus nigro-alutaceus (Fowler 1904) – Mexico

    Oliarus omani Metcalf 1938 – to Cyclopoliarus by Fennah (1945: 136).
23 Melanoliarus opalinus (Fennah 1945) – Venezuela
24 Melanoliarus orizicola (Bourgoin & Wilson 1998) – Peru
25 Melanoliarus pinicolus (Osborn 1926) –  Cuba
26 Melanoliarus propior (Fowler 1904) – Mexico
27 Melanoliarus quadratus (Fennah 1945) – Venezuela
28 Melanoliarus rarus (Caldwell 1947) – Mexico (Baja California)
Melanoliarus slossonae (Van Duzee 1912) – Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, US
O. borinquensis Caldwell 1952; see Mead & Kramer 1982
29 Melanoliarus transitorius (Berg 1883: 187) – Uruguay
Melanoliarus viequensis (Caldwell 1951) – Puerto Rico, USA: FL
30 Melanoliarus villosa (Fabricius 1775) – South America

Note The following Nearctic species moved to Pentastiridius by Emeljanov 2001: 122.

1. Pentastiridius cinnamomeus (Provancher, 1889) – USA: CT, DE, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA; CAN: BC, ON, QC, NB
Oliarus cinnamomeus Provancher, 1889: 223.
Pentastiridius cinnamomeus (Provancher, 1889); comb. by Emeljanov 2001: 122.
2. Pentastiridius habeckorum (Mead & Kramer, 1982) – USA: NC, SC, VA
Oliarus habeckorum Mead & Kramer, 1982: 443-446.
Pentastiridius habeckorum (Mead & Kramer, 1982); comb. by Emeljanov 2001: 122.

Economic Importance:

Apparently limited – not reported as pests, although there is the possibility that some species may be plant disease vectors.

 Known host plants:

Nymphs of cixiids are subterranean, feeding on roots and possibly fungi.  The significance of adult host records is unclear. Many cixiids are presumed to be polyphagous (as adults), most often on woody plants.

Melanoliarus complectus has been reported from Palm (Segarra-Carmona et al. 2013)

[More to come]

Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902)  – Batis maritima L. (Brassicales, Bataceae) according to Caldwell & Martorell (1951: 140).
Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902)  – Cajanus indicus Spreng. (Fabales, Fabaceae) according to Caldwell & Martorell (1951: 140).
Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902)  – Carica papaya L. (Poales, Poaceae) according to Caldwell & Martorell (1951: 140).
Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902)  – Castilla elastica Sessé ex Cerv. (Rosales, Moraceae) according to Caldwell & Martorell (1951: 140).
Melanoliarus ecologus (Caldwell, 1947) – Chamaedaphne sp. (Ericales, Ericaceae) according to Beirne (1950: 94).
Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902)  – Cissus sicyoides L. (Vitales, Vitaceae) according to Caldwell & Martorell (1951: 140).
Melanoliarus dondonius (Ball, 1934)  – Dondia sp. (Caryophyllales, Amaranthaceae) according to Ball (1934: 276).
Melanoliarus campestris Fennah, 1945 – Lupinus sp. (Fabales, Fabaceae) according to Fennah (1945: 142).
Melanoliarus aridus (Ball, 1902) – Prunus sp. (Rosales, Rosaceae) according to Beirne (1951: 315).
Melanoliarus slossonae (Van Duzee, 1912)  – Rhizophora mangle L. (Malpighiales, Rhizophoraceae) according to Caldwell & Martorell (1951: 138).
Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902) -Solanum melongena L. (Solanales, Solanaceae) according to Caldwell & Martorell (1951: 140).
Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902)  – Vachellia farnesiana (L.) Wight & Arn. (Fabales, Fabaceae) according to Caldwell & Martorell (1951: 140).
Melanoliarus complectus (Ball, 1902)  – Volkameria aculeata L. (Lamiales, Lamiaceae) according to Caldwell & Martorell (1951: 140).
Melanoliarus maidis Fennah, 1945  – Zea mays L. (Poales, Poaceae) according to Fennah (1945: 141).

Melanoliarus deserticola – Escallonia angustifolia C. Presl (a ‘redclaw’; Escalloniaceae or Grossulariaceae) (Campodonico, 2018)

Hosts from FLOW and Wilson et al. 1994; plant names from USDA PLANTS or Tropicos.

See host list reported at the bottom of the FLOW genus-page.

Recognition:

Head angularly incised posteriorly, mesonotum with 5 carinae (intermediate carinae sometimes obsolete), 10 or fewer teeth at apex of hind tarsimere (not definitively separated from Reptalus).

North American species can be keyed out by Mead & Kramer (1982), which relies entirely on male genitalia.

Melanoliarus 1

Melanoliarus placitus (all photographs by Kimberley Shropshire, University of Delaware)
Melanoliarus placitus (all photographs by Kimberley Shropshire, University of Delaware)
Melanoliarus deserticola
Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018 habitus from original publication
Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018
Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018 terminalia from original publication
Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018
Melanoliarus deserticola Campodonico, 2018 forewing from original publication
melanoliarus-figs-17-19-from-mead-and-kramer-1982
Features of Melanoliarus phallic complex from Mead and Kramer 1982
melanoliarus-acicus-caldwell-from-mead-and-kramer-1982
Melanoliarus acicus from Mead and Kramer 1982, part of the Melanoliarus subgenus, note spine on anal tube.

melanoliarus-eximus-from-mead-and-kramer-1982
Melanoliarus eximus from Mead and Kramer 1982, part of the placitus-group
Collecting

Melanoliarus is most readily collected at lights (particularly near a new moon); specimens may also be found by beating or vacuum sampling woody vegetation, or sometimes by the inspection of tree trunks. Melanoliarus also shows up in traps intended for beetle surveys (esp. Lindgren funnel traps).

Molecular resources: 

As of this writing, Genbank has data for M. slossonaeplacitushumilis, vicarius, and 4 undet sp.; Barcode of Life has M. humilis and M. quinquelineatus (both as Oliarus).

Selected references:

Ball, E. D. 1902c. Some new North American Fulgoridae. Canadian Entomologist 34: 147-157. [From Smithsonian Biodiversity Heritage Library http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/7422/]

Bal l, E. D. 1934. The genus Oliarus and its allies in North America (Homoptera: Fulgoridae). Journal of the Washington Academy of Science 24: 268-276.

Ball, E. D. 1937c. Some New Fulgoridae from the Western United States. Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 32(5):171-183.

Bartlett, C.R., L.B. O’Brien and S.W. Wilson. 2014. A review of the planthoppers (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea) of the United States. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 50: 1-287.

Beirne, B. P. 1950. Canadian Cixiidae (Homoptera : Fulgoroidea). The Canadian Entomologist 82: 93-101.

Beirne, B. P. 1951. Supplementary notes on Canadian species of Cixiidae (Homoptera : Fulgoroidea).  Canadian Entomologist 83: 315-316.

Berg, C. 1879b. Hemiptera Argentina (Continuacion). Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina 8: 178-192.

Berg, C. 1883. Addenda et Emendanda ad Hemiptera Argentina. (Continuatio). Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina. Buenos Aires 16: 180-191.

Bourgoin T. and M. R. Wilson. 1998. Description of two new species of South American Oliarus Stål (Homoptera: Fulgoromorpha: Cixiidae), including a rice-associated species from Peru. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 100(1): 108-113.

Caldwell, J. S. 1938b. New Texan Fulgoridae (Homoptera). Ohio Journal of Science 38:304-306.

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