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Odmalea Bergroth, 1914

Odmalea Bergroth, 1914: 436-437, 438-439.

Type species: Odmalea quadripunctula Bergroth, 1914 (= Mormidea concolor Walker, 1867), by original designation.

Tribal placement: Rider (1994) included Odmalea in his generic conspectus of the Procleticini.

Included species:
basalis (Walker, 1867)
concolor (Walker, 1867)
norda Rolston, 1978
pallida (Jensen-Haarup, 1931)
schaefferi (Barber, 1906)
vega Rolston, 1978

Comments: This genus was revised by Rolston (1978).  Actually recent examination has revealed that there are more species than was recognized by Rolston in the above review.

The first couplet in Rolston's key to species (see below) divided the genus into two parts based on the coloration of the propleura.  In two species recognized by Rolston (concolor and pallida), the propleura is uniformly colored, pale.  In the remaining species recognized by Rolston (basalis, norda, schaefferi, and vega), the propleura has a dark band of punctures along the lateral margins.  Not specifically mentioned by Rolston, but also apparently true was that both O. concolor and O. pallida differed from the other species by being more uniformly pale colored (probably green in life) dorsally, with at most a few small dark transhumeral spots, a couple small dark spots on scutellum, one at each end of the frena, and some dark markings on the head and humeri.  The remaining species appear to be more variegated dorsally with reddish-brown patterns on the dorsum, and pale stramineous markings laterally, at least on the coria.

The first problem I encountered was a male specimen I collected in French Guiana.  It has the propleura distinctly bicolored, but the dorsum is uniformly brown in coloration.  It simply does not key out in Rolston's key.  I suspect it is an undescribed species.

Second, I have examined three specimens from Bolivia (CMNH collection) that have the propleura uniformly pale colored, but the dorsum is variably patterned like the four species in the bottom half of the key.  The pygophore seems to be different from any of those species, the dorsal punctuation becomes sparse or patchy on the corium and base of the scutellum, and the basal angles of the scutellum are foveate.  This probably represents another undescribed species.

Third, I have examined (Eger collection) another specimen from Rondonia which has the propleura rather uniformly punctured with dark punctures (so it neither looks bicolored or uniformly pale colored).  The dorsal surface is rather uniformly dark punctured, not pale as in O. concolor and O. pallida, and not varigated as in the remainig four species.  Also, the ventral abdominal spine is miniscule as compared to the other species, perhaps allying this species more closely with those in Parodmalea.  This probably represents another undescribed species. 

Going back to the first half of the key, I believe O. pallida is fine, and at least one color character mentioned by Rolston (1978) does seem to hold fine for this species.  In all specimens I have examined, "O. concolor" specimens have the brown lateral spots on the scutellum at the distal ends of the frena.  All O. pallida specimens I have examined lack these spots.  I have 15 examples of O. pallida in my collection, 14 of which are from Misiones Prov. in Argentina, and one example from Entre Rios Province in Argentina.

Rolston considered O. concolor to be a widespread species occurring from Central America (Panama) and Trinidad extending southward into the Amazon region of Brazil.  I do have examples of a widespread species which keys to O. concolor - they are from Panama, Trinidad, and French Guiana.  In this species, the ventral surface of the pygophore is relatively smooth on each side of the medial emargination, and the ventral surface is gently rounded more anteriorly.

I also have three male specimens from a single locality in French Guiana (different from those localities in the above species) which also key to O. concolor.  They, however, have a sharp longitudinal carina on each side of the medial emargination, and the ventral surface is obtusely carinate more anteriorly.  The two carinae are subparallel for their entire length.  I also have examined another male specimen (Eger collection) from Rondonia, Brazil (I have a female specimen that probably is conspecific from the same locality) that also has carinae on the ventral surface of the pygophore, but they are somewhat more widely separated from each other, and they are not parallel; that is, they are further apart basally, and closer together distally.

The biggest problem with species related to O. concolor is the correct application of the specific names.  It appears that the more common, widespread species may not actually extend into the Amazon basis.  Yet, the type locality for O. concolor is the Amazon basin.  Perhaps this name should apply to the pair of specimens from Rondonia.  Compounding the problem is that the type of O. concolor is a female which seem to have few, if any, diagnostic characters.  Bergroth (1914) also described a new species, O. quadripunctata, from French Guiana.  This name could apply to either the three specimens from French Guiana, or to the more common, widespread species.  Bergroth had both male and female specimens which should be examined to help clarify the situation.  Furthermore, Ruckes (1959) described a subspecies, O. quadripunctata modesta, from Panama.  This seems like it could only apply to the more common, widespread species.

I have examined another male specimen from Bolivia (USNM) which may or may not be O. concolor.  It also bears a new species label from Ruckes - O. nigricuspis - which is only a manuscript name.  I also have a female specimen in my collection which appears to be the same species.  The pygophore is damaged, and so its determination is suspect. 

Key to males of species of Odmalea (from Rolston, 1978)

1     Propleura almost uniformly colored, pale


     Propleura bicolored, broad border ventrad of denticles dark, remainder of propleura much paler




2(1) Parameres with digitiform production at apex only (South America, Trinidad, Panama)

concolor (Walker)

     Parameres with two digitiform productions, one apical and one lateral (southern South America)

pallida (Jensen-Haarup)



3(1) Parameres expanded distally; a large pale area on basal half of each corium and smaller pale area at costal angle


     Parameres terminating distally in simple hook; pale area on basal half of each corium continuing as narrow percurrent costal border to costal angle of corium




4(3) Parameres unilaterally expanded at apex; pale areas at base and apex of each corium separated (southern South America)

basalis (Walker)

     Parameres bilaterally expanded at apex; pale areas at base and apex of each corium narrowly connected along costal margin (Venezuela)

norda Rolston



5(3)  Margin of genital cup incised directly caudad of parameres, pygophore continuing beyond this point as digitiform projection from dorsal view (southwestern U.S., Mexico)

schaefferi (Barber)

-        Margin of genital cup depressed directly caudad of parameres, pygophore beyond depression knobbed (Colombia)

vega Rolston


Rolston, L. H.  1978.  A revision of the genus Odmalea Bergroth (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae).  Journal of the New York Entomological Society 86(1): 20-36.



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David A. Rider
Professor of Entomology
North Dakota State University
202 Hultz Hall
Fargo, ND 58105
E-Mail: David.Rider@ndsu.edu

Published by the Department of Entomology 

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