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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Paraneoptera
Superordo: Condylognatha
Ordo: Hemiptera
Subordo: Heteroptera
Infraordo: Pentatomomorpha
Superfamilia: Lygaeoidea

Familia: Piesmatidae
Subfamiliae: PiesmatinaePsamminae

Piesmatidae Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Vernacular names
العربية: منضغطات
Deutsch: Meldenwanzen
English: ash-grey leaf bugs
lietuvių: Pilkblakės
latviešu: Balandaugu blaktis
Diné bizaad: Wóółbáhí
polski: Płaszczyńcowate
русский: Ячейницы, или пиезмы
svenska: Mållskinnbaggar
Original reference

Parapiesma quadratum 01

Parapiesma quadratum


Cassis, G. & Schuh, R.T. 2010. Systematic methods, fossils, and relationships within Heteroptera (Insecta). Cladistics 26(3): 262–280. DOI: 10.1111/j.1096-0031.2009.00283.x
Ghahari, H. & Moulet, P. 2012. An annotated catalog of the Iranian Berytidae and Piesmatidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Pentatomomorpha: Lygaeoidea). Zootaxa 3547: 35–45. Preview Reference page.
Grimaldi, D.A. & Engel, M.S. 2008. An unusual, primitive Piesmatidae (Insecta: Heteroptera) in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Burma)]. American Museum novitates (3611). Handle.
Nel, A., Waller, A. & De Ploëg, G. 2004. The oldest fossil piesmatid bug in the Lowermost Eocene amber of the Paris Basin (Heteroptera: Lygaeoidea: Piesmatidae). Geologica Acta 2: 45–50. DOI: 10.1344/105.000001633
Schuh, R.T. & Slater, J.A. 1995. True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Classification and Natural History. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, xii 336 pp. ISBN 978-0-8014-2066-5
Schaefer, C.W. 1972. A cladistic analysis of Piesmatinae. (Hemiptera: Heteroptera-Piesmatidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 65(6): 1258–1261. DOI: 10.1093/aesa/65.6.1258


Piesmatidae is a small family of true bugs, commonly called ash-grey leaf bugs. The Piesmatidae are distributed mostly in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, with some occurring in Africa, Australia and South America. A common species found throughout the Americas is Piesma cinereum.[1]

Ash-grey leaf bugs are small insects, some 2–4 mm overall. The head, thorax and the firm part of the wings are extensively dimpled. This resembles the similar pattern of the Tingidae of the infraorder Cimicomorpha, and was initially taken to signify a close relationship. It is due to convergent evolution however.[1]

They feed on plant sap, mostly of Chenopodiaceae and Caryophyllaceae. Piesma linnavouri have been found on Acacia (Fabaceae). Mcateella have been found on many host plants but mostly Acacia and Proteaceae. The host plants of Miespa remain unknown.[1]


Three subfamilies and eleven genera belong to the family Piesmatidae:[2]

Afropiesma Pericart, 1974
† Eopiesma Nel, Waller & De Ploeg, 2004 Oise amber, France, Ypresian
† Heissiana Popov, 2001 Baltic amber, Rovno amber, Eocene
Mcateella Drake, 1924
Miespa Drake, 1948
Parapiesma Pericart, 1974
Piesma Lepelitier & Serville, 1825


Psammium Breddin In Schumacher, 1913
Saxicoris Slater, 1970
Sympeplus Bergroth, 1921


Thaicoris Kormilev, 1969

Many species were formerly in the type genus Piesma, from which the subgenera Afropiesma and Parapiesma were split off into separate genera. The genus Thaicoris was for some time placed in this family, but it has more recently been suggested that it is a member of the Thaumastocoridae.[1]

There are two fossil genera. Eopiesma from the earliest Eocene (about 55 mya) is still a very basal member of the family. Heissiana, found in Baltic amber from the Eocene might be a northern relative of Mcateella and Miespa but given its distribution it might more comfortably be considered closely related to the ancestor of Eopiesma.[1] From 2007 to 2009 Cretopiesma was placed within the family. Cretopiesma was found in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar and lived about 100 mya (million years ago) and was initially considered to be a primitive piesmatid but this has since been rejected.

The closest relatives of the Piesmatidae remain rather insufficiently determined. After the ash-grey leaf bugs were recognized as Pentatomomorpha, they were most often placed in the Lygaeoidea based on cladistic analysis, with their relatives variously presumed to be the Berytidae, Colobathristidae and Malcidae, or the peculiar, beetle-like Psamminae, a subfamily of the Lygaeidae. For some time, the Psamminae were even included in the Piesmatidae.[1]

Alternatively, the ash-grey leaf bugs were considered Pentatomomorpha incertae sedis or placed in a monotypic superfamily Piesmatoidea with the discovery of Cretopiesma. However a cladistic analysis rejected Cretopiesma from Piesmatidae and placed the genus in the family Aradidae.[3]

Grimaldi, David A. & Engel, Michael S. (2007): An Unusual, Primitive Piesmatidae (Insecta: Heteroptera) in Cretaceous Amber from Myanmar (Burma). American Museum Novitates 3611: 1-17. DOI:10.1206/0003-0082(2008)3611[1:AUPPIH]2.0.CO;2 PDF fulltext
Dellapé, Pablo M.; Henry, Thomas J. (2020). "family Piesmatidae Amyot & Serville, 1843". Lygaeoidea Species File. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
Cassis, G., & R.T. Schuh (2010) Systematic methods, fossils, and relationships within Heteroptera (Insecta). Cladistics 26:262-280.

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