Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/2007
Publication Date: 1/15/2008
Citation: Schuh, R.T., Weirauch, C., Henry, T.J., Halbert, S.E. 2008. Curaliidae, a new family of Heteroptera (Insecta: Hemiptera) from the eastern United States. Annuals of the Entomological Society of America. 101:20-29. Interpretive Summary: True bugs are among the most important agricultural and ornamental crop pests, causing many millions of dollars damage annually. Although true bugs represent the fifth largest group of insects, with more nearly 40,000 species in 85 families known in the world, their classification is poorly known. This paper presents the description of a new predatory bug genus and species that represents a family of true bugs new to science. This remarkable new insects, named the "ruby bug" because of the bright ruby-red color of the head and certain wing parts, is thought to be predatory based on the structure of its mouthparts. The discovery of the ruby bug provides new morphological information important to reinterpreting relationships among the families of true bugs. This study will have broad impact to a wide array of researchers interested in true bug relationships and feeding habits.
Technical Abstract: Curalium cronini, new genus and new species is described from the southern United States. Color images of whole specimens, line drawings and scanning electron micrographs of morphological details are provided. The relationships of Curalium are discussed within the context of a phylogenetic analysis for the Heteroptera: Cimicomorpha. Because Curalium possesses many autapomorphic features, and because its placement in any existing family would render the diagnosis of that group meaningless, this novel taxon is placed in the new family Curaliidae. Diagnostic characters for the new family are provided.