Familia Stenocephalidae Dallas, 1852

Family STENOCEPHALIDAE Dallas, 1852

W.R. Dolling

The family comprises a single genus all of whose reliably reported host plants belong to the genus Euphorbia and perhaps some closely related genera of Euphorbiaceae. Some species have been shown to transmit plant-parasitic protozoans of the genus Phytomonas (family Trypanosomatidae), which inhabit the latex of the host plants. In warm climates the bugs are frequently attracted to light. Most species are Palaearctic or Afrotropical but a few occur in the Oriental Region and Australia. It seems that some species have extended their range through accidental introductions by human activity, possibly in shingle ballast. The most notable such instance is the presence of an established population of one Palaearctic species in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, where it was first found in 1835.

World revision: Lansbury, 1965d, 1966e, 1966f. Palaearctic catalogue: Dolling, 2006a.