Notes on identification of the cactus bugs, Chelinidea, in the U. S.

Chelinidea canyona

  • head with dark stripes adjacent to pale midline stripe
  • otherwise, resembles C. tabulata
  • Nymphs with greenish body, reddish-brown head, pale yellowish legs
  • holotype
  • TX, AR

Chelinidea hunteri

  • anterior pronotum lacking tubercles, but with a cylindrical collar set off from the rest of the pronotum by a deep incision
  • AZ, TX

Chelinidea tabulata

Chelinidea vittiger

  • femurs rounded, lacking ridge
  • anterior pronotum with a very short tubercle on each side of head with distinct notch at base
  • nymphs green or brownish red with black heads, legs, and antennae
  • Widespread; wherever prickly pear occurs

1924 paper describing each species:
Hamlin, J. C. (1924). A review of the genus Chelinidea (Hemiptera-Heteroptera) with biological data. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 17(2), 193-208.

Posted by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton, December 27, 2021 15:45


Nice write up.

Have you seen anything on nymphs of canyona or hunteri? I still hesitate to ID the nymphs because I have never seen these. Though it's probably pretty safe in most places since these species are so uncommon.

Posted by ncb1221 5 months ago (Flag)

I haven't found anything on the nymphs, yet. I was hesitant also...but I figured if the adults haven't been seen in the area, we'd probably not be seeing the nymphs (not best practice...but sometimes I have an itchy trigger finger.

This 1924 paper describes nymphs of canyona--but the author had no experience with hunteri:
Third instar...."Head, reddish-brown; thorax greenish with black lines on either side just above coxae; legs and antennae pale yellowish; tip of beak and tarsi, black; abdomen pale dull green with two dorsal, yellow slits inconspicuous, and margins sawlike and blackened. "

Posted by pfau_tarleton 5 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for the info. I'll keep any eye out too for any different looking nymphs. Interesting bugs

Posted by ncb1221 5 months ago (Flag)

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