Making sense of fulgoridae.
New phylogenetic evidence
PENTHICODES CELEBICA LANTERNFLY
Penthicodes is a genus of bugs (Auchenorrhyncha) belonging to the family Fulgoridae, subfamily Aphaeninae: found in South-East Asia.
The family Fulgoridae is a large group of hemipteran insects, especially abundant and diverse in the tropics, containing over 125 genera worldwide. They are mostly of moderate to large size, many with a superficial resemblance to Lepidoptera due to their brilliant and varied coloration. Various genera and species (especially the genera Fulgora and Pyrops) are sometimes referred to as lanternflies or lanthorn flies, though they do not emit light.
The head of some species is produced into a hollow process (structure), resembling a snout, which is sometimes inflated and nearly as large as the body of the insect, sometimes elongated, narrow and apically upturned. It was believed, mainly on the authority of Maria Sibylla Merian, that this process, the so-called lantern, was luminous at night in the living insect. Carl Linnaeus adopted the statement without question and coined a number of specific names, such as laternaria, phosphorea and candelaria to illustrate the supposed fact, and thus propagated the myth.
The Family Fulgoridae contains the world's largest and most spectacular planthoppers. They have been given the inaccurate and misleading common name of Lantern flies. It is inaccurate because the name is based on an erroneous report that some species produce light when they mate. Australia's fulgorid fauna, although containing some of our largest fulgoroids many of which are brightly coloured, is relatively depauperate when compared with the SE Asian fauna.