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Orthops basalis

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No subspecies are recognized. Note that the status of the American taxon Orthops scutellatus Uhler, 1877 is debated. Some authors regard it as a synonym of the present species, but this is very likely incorrect. Orthops scutellatus might be a subspecies of the present species, but is here regarded as a separate species until further data about its status is available.

Phytocoris basalis A. Costa, 1853
Lygus basalis (A. Costa, 1853)
Orthops basalis (A. Costa, 1853)
Lygus caucasicus Jakovlev, 1879
Lygus basalis intermedia Tamanini, 1951
Lygus basalis testacea Tamanini, 1951 (nec Lygus rubricatus testacea Stichel, 1930)
Lygus basalis tamaninii Stichel, 1958 (replacement name)

Lygus scutellatus auct. nec Uhler, 1877
Orthops scutellatus auct. nec Uhler, 1877

Very similar to Orthops kalmii. The extent of the dark color on the frons differs between the species, but this is variable and Wagner (1961) argues that it cannot reliably separate the species. However, usually the face of Orthops kalmii is entirely black, whereas the black on the face of Orthops basalis is (at least partially) divided into two parts by the brown ground color. Wagner (1961) states that the ratio of the width of the eye and the frons can be used to separate the species:

Orthops basalis sensu Wagner (1961)
Orthops kalmii (sensu Wagner, 1961)
Male: frons 1.0x the width of the eye
Female: frons 1.4x the width of the eye
Male: frons 1.3x the width of the eye
Female: frons 1.5x the width of the eye

However, based on my experience, these values do not accurately fit the two species. In fact, Orthops basalis has the wider frons, not Orthops kalmii. The ratio of head width (1) to frons width (2) appears to be a good measure to discriminate between the two species (Fig. 1). This ratio is 2.1 or less in Orthops basalis, but 2.2 or more in Orthops kalmii.

Fig. 1. Schematic drawing of the head in frontal view showing the measurements of head width (1) and frons width (2).

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Specimen photographed in Blasiwald (Baden-Württemberg) on August 7, 2014.

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This page has been updated on August 21, 2014
This site is online since May 31, 2005
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