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Urostylis pallida.jpg
Urostylis pallida
Scientific classification

Dallas, 1851

Urostylididae is a family of true bugs and is considered a basal or "primitive" family within the stink-bug lineage. They are found only in Asia. Older works used the spelling Urostylidae but this clashes with the name used for a protozoan family and a spelling correction (emendation) has been suggested that also avoids the confusion created by homonyms. The family name Urolabididae has also been used for some members in the past.[1]

This family has about a hundred species that have a distribution limited mainly to eastern Asia. Urostylids are somewhat longer (4 to 15 mm) than broad with elongated legs with three tarsal segments and a small head. The antenna has 5 segments of which the first is longer than the head. The base of the antenna has broad tubercles and has a ringed appearance. The simple eyes or ocelli, when present (Urolabida lacks ocelli[2]), are very close to each other. On the underside they show a wide separation between the hind and mid coxae. Other important family characters are the presence of a structure for stridulation, the stridulitrum on the first anal vein of the hind wing and bristles on the claws. The female genital structure has nine gonocoxites that form a M or W-shaped sclerite.[3] They suck plant sap.[4][5] The male reproductive anatomy suggests close affinities to the Tessaratomidae subfamily Natalicolinae. The spermatheca has two pump flanges in two genera which is a feature found also in the Aradidae and Leptopodidae. Thus the phylogeny of the group is unclear but lies within the Pentatomoidea.[6]

Urolabida grayi

In the past the family was divided into two subfamilies, but one group, the Saileriolinae, has since been suggested as a distinct family, Saileriolidae, by at least two studies. The position of Saileriolidae within the Pentatomoidea is still unclear.[3][7]


  1. ^ Berger, H.; Heiss, E.; Kerzhner, I.M. (2001). "Removal of homonymy between Urostylidae Dallas, 1851 (Insecta, Heteroptera) and Urostylidae Buetschli, 1889 (Ciliophora, Hypotrichia)" (PDF). Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien. 103B: 301–302.
  2. ^ Distant, WL (1902). Fauna of British India. Rhynchota. Volume 1. London: Taylor and Francis. p. 303.
  3. ^ a b Grazia, Jocelia; Schuh, Randall T.; Wheeler, Ward C. (2008). "Phylogenetic relationships of family groups in Pentatomoidea based on morphology and DNA sequences (Insecta: Heteroptera)" (PDF). Cladistics. 24: 932–976. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2008.00224.x.
  4. ^ Schuh, Randall T.; Slater, James Alexander (1995). True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera:Heteroptera): Classification and Natural History. Cornell University Press. pp. 245–246.
  5. ^ Ren, Shu-Zhi; Lin, Cheng-Shing (2003). "Revision of the Urostylidae of Taiwan, with descriptions of three new species and one new record (Hemiptera-Heteroptera: Urostylidae)" (PDF). Formosan Entomologist. 23: 129–143.
  6. ^ Kumar, R. (1971). "Morphology and relationships of the Pentatomoidea (Heteroptera) 5-Urostylidae". American Midland Naturalist. 85 (1): 63–73. doi:10.2307/2423912.
  7. ^ Yao, Yunzhi; Cai, Wanzhi; Rider, David A.; Ren, Dong (2012). "Primipentatomidae fam. nov. (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Pentatomomorpha), an extinct insect family from the Cretaceous of north-eastern China". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 11: 1–20. doi:10.1080/14772019.2011.639814.