The genus Rutela is a conspicuous member of the scarab beetle subfamily Rutelinae (or shining leaf chafers). This work provides a comprehensive review of the phylogeny and classification of the subtribe Rutelina and a revision of the genus Rutela (Rutelina). Phylogenetic analyses of the subtribe Rutelina were based on 32 representative genera or subgenera in the tribe Rutelini and were conducted as a means of resolving classification conflicts within the subtribe Rutelina, identifying monophyletic groups within the subtribe, and identifying monophyletic lineages within the tribe Rutelini. Based on the results of the phylogenetic analyses, classification changes in the tribe Rutelini are proposed.
As a result of the research, the genus Rutela was found to be composed of four genera. Rutela, Sphaerorutela, Microrutela, and Plesiorutela include a total of 28 species and subspecies that are distributed from southern Georgia and Florida, U.S.A., the West Indies, and southeast Mexico to Argentina. Each genus is treated systematically, including keys to species in English and Spanish, color plates of all species, many illustrations, distribution maps, systematic treatment of each species, host plant data, descriptions of some larvae, and an up-dated key to the American genera of Rutelini.