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October 6, 2018

Platypleura polydorus (Walker, 1850)

Platypleura polydorus (Walker, 1850). Found in Sub-Saharan, West, South and East Africa. Platypleura has a remarkable, angular pronotal collar like other members of the Platypleurini tribe.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genera: Platypleura
Species: Platypleura polydorus (Walker, 1850)

Platypleura polydorus (Walker, 1850)

Platypleura genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Body robust. somewhat short; abdomen in male about as long as space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation; head broad, truncate anteriorly, including eyes a little or scarcely broader than base of mesonotum, ocelli about twice and sometimes thrice the distance from eyes as from each other, face moderately convex not prominent above; pronotum with the lateral margins ampliated or laminately medially angulate ; anterior femora not prominently spined; metasternum with a Central elevated plate-like process, which is centrally sulcated and posteriorly somewhat sinuately truncate; tympana practically concealed by the tympanal flaps or coverings; opercula in male short, broad, their apices more or less convexly rounded ; tegmina and wings either hyaline or more or less opaquely coloured, tegmina with the basal cell a little longer than broad, the coastal membrane only moderately dilated or arched at base, apical areas eight in number. Oxypieura, Amyot & Serville, merely includes species with hyaline non-opaque tegmina and wings: Pcecilopsaltria, Stal was regarded as distinct from Platypleura by the slightly greater width of the head including eyes ; this form being more dominant in the Oriental Region, while the character of typical Platy pleura is a marked feature in the Ethiopian species.


  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name information/verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

July 9, 2017

Cicadas of Japan

Tibicen japonicus
Photo: Auritibicen japonicus by Osamu Hikino.

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.

The best website for the cicadas of Japan that I’ve come across is Cicadae in Japan which is run by Y. Saisho who co-wrote the amazing The Cicadidae of Japan book & CD.

I don’t have too many photos of cicadas from Japan on this site, but here are some of the more well known (Genus names may have changed recently):

Auritibicen flammatus (formerly Tibicen flammatus, Lyristes flammatus)

Auritibicen  flammatus (formerly Tibicen flammatus, Lyristes flammatus)
Photo by Osamu Hikino.

Auritibicen japonicus (formerly Tibicen japonicus, Lyristes japonicus)

Male Auritibicen japonicus (formerly Tibicen japonicus, Lyristes japonicus)
Photo by Osamu Hikino.

Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata

Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata
Photo by Osamu Hikino.


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 related pop culture items from Japan

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.


Here’s a video of a Yezoterpnosia nigricosta taken by Elias Bonaros:

January 19, 2014

A visual comparison of some cicadas of Southeast Asia

This is a photo of one of my displays at home. Some of the specimens aren’t in the best shape, but it is good enough to distinguish the species.

Angamiana floridula, Becquartina electa, Gaeana cheni, Gaeana festiva, Platypleura mira, Tacua speciosa, Tosena albata, Tosena melanoptera, Tosena paviei, and Trengganua sibylla are featured in the image.

Cicadas of South East Asia

Click the image for a larger image.