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November 19, 2018

Zammara brevis (Distant, 1905)

Zammara brevis (Distant, 1905) is a cicada found in Columbia.

It was formerly known as Orellana brevis, as you can see from the image below. The Zammara and Orellana genera are very similar — both belong to the tribe Zammarini, both share pronounced pronotal collars and often green coloring.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Zammarini
Genera: Zammara
Species: Zammara brevis (Distant, 1905)

Zammara brevis (Distant, 1905)
The image says Orellana brevis, but the newest name of this cicada is Zammara brevis.

Zammara genus description by W. L. Distant from Genera Insectorum, 1914:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) about as wide as base of mesonotum, ocelli farther removed from eyes than from each other, eyes prominent but scarcely projecting beyond the anterior pronotal angles, vertex strongly depressed before base of front; face longer than broad, narrowly sulcate; pronotum shorter than mesonotum, the lateral margins angularly ampliate; mesonotum about as long as head and pronotum together; metanotum exposed; abdomen short; tympanal coverings outwardly complete, the orifices very widely exposed internally; opercula short, oblique; rostrum reaching or slightly passing the posterior coxae; tegmina usually three times as long as broad, apical areas eight; wings with six apical areas.

References:

  1. The illustration and description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1914 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Gaeaninae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

September 24, 2018

Zammara intricata Walker, 1850

Zammara intricata Walker, 1850 (in case you’re wondering “Walker” is the person who first described this cicada, and 1850 was the year he described it) is another beautiful cicada belonging to the Zammara genus. Zammara cicadas are known for their prominent pronotal collars that inspire thoughts of Dracula the vampire, their brilliant green to turquoise colors, and infuscation (the dark areas) on their wings. Zammara intricata has a lot of infuscation in their wings, even for a Zammara. Intricata means “complex”, which might be a reference to the complexity of the infuscation.

It is found in Puerto Rico.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Sub Family: Cicadinae
Tribe: Zammarini
Genera: Zammara
Species: Zammara intricata Walker, 1850

Zammara intricata Walker, 1850

Zammara Amyot & Serville genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) about as wide as base of mesonotum, ocelli farther removed from eyes than from each other, eyes prominent but scarcely projecting beyond the anterior pronotal angles, vertex strongly depressed before base of front; face longer than broad, narrowly sulcate; pronotum shorter than mesonotum, the lateral margins angularly ampliate; mesonotum about as long as head and pronotum together; metanotum exposed; abdomen short; tympanal coverings outwardly complete, the orifices very widely exposed internall} – ; opercula short, oblique; rostrum reaching or slightly passing the posterior coxae; tegmina usually three times as long as broad, apical areas eight; wings with six apical areas.

References:

  1. The illustration comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1914 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Gaeaninae. 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 25, 2018

Collared cicadas of Mexico, Central & South America

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.

March 21, 2015

Better IDs for E.A. Seguy Cicada Illustrations

The NCSU Libraries Rare and Unique Digital Collections website recently reminded the us of artist Eugene Alain (E.A.) Seguy’s insect illustrations. Seguy created these illustrations in the 1920’s, and as you might imagine, some of the cicada names cited in the notes for these illustrations have changed. Names typically change when cicadas are reclassified due to discoveries about their biology, or when we realize that someone else had actually named them earlier than the namer currently given credit.

Here are the two illustrations, the accompanying identification, and corrected identifications.

Illustration:

EA Seguy Cicada Art

Accompanying identification:

1. Tacua speciosa. Indes; 2. Polyneura ducalis. Indes Or.; 3. Cicada saccata. Australie; 4. Cicada fascialis. Siam; 5. Tozena melanoptera. Indes Or.

Corrected or expanded identification:

  1. Tacua speciosa. This is correct, although there are two subspecies of T. speciosa, I’m going to guess it is Tacua speciosa speciosa (Illiger, 1800) based on the location.
  2. Polyneura ducalis. This is correct. Polyneura ducalis Westwood, 1840.
  3. Cicada saccata. This is now: Thopha saccata (Fabricius, 1803).
  4. Cicada fascialis. This is now: Cryptotympana facialis facialis (Walker, 1858). Update: David Emery says this might be a Cryptotympana acuta (Signoret, 1849).
  5. Tozena melanoptera. Close enough. Tosena melanoptera melanoptera (White, 1846). There are a few unnamed subspecies.

