Phylogeny And Classification Nomenclature

The monophyly of the four existing superfamilies of Auchenorrhyncha has long been accepted, but controversy persists regarding the relationships of these lineages to each other and to various other fossil and extant hemipteran lineages. Consequently, no single classification scheme has gained universal acceptance, and the nomenclature of the various groups is presently unstable. Traditionally, Auchenorrhyncha were treated as one of three suborders of the order Homoptera. Fossil evidence, as well as phylogenetic analyses based on DNA sequences of extant taxa, suggest that Heteroptera (true bugs; Hemiptera, sensu stricto) arose from within Homoptera and, possibly, from within Auchenorrhyncha. Thus, many recent workers have combined Homoptera and Heteroptera into a single order. This order is usually referred to as Hemiptera (sensu lato), but some entomologists advocate using the ordinal name Rhynchota to avoid confusion with the more restricted definition of Hemiptera (Heteroptera) widely used in the literature. Some recent workers have further proposed dividing the Auchenorrhyncha into two suborders: Clypeorrhyncha for the lineage comprising Cicadoidea, Cercopoidea, and Membracoidea, and Archaeorrhyncha for Fulgoroidea. The older names Cicadomorpha and Fulgoromorpha, respectively (usually treated as infraorders within suborder Auchenorrhyncha), are more commonly used for these two groups. For convenience, and because the phylogenetic status of the group has not been elucidated satisfactorily, Auchenorrhyncha is retained here as the subordinal name with the caveat that this group may represent a paraphyletic assemblage rather than a monophyletic group. The current classification of families is presented in Table I.

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