Cicada Mania

Dedicated to cicadas, the most amazing insects in the world.

March 16, 2019

Majeorona aper (Walker, 1850)

Majeorona aper (Walker, 1850) is a cicada found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Panama, and likely adjacent nations.

Photo by Leonardo Milhomem:
Majeorona aper

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Fidicinini
SubTribe: Guyalnina
Genus: Majeorona
Species: Majeorona aper (Walker, 1850)

January 11, 2019

Quesada gigas (Olivier, 1790)

Quesada gigas (Olivier, 1790) Is a cicada found in the United States (Texas), Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Tobago, Trinidad, and Venezuela. It is the largest cicada in these locations.

Visit this page to listen to their song.

Quesada gigas was formerly known as Tympanoterpes gigas.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Hyantiini
Genus: Quesada
Species: Quesada gigas (Olivier, 1790)

Quesada gigas (Olivier, 1790)
The image says Tympanoterpes gigas but its newest name is Quesada gigas.

Quesada gigas
Photo by Leonardo Milhomem.

Species description notes from Insect. Rhynchota.:

Stal treated this species as a synonym of T. grossa, Fabr. The type of the Fabrician species, however, is in the Banksian collection contained in the British Museum, and is very distinct, the opercula being large and rounded.

The figure given in the Encyclopedic Methodique is, like Stal’s, useless for any practical purpose. Among the habitats of this wide-ranging species is that given by Walker 2, ” West coast of America,” which, as before remarked in connexion with other species, seems clearly to refer to Central America. The forms inhabiting this region (of which a Guatemalan specimen is figured) appear to be somewhat smaller than more southern specimens, or do not exhibit the gigantic specimens which are frequently and commonly received from the southern portion of the Neotropical Region.

Mr. Gervase F. Mathew (Ent. Mo. Mag. xi. p. 175) gives some interesting details relating to this insect as observed at Tobago. As regards its powers of stridulation he writes of a ” tropical afternoon: ” — ” Suddenly, from right above, you hear one or two hoarse, monotonous cries something like the croak of a tree-frog, and, looking upwards, wonder what it can be. But wait a moment ; this is merely a signal ; for the next minute everywhere above and around you these croaks are repeated in rapid and increasing succession until they merge into a long shrill whistle almost exactly similar to the whistle of a first-rate locomotive ; this continues for nearly half a minute, and then abruptly terminates.” ” Presently similar cries will be heard in the far distance, as if in reply to those which have just died away overhead. The whistling pierces one’s ears to such a degree that its vibrations can be felt long after it has ceased.”

Mr. Mathew describes this species as frequenting trees growing in ravines where the soil is generally soft and damp, in which their larvae and pupae find no difficulty in burrowing. ” When the latter are full-grown and ready for their last transformation, they emerge from the ground and crawl about four or five feet up the trunk of a tree, when they firmly fix themselves to the bark by means of their powerfully hooked fore tibiae.” ” The flight of the mature Cicada is abrupt, rapid, and by no means graceful ; and it does not appear to have the power of controlling itself when on the wing ; for I have often seen it fly in an insane manner against the trunk of a tree, a branch, or any other object that might be in its line of flight; and when it has performed its journey without any accident, it alights abruptly and awkwardly. As a rule, however, it does not attempt to fly to any great distance at a time.”

References:

  1. The illustration comes from Biologia Centrali-Americana. Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. 1. By W. L. Distant F.E.S. and The Rev. Canon W. W. Fowler, F.L.S. (1881-1905). Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name information comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

October 19, 2018

Pachypsaltria cinctomaculata (Stål, 1854)

Pachypsaltria cinctomaculata (Stål, 1854) is found in Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venuezela.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cicadatrini
Genus: Pachypsaltria
Species: Pachypsaltria cinctomaculata (Stål, 1854)

Pachypsaltria cinctomaculata (Stål, 1854)

