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August 6, 2018

Megatibicen resh aka the Resh Cicada

Filed under: Megatibicen — Tags: — Dan @ 6:51 am

Megatibicen resh (formerly Neotibicen resh and Tibicen resh) is commonly known as the Resh Cicada because the markings on its back resemble the Hebrew symbol Resh “ר”. The Resh Cicada has been documented to be found in Arkansas, Kansas, Lousiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennesee, and Texas.

Most people will discover them by finding their exuvia (shed skins, “shells”) on trees, or by their striking calls at sunset. I first encountered this cicada in Dallas, Texas near Pioneer Plaza (cattle sculptures). First I found the exuvia on oak trees (I needed a 3′ stick added to my 8′ reach to knock them down), and then at sunset I heard their call (which I mistook for M. auletes (which is not in Texas)). Listen to their song.

It is one of the smaller Megatibicen — maybe only M. dealbatus is smaller. Compare sizes using this image by Kathy Hill. Its compound eyes are gray-beige, with a black “mask” between the eyes, and its simple eyes are pink. Its ventral side is white and caramel colored. Its dorsal side is dominated by a light green color, with black, brown and white — forming a symmetrical camouflage pattern — which helps to hide the cicada in its arboreal habitat. Recently molted, golden pruinose shimmers on its head, pronotum, mesonotum, and abdomen.

Megatibicen resh  female adult

During the molting process, up until the cicada’s body sclerotizes (hardens), the cicada’s body is leaf-green (camouflaged like a hanging leaf).

Megatibicen resh  female spreading wings 2

The exuvia of the Resh cicada is large and easy to spot, even high up in trees. Even though molted adults are closer in size to N. tibicen than M. auletes, the exuvia of M. resh is comparable to M. auletes, which is the largest cicada in North America.

Resh Auletes and Tibicen

July 31, 2018

New paper: The periodical cicada four-year acceleration hypothesis revisited and the polyphyletic nature of Brood V

A new paper about periodical cicadas! View it: https://peerj.com/articles/5282/

“The periodical cicada four-year acceleration hypothesis revisited and the polyphyletic nature of Brood V, including an updated crowd-source enhanced map (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada)”

Authors: John R. Cooley​, Nidia Arguedas, Elias Bonaros, Gerry Bunker, Stephen M. Chiswell, Annette DeGiovine, Marten Edwards, Diane Hassanieh, Diler Haji, John Knox, Gene Kritsky, Carolyn Mills, Dan Mozgai, Roy Troutman, John Zyla, Hiroki Hasegawa, Teiji Sota, Jin Yoshimura, and Chris Simon.

Abstract:

The periodical cicadas of North America (Magicicada spp.) are well-known for their long life cycles of 13 and 17 years and their mass synchronized emergences. Although periodical cicada life cycles are relatively strict, the biogeographic patterns of periodical cicada broods, or year-classes, indicate that they must undergo some degree of life cycle switching. We present a new map of periodical cicada Brood V, which emerged in 2016, and demonstrate that it consists of at least four distinct parts that span an area in the United States stretching from Ohio to Long Island. We discuss mtDNA haplotype variation in this brood in relation to other periodical cicada broods, noting that different parts of this brood appear to have different origins. We use this information to refine a hypothesis for the formation of periodical cicada broods by 1- and 4-year life cycle jumps.

July 25, 2018

Discovery of psychoactive plant & mushroom alkaloids in ancient fungal cicada pathogens

Filed under: Massospora fungi — Dan @ 4:22 pm

Many cicada species suffer from fungal pathogens belonging to the genus Massospora. These fungi destroy the reproductive organs of males and cause them to behave like female cicadas — in the case of Magicicada cicadas, they flick their wings instead of singing — and they attempt to mate with other males, thus spreading the fungus.

A new paper has been published titled Discovery of psychoactive plant & mushroom alkaloids in ancient fungal cicada pathogens. Authors: Greg Boyce, Emile Gluck-Thaler, Jason C. Slot, Jason E. Stajich, William J. Davis, Tim Y. James, John R. Cooley, Daniel G. Panaccione, Jorgen Eilenberg, Henrik H. De Fine Licht, Angie M. Macias, Matthew C. Berger, Kristen L. Wickert, Cameron M. Stauder, Ellie J. Spahr, Matthew D. Maust, Amy M. Metheny, Chris Simon, Gene Kritsky, Kathie T. Hodge, Richard A. Humber, Terry Gullion, Dylan P. G. Short, Teiya Kijimoto, Dan Mozgai, Nidia Arguedas, Matthew T. Kasson. You can access it on biorxiv.

This new paper makes discoveries about the fungi.

