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November 10, 2016

Twenty-two new species of cicada identified in Australia

Filed under: Australia,Max Moulds — Dan @ 6:28 am

A new paper was published that describes five (5) new cicada genera and twenty-two (22) species of cicadas in Australia.

The paper is Systematics and Phylogeny of the Australian Cicada Genus Pauropsalta Goding and Froggatt, 1904 and Allied Genera (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadettini), the authors are Christopher L. Owen and M. S. Moulds, and it was published by The Australian Museum.

You can download it from this page. The document is 83 pages long, and contains 6 color pages of the cicadas.

The new genera are:

  1. Atrapsalta n.gen. Includes 9 species.
  2. Haemopsalta n.gen. Includes 4 species.
  3. Falcatpsalta n.gen. Includes 1 species.
  4. Relictapsalta n.gen. Includes 1 species.
  5. Popplepsalta n.gen. Includes 12 species. Note that this genera is named for cicada researcher Lindsay Popple.

The new species are:

  1. Pauropsalta accola n.sp.
  2. Pauropsalta adelphe n.sp.
  3. Pauropsalta agasta n.sp.
  4. Pauropsalta confinis n. sp.
  5. Pauropsalta conflua n.sp.
  6. Pauropsalta contigua n.sp.
  7. Pauropsalta ewarti n.sp.
  8. Pauropsalta herveyensis n.sp.
  9. Pauropsalta juncta n.sp.
  10. Pauropsalta katherina n.sp. Note, this name is in honor of cicada researcher Kathy Hill.
  11. Pauropsalta kriki n.sp.
  12. Pauropsalta similis n.sp.
  13. Pauropsalta sinavilla n.sp.
  14. Atrapsalta n.gen. emmotti n.sp. Note, this name is in honor of naturalist Angus Emmott (thx Henry Cook)
  15. Atrapsalta n.gen. furcilla n.sp.
  16. Atrapsalta n.gen. vinea n.sp.
  17. Haemopsalta n.gen. flammeata n.sp.
  18. Haemopsalta n.gen. georgina n.sp.
  19. Palapsalta Moulds, 2012 palaga n.sp.
  20. Palapsalta Moulds, 2012 serpens n.sp.
  21. Popplepsalta n.gen. aeroides n.sp.
  22. Uradolichos Moulds, 2012 rotunda n.sp.

The paper was announced on Twitter by Lindsay Popple on Twitter:

November 2, 2016

New Cicada Photo Guide by Nathan Emery

Filed under: Australia,Books,Nathan Emery — Dan @ 5:34 am

Update: Nathan’s books are back from the press. Get one on eBay, or contact him via Twitter to get yours:

Nature photographer and cicada researcher Nathan Emery is working on a new book called “A Photo Guide to Common Cicadas of the Greater Sydney Region“. It is due out at the end of October, 2016.

September 30, 2016

A New Tribe for the Hammer-Head Cicada

Filed under: Cicadmalleus,Michel Boulard,Stéphane Puissant — Dan @ 4:28 am

A new paper by Michel Boulard & Stéphane Puissant has been released that describes Cicadmalleus micheli, aka the Hammmer-Head cicada of Thailand. As the name of the cicada suggests, the cicada’s head resembles a hammer. The cicada gets a new Tribe as well: Cicadmalleini.

Document details:

Boulard M, Puissant S. Description du mâle de la Cigale-marteau, Cicadmalleus micheli Boulard & Puissant, 2013, et position systématique de l’espèce (Hemiptera, Cicadoidea, Cicadidae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France, 121 (3), 2016 : 313-321.

Links:

September 28, 2016

Brood VI 17-Year Cicadas Due in Spring of 2017

Filed under: Brood VI,Magicicada,Periodical,Periodical Stragglers — Dan @ 1:01 am

BROOD VI

Brood VI (6) 17-year cicadas (“locusts”) will emerge in the spring of 2017, in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia… and very possibly other locations as well.

About Brood VI:

The cicada species that will emerge are Magicicada septendecim (Linnaeus, 1758)1, Magicicada septendecula Alexander and Moore, 19621, and possibly Magicicada cassini (Fisher, 1851) 2. These periodical cicadas have a 17-year life cycle. The last time they emerged was 2000.

When: Generally speaking, these cicadas will begin to emerge when the soil 8″ beneath the ground reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit 3. A nice, warm rain will often trigger a emergence. So, definitely May, but something might happen in April if we have a particularly hot spring.

Locations where they are likely to emerge:

This data comes from the Cicada Central Magicicada Database and other sources.

Brood VI

Georgia:

Counties: Rabun.

North Carolina:

Counties: Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Henderson, McDowell, Polk, Wilkes.

South Carolina

Counties: Oconee, Pickens.

And Maybe…

Various counties in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. More about that here.

Learn more about Brood VI:

A pair of Magicicada septendecim:
A pair of mating Magicicada septendecims found in Woodbridge Township NJ

Here’s some more stuff to get you excited about the emergence:

Watch a cicada emerge from its skin:

A whole lot of cicada nymphs:

Other than Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina

Warning: this ramble might be boring for folks not in GA, NC, and SC. You might want to skip it.

The most interesting aspect of Brood VI for cicada researchers is its widespread distribution according to literature from the past. Take a look at the Brood VI map on Magicicada.org to see what I mean. See all those blue triangles? Those represent locations from the 1923 version of C.L. Marlatt’s The Periodical Cicada (United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology Bulletin 71). Notice that they’re all over the United States, east of the Mississippi, and not just concentrated in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, like the recent, verified sightings which are marked with Gold & Brown symbols.

The question is: was C.L. Marlatt mistaken? Is Brood VI really as widespread as his bulletin suggests, or do these sightings represent:

  1. Stragglers from other Broods like X or V.
  2. Members of Brood XIX that just happened to emerge the same year as Brood VI.
  3. Errors
  4. A combination of two or more of these.

Or… perhaps they are (or were) totally legitimate, actual populations of Brood VI.

If you look at the data from the Cicada Central Magicicada Database and compare the County/State locations where the Literature says Brood VI is, with other broods that emerge in these County/State locations, you’ll find an argument for the possibilities mentioned above.

Brood VI Counties
Brood X really stands out.

Stragglers from other 17-year Broods

Quoting David Marshall’s paper Periodical Cicada (Homoptera: Cicadidae) Life-Cycle Variations, the Historical Emergence Record, and the Geographic Stability of Brood Distributions: “Many of the questionable brood VI records fall within the ranges of 17-yr broods II, V, and – separated from brood VI by 1 or 4 yr.”4

It’s very likely that Brood X stragglers, arriving a very-probable four years early, might be mistaken for Brood VI. About 41% of the Brood VI records overlap with Brood X. Reports of Brood X stragglers, year after year, could add up to significant numbers, and appear to be populations of Brood VI.

Not as likely, but still possible are Brood V stragglers emerging a year late. That would account for about 20% of the overlaps.

Probability of Magicicada straggling in order most likely first: 1) 4 years early, 2) 4 years late, 3) 1 year early, 4) 1 year late. Read more about stragglers.

Co-Emergence with Brood XIX

Brood XIX cicadas have a 13-year life cycle, and Brood XIX and VI will emerge in the same year every 221 years 13 x 17 = 221).

About 9% of the Brood VI records show an overlap with Brood XIX. The last co-emergence of these broods happened in 1881. There’s a good chance in that in 1898 Brood XIX +4 year stragglers emerged along with Brood VI too.

Legitimate groups of Brood VI not in GA, NC or SC

About 20% of the Brood VI records share no overlap with other Broods (at least according to the database). These are the interesting ones (to me at least). These seem to be the most likely candidates for something unique, and not a straggler or descendant of another Brood. There seem to be about seven counties in Wisconsin that share no overlap with another Brood. Notice on the Magicicada.org Brood VI page this: “Isolated populations in WI were not confirmed in 2000, but the search was not exhaustive.” Hmmm… I have to ask.

It is possible that groups of Brood VI existed during Marlatt’s time, but they have gone extinct since the 1920s. We lost Brood XI in 1954 — extinction is highly possible.

The Jim Thorp Pennsyvalnia periodical cicadas that emerged in-sync with Brood V in 2016 are an example of a group of periodical cicadas that share the same cycle as a major brood, but differ in location, and probably lineage. There might be a few examples like this as well.

2000 Emergence

Gene Kritsky’s must-own book Periodical Cicadas the Plague and the Puzzle (2004, Indiana Academy of Science, page 97) notes that in 2000 there were several large emergences of periodical cicadas outside of GA, NC & SC. They emerged in Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Note that Brood X also emerges in these areas. Has part of Brood X been accelerating to fall into the same cycle as Brood VI? Maybe.

Etc.

Last, it is important to mention that there will be plenty of legitimate Brood X stragglers emerging next year (Brood X map). These might get confused with Brood VI.