Pachypsaltria genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head including eyes a little more than half the width of base of mesonotum, the front subconically produced, about as long as vertex, head obliquely depressed, eyes oblique, slightly passing the anterior pronotal angles; face moderately globose, not longitudinally sulcate; rostrum passing the posterior coxas; pronotum shorter than mesonotum, its posterior margin nearly twice as broad as anterior margin, the lateral margins dentately sinuate; mesonotum shorter than head and pronotum together, convex; abdomen short, about as long as head and pronotum together; tympanal orifices inwardly exposed; opercula short, broad, scarcely extending beyond base of abdomen: body pilose, marginally longly so; anterior femora not spined beneath; tegmina more than twice longer than broad, apical areas eight; wings with six apical areas.

Pachy (Greek) means thick, and psalt comes from “psalter” (Greek), which means harp player. Pachypsaltria = thick harp player.

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 22, 2018

Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832)

I’m starting a new series on this blog called “has its name changed?” I’m looking through old documents and papers and using modern documents like Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha) to check. Cicada names change from time to time, based on new discoveries by the modern cicada research/science community, and sometimes to fix grammar (like gender agreement between genus and species).

This cicada is Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832), also known as the “stop and go” or “stop light” cicada because of the red and green color of its wings. If you want to see one in real life, they exist in Central and South America, specifically Panama, Ecuador, Brazil, and adjacent nations. If you’re in New York and you want to see one, they have a few in the collection at the Staten Island Museum — last time I was there, there was a faded one in a display by the door (UV rays fade cicada specimen colors).

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Piccinini
Sub Tribe: Guyana
Genus: Hemisciera
Species: Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832)

And, since 1914 at least, its name has not changed.

Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832)

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

Characters. — Head (including eyes) considerably broader than base of mesonotum, eves porrect, more or less stylate, length of head about equal to half its breadth between eyes, and distinctly shorter than pronotum which is about equal in length to mesonotum; abdomen a little shorter than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation, tympanal coverings in male with their inner margins strongly concave; metasternal plate well developed, centrally longitudinally impressed and anteriorly produced on each side; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae; anterior femora strongly spined beneath; opercula in male small, transverse, not extending beyond base of abdomen, tegmina about two and a half times as long as broad, with eight apical areas and the basal cell about as long as broad.

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).

May 12, 2018

Cicadas of South America

There are far more species in South America than you’ll find on this page, but these are among the most well known.

Carineta Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Carineta diardi
Carineta diardi (Guérin-Menéville, 1829)

Chonosia Distant, 1905

Fidicina Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Fidicina mannifera
Fidicina mannifera (Fabricius, 1803)

Hemisciera Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Majeorona Distant, 1905

Majeorona aper
Majeorona aper (Walker, 1850)

Quesada Distant, 1905

Quesada gigas
Quesada gigas (Olivier, 1790)

Zammara Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Zammara_smaragdina_sm
Zammara smaragdina Walker, 1850

Tettigades Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Blog posts by country:

Links for further research:

If you’re researching Cicadas in the Neotropic ecozone, which is Central and South America, here are some resources that will help you:

1) Follow Andreas Kay’s Flickr feed. He posts many excellent cicada photos from Ecuador. Many cicadas found in Ecuador are not endemic, so the cicadas you see in Andreas’ Flickr feed should be found in adjacent countries.

2) Visit Cigarras do Brasil – Brazilian Cicadas for photos and information about the cicadas of Brazil.

3) Read Jacobi (1907) “Homoptera Andina”. (Not sure where to find it – maybe eBay).

4) Read: Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Volume I (1881-1905) by W. L. Distant and W. W. Fowler. It is available online. Here is a sample from that book:

Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Volume I (1881-1905) by W. L. Distant and W. W. Fowler

5) Search for papers written by Allen F. Sanborn. Here is how to search for cicada research papers online.

6) Use ITIS to traverse cicada species names and get listings of papers about the cicada — then search for the cicada names and papers.

5) Many photos and sound files of Paraguayan cicadas.

Thanks again to David Emery!

Click the images for larger versions, the species name and the name of the photographer.

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