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.