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 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.
March 28, 2013
Drymopsalta hobsoni is a newly identified cicada found in Australia.
Drymopsalta hobsoni sp. nov. is one of three new species of cicada described this year by Tony Ewart and Lindsay Popple.* Tony and Lindsay had participated in a QPWS fauna survey at Bringalily State Forest, near Inglewood in southern inland Queensland. When returning to the site subsequently for a follow-up cicada search, Tony located the new cicada.
Learn more and see photos of this cicada in Robert Ashdown’s article New summer singers.
December 2, 2012
Blue cicadas. Did you know they exist? They do… at least in Australia.
Then there is the Blue Moon blue colored morph of Cyclochila australasiae:
Cyclochila australasiae come in many colors, but the most common color is green. “Blue Moon” is a good knickname for these cicadas because they are rare and only found, idiomatically speaking, “once in a Blue Moon”.
So, why are some cicadas blue, when their species is typically green? Here is a quote from the paper Blue, red, and yellow insects by B. G. BENNETT, Entomology Division, DSIR, Private Bag, Auckland, New Zealand:
The colours of insects are.often due to a complex mixture of pigments, some of which
are concentrated from their diet. These are carotenoids, flavonoids, and anthraquinones, and some are porphyrins made from the breakdown of plant chlorophyll. Insectoverdin is a common green pigment produced by a mixture of blue and yellow compounds. The blue is tetrapyrrole, but sometimes an anthocyanin, and the yellow is a carotenoid.
Blue + yellow = green. If the yellow is missing, you get a blue cicada. I heard that, at least in the case of the Cyclochila australasiae, the blue cicadas are typically females. Perhaps something related to genetics or behavior of the females leads to an inability to process the caroteniods ingested along with their diet (tree fluids). I’m not sure, but it’s a topic that fascinates me, so I’ll continue to look into it.
November 11, 2012
If you are located in Australia and like cicadas, you should visit The cicadas of central eastern Australia, a website created by Lindsay Popple.
Popple’s website includes: photos, maps, range & season, habits, and recordings of the song of dozens of Australian cicadas. Very complete and well done.
The site was recommended to me by David Emery.
October 28, 2011
The cicada season in Australia lasts between September and May, but November and December are prime time for cicada emergences. Here’s a selection of Australian cicadas peaking in November, December and January.
Adding a Thompson’s Floury Baker (Abricta curvicosta)10 at David’s recommendation:
- Cyclochila australasiae can be found in eastern Queensland, NSW and Victoria, and most emerge in October and November (1 Moulds, M.S.. Australian Cicadas Kennsignton: New South Wales Press, 1990, p. 61.).
- The Cherry Nose cicada can be found in Eastern Queensland, NSW, and a small part of South Australia, and is most common during November & December (2 ibid, p. 95.).
- The Bladder Cicada can be sound in eastern Queensland & NSW, and are most common Nov-Jan. (3 ibid, p. 193.)
- The Pauropsalta mneme can be found in south-eastern NSW, Victoria, and a small pocket in South Australia, from late September to early January. (4 ibid, p. 131.)
- The Bagpipe cicada can be found in the Northern tip of Queensland, from October to February, but they’re most common during January. (5 ibid, p. 178)
- The Diemaniana euronotiana can be found in eastern NSW, south-eastern Victoria and Tasmania. They are most common in late November to January. (6 ibid, p. 112)
- The White Drummer cicada can be found in eastern Queensland and NSW, from November to April, but they are most common during December and January. (7 ibid, p. 58)
- The Redeye cicada can be found in eastern NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, and are most abundant in late November and December. (8 ibid, p.75)
- The Double Drummer can be found in parts of eastern Queensland and Eastern NSW, from November to early March. (9 ibid, p.55)
- The Floury Baker can be found along the coast of Queenland & NSW. Adults are most common in late December and January. (10 ibid, p.119)
December 31, 2010
Y is for Yellow Monday Cicada. The Yellow Monday cicada is the yellow form of the Cyclochila australasiae (the green form is the Green Grocer). Yellow Monday Cicadas lack a turquoise pigment that normally combines with the yellow pigment to form a green color. Visit the Scribbly Gum website for a photo and more information about Yellow Mondays.
Almost a Yellow Monday, this C. australasiae is mostly yellow and a little green: