About the Tymbal website.
The Tymbal website exists to share information about Auchenorrhyncha, a group of insects that has traditionally included leafhoppers, cicadas, froghoppers, spittlebugs and planthoppers (see below). The aim of the website is to aid international scientific cooperation in the study of this group of organisms.
What is "Auchenorrhyncha"?
The term Auchenorrhyncha is applied to a group of organisms thought to be closely related. The introduction of molecular techniques for analysis of higher level relationships (Sorenson et al. 1995, Campbell et al. 1995), coupled with traditional morphological analysis (Ross, et al. 1984, Bourgoin 1986 and onwards) indicated that, while the leafhoppers (Membracoidea), cicadas (Cicadoidea) and froghoppers and spittlebugs (Cercopoidea) appeared to form a monophyletic group, the planthoppers (Fulgoroidea), were considered to be more closely related to the Heteroptera. The Suborder name Fulgoromorpha was adopted for the planthoppers while the remaining Auchenorrhyncha were grouped under the Suborder Cicadomorpha. However, Yoshizawa & Saigusa (2001) found support for the monophyly of the Auchenorrhyncha in the structures of the forewing base and Cryan (2005) also found molecular evidence supporting this. A comprehensive study by Cryan and Urban (2012) using DNA sequence data from seven gene regions and representatives of all Hemiptera lineages demonstrated that the Auchenorrhyncha is indeed monophyletic and the term should be reinstated as a Suborder of the Hemiptera with the Superfamilies Fulgoroidea, Membracoidea, Cicadoidea and Cercopoidea. The other Hemiptera Suborders supported as being monophyletic by Cryan & Urban (2012) are the Sternorrhyncha (aphids, scales, whiteflies, lerps and their relatives), which is the sister group to all other Hemiptera, Heteroptera (stink bugs, water bugs, assassin bugs and their relatives) and Coleorrhyncha (the moss bugs, family Peloridiidae).
The Tymbal Logo
The Tymbal logo above was first published by Frej Ossiannilsson (1949) on the front cover of his landmark publication "Insect Drummers" which was the first to record and analyse the sounds made by leafhoppers and froghoppers. The logo was adopted by Mike Wilson. National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, for the Tymbal newsletter of which he was Editor from 1983 to 1994 and which evolved into this website in 1999.