1 Teiji Sota, Satoshi Yamamoto, John R. Cooley, Kathy B.R. Hill, Chris Simon, and Jin Yoshimu. Independent divergence of 13- and 17-y life cycles among three lineages of periodical cicada lineages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

2 Gene Kritsky Periodical Cicadas the Plague and the Puzzle (2004, Indiana Academy of Science, page 97)

3 James Edward Heath, Thermal Synchronization of Emergence in Periodical “17-year” Cicadas (Homoptera, Cicadidae, Magicicada) American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 80, No. 2. (Oct., 1968), pp. 440-448.

4 David C Marshall Periodical Cicada (Homoptera: Cicadidae) Life-Cycle Variations, the Historical Emergence Record, and the Geographic Stability of Brood Distributions. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 94(3): 386Ð399 (2001). Link to website where you can get this document.

* The map is based on this map from the Wikimedia Commons by Lokal_Profil. The data for the map come’s from Magicicada.org.


September 17, 2016

What is Megatibicen?!

Update (9/20): I guessed the species correctly: all the Large Flute Players.

Update (9/24): I neglected to note that there’s another paper out there by Young June Lee called Description of three new genera, Paratibicen, Megatibicen, and Ameritibicen, of Cryptotympanini (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) and a key to their species. Link to it here. This manuscript goes beyond one new genera, and instead introduces three: Paratibicen, Megatibicen, and Ameritibicen. Lee’s paper differs from Sanborn & Heath in that the large Neotibicen are spit into Megatibicen and Ameritibicen in Young’s document, but they’re all Megatibicen in Sanborn & Heath’s paper.

Megatibicen

Last night I had a rough night’s sleep. I tossed and turned all night long. I remember looking at the clock and seeing 4am, and thinking “tomorrow is ruined”. Sometime during the night I dreamt of finding thousands of molted Neotibicen exuvia clinging to shrubbery — a rare if not impossible sight in real life.

When I woke I checked my email and found a communication from David Marshall. David is well known and respected in the cicada world for many things including describing the 7th species of Magicicada with John Cooley (link to document), as well as being part of the team who defined the Neotibicen and Hadoa genera (link to paper)1.

David wrote to let me know that Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath had published a new paper titled: Megatibicen n. gen., a new North American cicada genus (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae: Cryptotympanini), 2016, Zootaxa Vol 4168, No 3.(link).

So, what is MEGATIBICEN? Assumptions after the abstract.

Here is the abstract:

The genus Tibicen has had a confusing history (see summary in Boulard and Puissant 2014; Marshall and Hill 2014; Sanborn 2014). Boulard and his colleague (Boulard 1984; 1988; 1997; 2001; 2003; Boulard and Puissant 2013; 2014; 2015) have argued for the suppression of Tibicen and the taxa derivatived from it in favor of Lyristes Horváth. Boulard’s argument for suppression was first described in Melville and Sims (1984) who presented the case for suppression to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature with further comments made by Hamilton (1985), Boulard (1985), and Lauterer (1985). A lack of action resulted in additional comments being published in 2014 again supporting the retention (Sanborn 2014; Marshall and Hill 2014) or the suppression (Boulard and Puissant 2014) of Tibicen.

My guess, without reading the document, is that Megatibicen includes the larger North America Neotibicen species, including the “auletes group” (N. auletes, N. resh, N. figuratus, N. resonans), the “pronotalis group” (N. pronotalis, N. dealbatus, N. cultriformis) and the “dorsatus group” (N. dorsatus, N. tremulus), or a mix of these. N. auletes is the largest cicada in North America. “Mega” is the Greek word for “very large” or “great”. Word is that Kathy Hill and David Marshall also planned on describing a Megatibicen genus at one point, as well.

Whenever cicada names change it causes feelings of bemusement, discontentment and discomfort amongst some cicada researches and fans. I know I don’t like it because I have to update the names of cicadas in 100’s of places on this website ;). Some folks simply disagree with the folks writing the paper. Some people prefer former names because they sound nicer (e.g. N. chloromerus vs N. tibicen tibicen). Some people simply do not like change.

Related: Here’s my article on when Neotibicen & Hadoa were established from Tibicen.

1 Hill, et al. Molecular phylogenetics, diversification, and systematics of Tibicen Latreille 1825 and allied cicadas of the tribe Cryptotympanini, with three new genera and emphasis on species from the USA and Canada (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadidae) 2015, Zootaxa 3985 (2): 219–251.

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