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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.

Google Trends data for cicada searches in Japan backs that up:

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):

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

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.

Bonus:

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

July 5, 2017

The Dusk Singers

Filed under: Annual,Megatibicen,Neotibicen,United States — Dan @ 9:17 pm

The Dusk Singers

Dusk is the time of day between sunset and night. Many species of Megatibicen & Neotibicen (formerly Tibicen) sing at this time. I’m not sure why they sing at this time — perhaps it helps them avoid audio competition with other singing insects, or perhaps it helps them avoid predators by calling at this specific time of the day.

If you find yourself outdoors in the eastern half of the U.S. after sunset and hear a cicada call, it is likely one of the following Megatibicen or Neotibicen species:

Megatibicen

Megatibicen are LARGE and LOUD cicadas.

Megatibicen auletes aka the Northern Dusk Singing Cicada. This cicada can be found in these states: AL, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MS, MO, NE, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, WI. Season: July to Fall.

M. auletes Call*:

Megatibicen figuratus aka the Fall Southeastern Dusk-singing Cicada. Found in: AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA. Season: July to Fall.

M. figuratus Call*:

Megatibicen resh aka Resh Cicada aka Western Dusk Singing Cicada. Found in: AR, KS, LA, MS, NE, OK, SC, TN, TX. Season: July to Fall.

M. resh Call*:

Megatibicen resonans aka Southern Resonant/Great Pine Barrens Cicada aka Southern Dusk Singing Cicada. Found in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA. Season: July to Fall.

M. resonans Call*:

Neotibicen

Medium-sized, green cicadas with calls that sound like the rhythmic grinding of a scissor on a sharpening wheel (not a common tool in the 21st century).

Neotibicen pruinosus pruinosus aka Scissor(s) Grinder. Found in AL, AR, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WV, WI. Season: June – September. Neotibicen pruinosus fulvus aka Pale Scissor(s) Grinder Cicada. Found in: KS, OK. Season: June – September.

N. pruinosus Call*:

Neotibicen winnemanna aka Eastern Scissor(s) Grinder. Found in AL, DE, DC, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV. Season: June – Fall.

N. winnemanna Call*:

*Audio files are Copyright of InsectSingers.com. Season information gathered from BugGuide.net.

May 31, 2017

Neotibicen similaris apalachicola, a new cicada subspecies

Filed under: David Marshall,Kathy Hill,Neotibicen,United States — Dan @ 6:28 am

A new subspecies of the Similar Dog-Day Cicada has been described in the paper A new Neotibicen cicada subspecies (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) from the southeastern USA forms hybrid zones with a widespread relative despite a divergent male calling song by David C. Marshall and Kathy B. R. Hill (Zootaxa, Vol 4272, No 4). The cicada is named Neotibicen similaris apalachicola.

This cicada lives in Florida, Georgia & Alabama, and hybridizes with the other Similar Dog-Day Cicada sub-speces, Neotibicen similaris similaris. The document is available on biotaxa.org.

A morphologically cryptic subspecies of Neotibicen similaris (Smith and Grossbeck) is described from forests of the Apalachicola region of the southeastern United States. Although the new form exhibits a highly distinctive male calling song, it hybridizes extensively where it meets populations of the nominate subspecies in parapatry, by which it is nearly surrounded. This is the first reported example of hybridization between North American nonperiodical cicadas. Acoustic and morphological characters are added to the original description of the nominate subspecies, and illustrations of complex hybrid song phenotypes are presented. The biogeography of N. similaris is discussed in light of historical changes in forest composition on the southeastern Coastal Plain.

You will find song samples and maps on the Insect Singers website.

I think this is an image of the new cicada:

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 2: Listen to an ABC radio interview with Nathan.

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.

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