Cleptocoris StÅl is synonymized with Peirates Serville. Its species are assigned to the P. collarti and P. lepturoides species groups. The former group includes P. collarti Schouteden and P. monodi Villiers; the latter group is formed by P. amieti Villiers, P. areatus Miller, P. atromaculatus (StÅl), P. aurigans Distant, P. balteatus Germar, P. cinctiventris Horváth, P. diola (Villiers) comb. n., P. lepturoides (Wolff), P. macilentus Miller, P. maurus StÅl (= Cleptocoris leyei Villiers, syn. n.), P. niger Signoret, P. nitidicollis Reuter (= P. conspurcatus Distant, syn. n.), P. ochripennis Jeannel, P. perinetensis Villiers, P. strepitans Rambur (= P. rufescens Villiers, syn. n.), P. tellini Schouteden and P. turpis Walker (= P. brachypterus Horváth, syn. rev.). These species are redescribed, illustrated, their geographical distribution mapped, and keys for separating them are given. A phylogenetic analysis of the species is presented. In the cladogram, the P. collarti and P. lepturoides species groups are monophyletic and sister taxa. Within the latter, P. amieti is the sister species to the trichotomy formed by P. perinetensis, P. strepitans and the clade including the remaining species which comprises, in phylogenetic order, the pair P. niger - P. turpis; the group including P. cinctiventris, P. lepturoides, P. areatus, and P. ochripennis; and the group including P. atromaculatus-P. aurigans, P. balteatus, P. tellini, P. macilentus-P. nitidicollis, P. diola - P. maurus. The geographical distribution of the species shows an African - Indopacific generalized track, with an Indian Ocean baseline. The group is hypothesized to be of tropical Gondwanan origin, with subsequent spread into the Palearctic.