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Twelve new species of the Asian plant bug genus Ernestinus Distant (Heteroptera: Miridae: Bryocorinae: Eccritotarsini), with emphasis on unique biology and descriptions of three additional new eccritotarsine species

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The Asian eccritotarsine plant bug genus Ernestinus Distant is diagnosed, redescribed and discussed, on the basis of reevaluation on the effective taxonomic characters including the genitalic structures of both sexes as well as the unique biology. Nineteen congeners are now known, including a dozen of new species herein described from Indonesia (from the Sundaland to the Wallacea), SW Japan, Laos, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. All the new species were observed to inhabit leaves (mostly abaxial surfaces) of the Araceae monocots (particularly of the subfamily Aroideae), on which the adults and every instar immature forms are frequently gregarious together. In addition, three new species in three eccritotarsine genera, Diocleroides Stonedahl & Hernandez, Dioclerus Distant and Harpedona Distant, confirmed during examinations of related materials from Nepal and Thailand, are described. Annotated checklist of all the congeners and a key to all currently known species are provided, to facilitate species identifications.

Affiliations: 1: Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, USA ; 2: Laboratory of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Atsugi, Kanagawa, Japan


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