Machaerotidae are a family of bugs in the superfamily Cercopoidea which were formerly grouped with the other cercopids. They are sometimes called as tube-forming spittle-bugs as the nymphs form a calcareous tube within which they live. These bugs are mainly found in the Old World tropics. The adults of many genera have a long, free and spine-like process originating at the scutellum and thus superficially similar to the tree-hoppers, Membracidae. Its tegmen or forewing, like typical bugs of the suborder Heteroptera, always has a distinct, membranous apical area.
Like other cercopoids, these are xylem-sap feeders. The nymph extracts calcium from the xylem fluid and constructs a calcareous tube from Malphigian gland secretions on some woody dicotyledons and immerses itself in a rather clear fluid excretion inside the tube. The tube strongly resembles the shell of certain serpulid sea worms or helicoid land snails and contain no less than 75% calcium carbonate. This habit is quite uncommon in the class Insecta and markedly different from that of typical cercopoids or spittlebugs, which make and live in a froth mass either below or above ground. Machaerotids produce foam only when they emerge from the tube to moult. There are about 115 species in 31 genera placed in 4 tribes. The majority of species are found in Southeast Asia with a small number for Africa. They were traditionally separated into two subfamilies Machaerotinae which have the scutellar spine and Enderleiniinae which lack it. A third family, also lacking the spine, Apomachaerotinae, was introduced in 2014. The scutellum has a "tail" or appears raised towards the posterior end.Cercopoidea
A list of the subfamilies, tribes and genera is as follows:
A list of the subfamilies, tribes and genera is as follows:Apomachaerotinae Apomachaerota Schmidt, 1907 Serreia Baker, 1927 Machaerotinae Maxudeini Blastacaen Maa, 1963 Conditor Distant, 1916 Maxudea Schmidt, 1907 Machaerotini Dianmachaerota Nie & Liang, 2009 Grypomachaerota Schmidt, 1907 Irridiculum Hamilton, 2014 Machaerota Burmeister, 1835 Platymachaerota Schmidt, 1918 Romachaeta Maa, 1963 Sigmasoma Schmidt, 1907 Tapinacaena Maa, 1963 Enderleiniinae Hindoloidini Aphrosiphon China, 1935 Hindoloides Distant, 1915 Kyphomachaerota Bell & Cryan, 2013 Trigonurella Maa, 1963 Enderleiniini Aecalusa Maa, 1963 Allox Hamilton, 2014 Chaetophyes Schmidt, 1981 Enderleinia Schmidt, 1907 Hindola Kirkaldy, 1900 Labramachaerota Bell & Cryan, 2013 Labrosyne Maa, 1963 Machaeropsis Melichar, 1903 Makiptyelus Maki, 1914 Neuroleinia Lallemand, 1936 Neuromachaerota Schmidt, 1912 Pectinariophyes Kirkaldy, 1906 Polychaetophyes Kirkaldy, 1906 Taihorina Schumacher, 1915