Illustration:

EA Seguy Cicada Art

Accompanying identification:

1. Goeana festiva. Indes; 2. Zammara tympanum. Amérique du Sud; 3. Goeana ochracea. Indes; 4. Phenax variegata. Brésil; 5. Hemisciera maculipennis. Amazone

Corrected or expanded identification:

  1. Goeana festiva is actually Callogaeana festiva festiva (Fabricius, 1803).
  2. Zammara tympanum. This is correct. Zammara tympanum (Fabricius, 1803).
  3. Goeana ochracea is way off. It is a Talainga binghami Distant, 1890.
  4. Phenax variegata is not a cicada, is it a fulgoroid planthopper, but the id is correct.
  5. Hemisciera maculipennis is correct. Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832) aka the “Stop and Go” cicada, because its colors resemble the colors of a stop light.

October 15, 2013

Zammara with a collar like Dracula!

Filed under: Ecuador,Halloween,Zammara,Zammarini — Dan @ 7:20 pm

Just in time for Halloween… the Zammara a genus of cicadas with a collar like Dracula!

Andreas Kay has been posting photos of the insects of Ecuador on Flickr for around a year now. He’s posted many excellent cicada photos, particularly, photos of Zammara. They are among the most visually interesting cicadas.

Cicada, Zammara tympanum?

Emerald Cicada, Zammara smaragdina:

Emerald Cicada, Zammara smaragdina

Emerald Cicada pair, Zammara smaragdina

November 7, 2012

How to learn more about cicadas, by searching for cicada researchers

Filed under: Allen F. Sanborn,FAQs,Zammara — Dan @ 10:58 pm

Just about anything and everything ends up on the web these days, including research papers written by cicada researchers. Many of these papers are easily downloaded from the web, and once downloaded you can read them and expand your knowledge about cicadas.

This weekend I was looking for information about cicadas from Central and South America (the Neotropic ecozone). Allen F. Sanborn, Ph.D is well known for his research of cicadas of that region, so I searched for some of his research papers. Google will retrieve all PDF (Adobe Acrobat) files that contain the word cicada and the name Allen F. Sanborn, when you search for “Allen F. Sanborn cicada ext:pdf” (remove the quotes when you search).

Some interesting papers I found include:

Checklist of the cicadas (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of Paraguay including new records for six species (Sanborn, Allen F., 2011). This paper includes a long list of cicada species, which I used to look for images of cicadas on Flickr.com.

The new records increase the known cicada diversity 37.5% bringing the total number of cicada species reported in Paraguay to 22 species in 12 genera representing five tribes and three subfamilies of the family Cicadidae. There are currently no known endemic species.

Two New Zammara Species from South America (Hemiptera: Cicadomorpha: Cicadidae) (Sanborn, Allen F., Florida Entomologist 87(3),2004). This paper includes many photographs, which make cicada identification easy.

ABSTRACT
Two new members of the widespread Neotropical genus Zammara Amyot & Serville, Zammara
olivacea n.sp. from Columbia and Zammara medialinea n.sp. from Venezuela are described.

Key Words: new species, taxonomy, cicada, Zammara, Columbia, Venezuela.

New Records for the Cicada Fauna from Four Central American Countries (HEMIPTERA: CICADOIDEA: CICADIDAE (Sanborn, Allen F.; Florida Entomologist 89(1), 2006). This article features a map with cicada species names.

ABSTRACT
Analysis of museum specimens has added to the cicada fauna of Belize, El Salvador, Guate- mala, and Honduras. Information on the cicada fauna reported in the literature as well as the first records of cicada species to the fauna are reported here to provide a more accurate un- derstanding of cicada diversity in each country and the region. The new records represent an increase of 75, 14, 110, and 320%, respectively, to the cicada faunal diversity of each country.
Key Words: cicadas, biodiversity, Central America

If you use my Google formula, you can find these papers too.

The The Current Status of Cicada Taxonomy on a Region-by-Region Basis page on Cicada Central is a good resource for learning about other cicada researchers.