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Neotropical Entomology

Print version ISSN 1519-566XOn-line version ISSN 1678-8052

Neotrop. Entomol. vol.36 no.2 Londrina Mar./Apr. 2007 



The correct name of the neotropical soybean bug (Hemiptera: Alydidae)


O nome correto do percevejo neotropical da soja (Hemiptera: Alydidae)



Carl W. Schaefer

Dept. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Univ. Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3043, USA,




A species of Neomegalotomus is an occasional pest of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] in the neotropics, including in Brazil. It was known as Neomegalotomus parvus (Westwood); but the discovery of the type specimen of a species described earlier requires that the name be changed to Neomegalotomus simplex (Westwood), which becomes the correct name for the soybean pest.

key words: Type species, Neomegalotomus, Glycine max


Uma espécie de Neomegalotomus é praga ocasional de soja [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] na Região Neotropical, incluindo o Brasil. Essa espécie era conhecida como Neomegalotomus parvus (Westwood); entretanto, a descoberta da espécie tipo de uma outra espécie, descrita anteriormente, requer que o nome seja trocado para Neomegalotomus simplex (Westwood), o que o torna o nome correto para essa praga da soja.

Palavras-chave: Espécie tipo, Neomegalotomus, Glycine max



Members of the alydid subfamily Alydinae, the broadheaded bugs, feed on the green seeds of leguminous plants (Schaefer 1980, Schaefer & Mitchell 1983). In the neotropics, members of Neomegalotomus (formerly Megalotomus), a genus indigenous to the neotropics and subneotropics, have become occasional pests on various leguminous crops, such as lablab (Santos & Panizzi 1988a), common bean (Paradela Fº et al. 1972), and pigeon pea (Santos & Panizzi 1998b). However, these bugs are more important as pests of soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill (Santos & Panizzi 1998b, Panizzi et al. 2000).

The South American species of Neomegalotomus was recently identified as Neomegalotomus parvus (Westwood) (Schaefer & Panizzi 1998, Schaefer & Ahmad, unpublished). This species was then thought to be the type species of the genus (Schaffner & Schaefer 1998). However, very recently, the holotype of Neomegalotomus simplex (Westwood) has become available. I find that N. parvus and N. simplex are the same species, and synonymize them here.

Westwood (1842) described both species (as members of Alydus) in the same publication. Until the holotype of Neomegalotomus (Westwood’s Alydus) simplex became available, I had considered N. parvus to be the type of the genus, because it was the first species of what is now Neomegalotomus both to be described and of which a type specimen existed (Schaefer & Ahmad, unpublished). Now however that decision must be reconsidered, because of the discovery of the type of Neomegalotomus (Westwood’s Alydus) simplex.

Westwood’s description of Neomegalotomus simplex is on page 18 of that publication, and his description of N. parvus is on page 19. Thus, by page priority, Neomegalotomus simplex has seniority over N. parvus, and therefore is the type species of the genus. Neomegalotomus parvus (Westwood 1842, p. 19) is a junior synonym of Neomegalotomus simplex (Westwood 1842, p. 18).

It follows also that the correct name for the Neomegalotomus species which attacks soybean in the neotropics, is Neomegalotomus simplex, not Neomegalotomus parvus.



I thank I. Lansbury and J.E. Hogan (Hope Entomological Collections, University of Oxford), for lending me the type specimens of both Neomegalotomus simplex and Neomegalotomus parvus. And I am grateful to Dr. A.R. Panizzi (Embrapa Soja, Londrina) for years of friendship and scientific collaboration, and for the Portuguese translation of the abstract.



Panizzi, A.R., C.W. Schaefer & Y. Natuhara. 2000. Broad-headed bugs (Alydidae), p.321-336. In C.W. Schaefer & A.R. Panizzi (eds.), Heteroptera of economic importance, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 828p.        [ Links ]

Paradela Fo., O., C.J. Rosseto & A.S. Pompeu. 1972. Megalotomus parvus Westwood (Hemiptera, Alydidae), vector de Nematospora coryli Peglion em feijoeiro. Bragantia 31: 5-10.        [ Links ]

Santos, C.H. & A.R. Panizzi. 1998a. Nymphal and adult performance of Neomegalotomus parvus (Hemiptera: Alydidae) on wild and cultivated legumes. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 91: 445-451.        [ Links ]

Santos, C.H. & A.R. Panizzi. 1998b. Danos qualitativos causados por Neomegalotomus parvus (Westwood) em sementes de soja. An. Soc. Entomol. Brasil 27: 387-393.        [ Links ]

Schaefer, C.W. 1980. The host plants of the Alydinae, with a note on heterotypic feeding aggregations (Hemiptera: Coreoidea: Alydidae). J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 53: 115-122.        [ Links ]

Schaefer, C.W. & P.L. Mitchell. 1983. Food plants of the Coreoidea (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 76: 591-615.        [ Links ]

Schaefer, C.W. & A.R. Panizzi. 1998. The correct name of "Megalotomus" pests of soybean (Hemiptera: Alydidae). An. Soc. Entomol. Brasil 27: 669-670.        [ Links ]

Schaffner, J.C. & C. W. Schaefer. 1998. Neomegalotomus new genus (Hemiptera: Alydidae: Alydinae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 91: 395-396.        [ Links ]

Westwood, J.O. 1837-1842. A catalogue of Hemiptera in the collection of the Rev. F.W. Hope, with short Latin descriptions of the new species. J. Bridgewater, London. 1837, 1: 1-46; 1842, 2:1-26.        [ Links ]



Received 4/VIII/06. Accepted 30/VIII/06.

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