Sometimes the best cicada locations are just a short distance from your home. This summer I came across a grove of pine trees that had two species of Neotibicen: Neotibicen linnei (Linne’s Cicada) and Neotibicen canicularis (Dog-Day Cicada). Neotibicen linnei and Neotibicen canicularis look very similar when they’re adults (appearances vary by location), so it helpful to compare the two species.
This image compares Neotibicen linnei and canicularis when they’ve recently molted (teneral). Note that the N. linnei is yellow and green, while the N. canicularis is a pink/salmon color.
This image compares these cicadas approximately 24 hours after molting. Note that they’ve achieved there adult coloring, which is very similar, but you can see vestiges of the pink on the N. canicularis.
This last image compares the wing shape of N. linnei (foreground) and N. canicularis (background). Both cicadas are standing on the same piece of white paper. The wings of the N. linnei have a sharper bend — see how the tip of the wing is lifted far off the surface of the paper, while the wing of the N. canicularis almost sits on the paper. Also note that the N. linnei is a more vibrant green, and the N. canicularis is more of a drab/olive green.
Read this journal article, to learn how closely these cicadas are related genetically:
HILL, KATHY B. R., DAVID C. MARSHALL, MAXWELL S. MOULDS, & CHRIS SIMON. “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).” Zootaxa [Online], 3985.2 (2015): 219–251. Web. 20 Sep. 2017
Two new species are described in the genus Clinopsalta Moulds. Clinopsalta autumna sp. nov. exhibits a warm temperate distribution from south-east Queensland south to Goulburn and Nerriga in eastern New South Wales. Clinopsalta semilunata sp. nov. has a patchy distribution in southern Queensland from Binjour Plateau west to near Miles, south to Yelarbon State Forest and Durikai State Forest, both near Inglewood. In addition to the descriptions of these new species, further distribution records are provided for C. adelaida (Ashton), which extend its distribution from south-eastern South Australia and northern Victoria to inland central and northern New South Wales. The species of Clinopsalta are small–medium sized cicadas (< 20 mm body length) with distinctive calling songs of an intermediate frequency (c. 6 to 18 kHz). The temporal structures of the calling songs follow a similar pattern in each species, comprising an introductory rattle followed by a series of clicking phrases. The call is characteristically accompanied with bouts of prominent wing-snapping, except in one species (C. semilunata sp. nov.).
Update (9/13/2017): the Nanai have begun to emerge! This cicada last emerged in 2009 in Nadroga-Navosa and Serua Provinces, and now again emerge in 2017. People in Fuji will be able to report sightings to nanai-tracker.herokuapp.com.
Notes from Chris Simon:
Early this morning I got the first Reports of the 8-year periodical Nanai emerging in Navosa, Fiji! Some people in that area had them for dinner.
This confirms earlier reports of the eight year periodicity. There was some uncertainty because the original specimens were dated (1906) a year later than they would be if on the current 8-year schedule.
Duffels and Ewart (1988, The Cicadas of the Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga Islands, their taxonomy and Biogeograohy) noted that, “Until recently the present species is only known from three males collected in “Fijii” in 1906 by C. knowles.” Duffels was not able to describe them when he first saw the specimens because they were missing the male genitalia. After obtaining, “a series of females and two males” from Dick Watling and Andrew Laurie in 1986, Duffels was able to assign it to the genus Raiateana. There is one other species of Raiateana in Fiji, R. kuruduadua (two subspecies in Fiji and one in Samoa) but it is not periodical as far as we know.
You might be familiar with American periodical cicadas (Magicicada) and the World-cup synchronized Chremistica ribhoi of India, but Fiji has a periodical cicada too: the 8-year periodical Nanai cicada aka Raiateana knowlesi.
New changes to the classification of the North American cicadas belonging to the genus Cicadetta have been published. The North American Cicadetta were found to be unrelated to the European Cicadetta (including the type species C. montana), so a new genus was needed. The new genus is Cicadettana. Research & paper by David Marshall and Kathy Hill.
The generic classification of cicadas within the globally distributed tribe Cicadettini (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) has been challenging due to their often conservative morphology. A recent molecular analysis has indicated that the six North American taxa currently classified in Cicadetta are unrelated to the European type species of Cicadetta, C. montana Scopoli. Here we identify a set of diagnostic morphological characters for a new genus, which we distinguish from its closest relatives in Eurasia and Australasia.
Cicada season in Japan, like North America, seems to be best from June to September, peaking in August. Different cicada species emerge at different times of the year, but the majority of them are active during the summer.
Cicadas are very popular in Japan, and they find their way into pop culture (Anime, live action kids shows like Ultraman). This photo features a cicada toy, when spun, makes a sound, some cicada clicker toys, a plush Oncotympana, a Seminingen (bad guy from Ultraman), and Yotsuba a green-haired girl who has caught a cicada (Lyristes japonicus perhaps):
Cicada News & Photos
The best place, I’ve found, to keep track of which cicadas are out in Japan is Twitter. You can search Twitter yourself for セミ and you’ll find many results — most Tweets are references to pop culture, but occasional photos and actual information about actual cicadas.
These are many of the Twitter feeds I follow. You don’t need to belong to Twitter to view their feeds, but it’s more fun if you join.