This video taken by Samantha Madell in NSW Australia is a time lapse video of of a Redeye Cicada (Psaltoda moerens) molting.
November 23, 2013
October 12, 2013
Cicadas are well known for the songs male cicadas make with their their tymbals, which are drum-like organs found in their abdomens.
Some female cicadas will also flick their wings to get the males attention. Watch this video where a male Magicicada is convinced that the snapping of fingers is a wing flick. Note: Magicicada males will also flick their wings once they become infected with the Massospora cicadina fungus (which removes their sex organs).
There is a third way some cicadas can make sounds. This method of creating a sound is unique to the Australian species Cyclochila australasiae (aka the Green Grocer and Masked Devil). These cicadas have stridulatory ridges on their pronotal collars (the collar shaped structure at the back of their head), and a stridulatory scraper on their fore wing.
From M. S. MOULDS, 2012, A review of the genera of Australian cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea). Magnolia Press Auckland, New Zealand. p84:
Cyclochila is unique among the Cicadoidea in possessing a stridulatory file on the underside of the lateral angles of the pronotal collar that interacts with a scraper on the fore wing base (Fig. 132). Rubbed together these produce low audible sound in hand-held specimens (K. Hill, pers. comm.), the purpose of which is for sexual com- munication at close quarters (J. Kentwell and B. Fryz, pers. comm.)
Here is a photo of these structures”
The location of these structures is right about where the blue pin is in this photo:
Tim McNary of the Bibliography of the Cicadoidea website, let us know that Clidophleps cicadas are also able to create should using a stridulatory structure. Clidophleps is a genus of cicada that can be found in California, Nevada, Arizona, and I assume adjacent parts of Mexico. Clidophleps differs from Cyclochila in that the stridulatory structure is on its mesonotum, and not its pronotal collar.
Photo courtesy of Tim McNary:
October 11, 2013
Australian singer/songwriter Laura Imbruglia sent us this photo of her cicada tattoo. Of course, we love it! And we love her music too.
October 10, 2013
Lozang Yönten posted this image of a Masked Devil aka Cyclochila australasiae on our Facebook page. The photo was taken in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.
These cicadas are currently out and singing in the New South Wales area.
The green form of this cicada is called a Green Grocer, the yellow form is called a Yellow Monday, and the Blue Form is called the Blue Moon. The Cyclochila australasiae might have more color variations than even the Gaeana festiva of Southeast Asia.
More info about Cyclochila australasiae from L.W. Popple’s website.
September 30, 2013
Cicadas of Thailand Volume 2: Taxonomy and Sonic Ethology by Michel Boulard is available now via Siri Scientific Press.
Cicadas of Thailand Volume 1 was a great resource for the cicadas of Thailand and South-East Asia in general (many Asian species are not endemic, so you’ll find them in many countries). I imagine that Volume 2 will be just as amazing.
A comprehensive 436 page volume from the leading world expert representing 13 years of work on taxonomy (including several newly described species) and sonic ethology, with supporting audio tracks
I ordered a copy already.
September 22, 2013
David Emery wrote to let us know that cicada season has begun in parts of Australia:
After some 50mm of rain on 16-17 Sept and the warmest winter on record on the east coast, the “masked devil” morphs of Cyclochila australasiae were in good voice in the mountains west and south of Sydney, Australia on 22nd Sept. The bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii) are also rattling in Metro Sydney. These are about 2 weeks early this year as are several of the smaller grass cicadas and Pauropsalta species. Roll on summer!
Masked Devil cicada (Cyclochila australasiae):
More information about Cyclochila australasiae.
Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii):
More information about Cystosoma saundersii.
August 9, 2013
Now is a great time to look and listen for Tibicen cicadas in North America. Tibicen are the medium to large sized annual cicadas. Typically they are well camouflaged – with colors like black, white, green & brown.
During the day you can listen for them, of course, and spot them that way. Try Insect Singers for cicada songs. You can also look for their exuvia (skins), and if you’re lucky you can catch on on a low branch.
Last night I started looking around 10pm and found three Swamp Cicadas (T. tibicen tibicen) shedding their skins on trees around the yard. I also collected about 30 exuvia (skins). All in a quarter acre yard. Take a look at this video:
July 16, 2013
Raghu Ananth sent us these photos of cicadas from India. If you can identify them, let use know.
UPDATE: David Emery provided use with these ID’s, in Order from Top to Bottom:
Macrosemia umbrata. Platypleura capitata, Platypleura sp and Pomponia linearis.
Click the images for a larger version:
Cicada Found in Arunachal Pradesh, India: Macrosemia umbrata
Cicada Found Near Mysore, India: Platypleura capitata
Cicada Found in Kukke Subramanya: Platypleura sp
Cicada Found in Bhagamandala, Coorg, India: Pomponia linearis
July 11, 2013
Here’s a cicada I never thought I would see, but thanks to Raghu Ananth, here are two photos of a Tosena sibylla.
This photo was taken on May 2nd, 2009:
Note the characteristic double stripes on the fore wings. Note how the smaller stripe doesn’t make it all the way to the claval fold.
Here are observations about this cicada provided by Raghu Ananth:
Brief description -
The cicada has red eyes, red thorax with black patch above, red abdomen, black wings with yellow veins and a large yellow patch lines on the wings.
Numbers. found – several dozens.
Habitat – tree barks near forest path
length – 4-5 cms
The orange-red coloured cicada is one of the beautiful cicadas in the forests. It has a red body, red eyes and black wings with yellow patches. During one of our trips to the evergreen forests in the Uttara Kannada district (Karnataka), we spotted two of them camouflaged on the bark of each tree, actively walking up and down and then appearing a colourful red when in flight from one bark of the tree to another. Their singing, however, seemed not in sync with each another. On our approach they would try to hide behind the bark or fly to a distant tree.
This illustration of a T. sibylla comes from the document A monograph of oriental cicadidae (1892) by William Lucas Distant.
April 10, 2013
Martin Kolner sent us photos of two beautiful cicadas from Sapa Vietnam.
The first one belongs to the genus Angamiana, and I think it is an Angamiana floridula.
The second cicada belongs to the genus Tosena.
I asked David Emery for IDs for these cicadas. The top one is “a very dead A.floridula” and the Tosena is “likely to be T.fasciata (melanoptera does not have orange anywhere), even though the dorsal markings are pretty bleached”.