Abstract:

Entomopathogenic fungi routinely kill their hosts before releasing infectious conidia, but select species keep their hosts alive while sporulating to enhance spore dispersal. Recent expression and metabolomics studies involving host-killing entomopathogens have helped unravel infection processes and host responses, yet the mechanisms underlying active host transmission in insects with Entomophthoralean fungal infections are completely unexplored. Here we report the discovery, through global and targeted metabolomics supported by metagenomics and proteomics, of the plant amphetamine, cathinone, in Massospora cicadina-infected periodical cicadas, and the mushroom tryptamine, psilocybin, in M. platypediae- and M. levispora-infected annual cicadas. The neurogenic activities of these alkaloids provide a hypothetical framework for a chemically induced extended phenotype of Massospora that alters cicada behavior by increasing endurance and suppressing feeding prior to death.

Massospora bae

Collared cicadas of Mexico, Central & South America

Filed under: Daza,Miranha,Odopoea,Procollina,Zammara — Dan @ 5:05 am

Most of the information on this website is focused on cicadas of the U.S.A. and Canada. There are plenty of cicadas south of the U.S., of course. Recently we started getting identification (ID) requests for cicadas of Mexico, and with the help of experts (Geert Goemans and Allen Sanborn) and a paper from the early 20th century, I was able to ID them all.

A large number of the IDs were for cicadas with pronounced pronotal collars. Many of these look like the same species, but they’re not. Many of these species are found from Mexico, throughout Central America down to South America.

On this page are six collared cicadas that exist in Mexico, Central America and South America. Illustrations come from Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. I by W. L. Distant and The Rev Canon W. W. Fowler, F.L.S. I updated the names to their current names (the source is about 100 years behind the times, expectedly so). Note that the illustrations from this document are of dead specimens, so the colors were faded at the time they were illustrated.

Daza montezuma (Walker, 1850)

Formerly Odopoea montezuma. This cicada is actually tourquois to pale blue when alive. Red eyes. No infuscation (coloration) in the wings. Link to original illustration..

Daza montezuma

Zammara smaragdina Walker, 1850

Green with black infuscation in the wings.

Zammara smaragdina Walker, 1850

Here is a photo by Andreas Key (taken in Ecuador):

Emerald Cicada, Zammara smaragdina

Zammara calochroma Walker, 1858

Green with remarkable black infuscation in the wings.

Zammara calochroma Walker, 1858

Miranha imbellis (Walker, 1858)

formerly Odopoea imbellis

Miranha imbellis (Walker, 1858)

Procollina medea (Stål, 1864)

formerly Odopoea medea

Procollina medea (Stål, 1864)

Odopoea azteca Distant, 1881

Odopoea azteca Distant, 1881

References:

  • Allen F. Sanborn. Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). Academic Press. 2014. 10.1016/B978-0-12-416647-9.00001-2
  • Goemans, Geert. (2010). A historical overview of the classification of the Neotropical tribe Zammarini (Hemiptera, Cicadidae) with a key to genera. ZooKeys. 43. 10.3897/zookeys.43.386.
  • This flicker gallery of cicadas with collars. I think Geert curates this.
  • W. L. Distant et al. Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. I (1881-1905)
  • A recent, related article by Allen: Allen F. Sanborn. 2018. The cicada genus Procollina Metcalf, 1952 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae): Redescription including fourteen new species, with a key to the species of the subtribe Dazina Kato, 1932 rev. stat., the description of the Aragualnini n. tribe, and one new combination. Zootaxa 4389(1):1. 10.11646/zootaxa.4389.1.1.

July 15, 2018

Annual Cicada Mania

Filed under: Annual — Dan @ 1:01 am

Annual cicada species are those that arrive every year (annually). In the U.S.A., each continental state has at least 4 species of cicadas. California as over 80.

Wonder which annual cicadas are in your area? Try our U.S.A. & Canada Cicada Search search tool. If you’re outside the U.S.A., start your search here.

Some guides for identifying Neotibicen, a common genus of cicadas in North America:

Here are a small portion of the species that can be found in the USA:

Diceroprocta apache
Diceroprocta apache
Found in: AZ, CA, CO, NV, UT
Diceroprocta olympusa
Diceroprocta olympusa
Found in: AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC
Neocicada hieroglyphica
Neocicada hieroglyphica
Found in: AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MS, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA
Okanagana bella
Okanagana bella
Found in: AB, AZ, BC, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY
Okanagana rimosa
Okanagana rimosa
Found in: AB, BC, CA, CT, ID, IL, IN, IA, ME, MB, MD, MA, MI, MN, MT, NV, NB, NH, NJ, NY, ND, OH, ON, OR, PA, QC, SD, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY
Neotibicen superbus
Neotibicen superbus
Found in: AR, KS, LA, MO, NM, OK, TX
Neotibicen dorsatus
Neotibicen dorsatus
Found in: AR, CO, ID, IL, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, NM, OK, SD, TX, WY
Cicadettana calliope
Cicadetta calliope
Found in: AL, AR, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MS, MO, NE, NC, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA
Neotibicen pruinosus
Neotibicen pruinosus
Found in: AL, AR, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WV, WI
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