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December 7, 2018

Terpnosia psecas (Walker, 1850)

Terpnosia psecas (Walker, 1850) is a cicada found in India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Java (Indonesia).

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cicadini
SubTribe: Psithyristriina [Psithyr means “whispering” in Greek]
Genera: Terpnosia
Species: Terpnosia psecas (Walker, 1850)

Terpnosia psecas (Walker, 1850)

Terpnosia genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head about as long as breadth between eyes, deflected anteriorly, front not prominent; pronotum distinctly shorter than mesonotum, its lateral margins sinuate, with the posterior angles moderately lobalety produced; abdomen in male longer than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation; tympanal coverings both narrower and shorter than tympanal cavities; opercula in male short and transverse, usually not or scarcely extending beyond base of abdomen; anterior femora spined beneath; tegmina and wings hyaline, the first usually more or less maculate, with eight apical areas, and the basal cell longer than broad; wings with six apical areas.

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).

November 30, 2018

Cosmopsaltria capitata Distant, 1888

Cosmopsaltria capitata Distant, 1888 is found in Paupa (Indonesia).

Its name changed from Fatima capitata to Cosmopsaltria capitata probably when the Fatima Distant, 1905 genus was merged into the Cosmopsaltria Stål, 1866 genus.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Cosmopsaltriaria
Genera: Cosmopsaltria
Species: Cosmopsaltria capitata Distant, 1888

Cosmopsaltria capitata Distant, 1888
The image says Fatima capitata, but the newest name of this cicada is Cosmopsaltria capitata.

Have fun comparing the Fatima genus description…

Characters. — Head (including eyes) about equal in breadth to base of mesonotum, as long as breadth between eyes, its lateral margins very irregular, the anterior lateral margins of the vertex being almost at right angles to the face; pronotum little more than half the length of mesonotum ; abdomen above as long as space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation ; anal abdominal segment in male apically acutely dentate on each side; tympana covered, the tympanal coverings in male projecting a little beyond the lateral abdominal margins; rostrum passing the posterior coxae ; opercula in male broad, just or longly passing the middle of the abdomen, either concavely sinuate on each side or slightly and obsoletely sinuate, their apices rounded or obliquely truncate; tegmina and wings subhyaline, the first broad, their greatest breadth more than one third of their length.

… to the Cosmopsaltria genus description by W. L. Distant in Genera Insectorum, 1913:

Characters. — Body moderately long and robust, head as long as breadth between eyes, and including eyes as wide as base of mesonotum, with the front not twice as broad at base as anterior margins of the lobes of vertex, lateral margins obliquely continuous to front or very slightly sinuate; pronotum about as long as head, its lateral margins scarcely ampliated, but distinctly toothed or angulated; mesonotum slightly longer than pronotum ; abdomen short, about as long as space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation; tympana covered; opercula in male broad, either just or longly passing middle of abdomen, well separated and not overlapping, more or less concavely sinuate on each side at basal areas, their apices rounded or obliquely truncate; rostrum reaching, sometimes passing, the posterior coxae; tegmina and wings hyaline; greatest breadth of tegmina about a third of length, venation normal, basal cell much longer than broad.

References:

  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

November 27, 2018

Leptopsaltria tuberosa (Signoret, 1847)

Leptopsaltria tuberosa (Signoret, 1847) is a cicada found in India, Japan, and on Java (Indonesia), according the the Genera Insectorum, 1913. That’s quite a range.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cicadini
SubTribe: Leptopsaltriina
Genera: Leptopsaltria
Species: Leptopsaltria tuberosa (Signoret, 1847)

Leptopsaltria tuberosa (Signoret, 1847)

Leptopsaltria genus description by W. L. Distant in Genera Insectorum, 1913:

Characters. — Head (including eyes), considerably narrower than base of mesonotum, ocelli not quite twice the distance from eyes as from each other, front somewhat conical and subprominent; pronotum with the lateral margins moderately ampliated and more or less distinctly toothed or angulated; genae internally at apex near base of lorae furnished with a tubercle or tumescence; abdomen moderately long and robust; anterior femora distinctly and robustly spined; rostrum extending beyond the posterior coxae; tympana covered; opercula short; second and third abdominal segments in the male furnished with a well-developed tubercle near each lateral margin; tegmina and wings hyaline, venation normal, tegminal apical areas eight in number.

References:

  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

November 25, 2018

Diceropyga junctivitta (Walker, 1868)

Diceropyga junctivitta (Walker, 1868) is a cicada found on the Ternate island of Indonesia.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Cosmopsaltriaria
Genera: Diceropyga
Species: Diceropyga junctivitta (Walker, 1868)

Diceropyga junctivitta (Walker, 1868)

Diceropyga genus description by W. L. Distant in Genera Insectorum, 1913:

Characters. — Head distinctly shorter than breadth between eyes, including eyes about as wide as base of mesonotum, ocelli close together at center of vertex; face longer than broad, sides somewhat obliquely rounded; rostrum reaching posterior coxae; pronotum shorter than mesonotum, its lateral margins moderately dentate; mesonotum including basal cruciform elevation about as long as head and pronotum together; abdomen as long or longer than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation, anal abdominal segment in male apically acutely dentate or with a broad obtuse process on each side; tympana completely covered; opercula elongate, broad, nearly meeting at their inner margins, more or less sinuate at their basal areas; tegmina and wings hyaline, tegmina about three times as long as broad, apical areas eight ; wings with six apical areas; anterior femora spined beneath.

References:

  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

November 21, 2018

Ayesha serva (Walker, 1850)

Ayesha serva (Walker, 1850) is a cicada found in the Philipines and on Borneo (Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia), and Korea?

This one is interesting. Back when Distant wrote the Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. found in Genera Insectorum, 1932, there were two cicada species: Ayesha serva, found in the Philipines and Borneo, and Ayesha spathulata found in Korea. Today both species are unified under Ayesha serva. There’s a large distance between Korea and Borneo, so this makes me wonder, was A. serva actually ever in Korea, or are they two different cicadas?

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Dundubiina
Genera: Ayesha
Species: Ayesha serva (Walker, 1850)

Ayesha serva (Walker, 1850)
The image says Ayesha spathulata, but the newer name of this cicada is Ayesha serva.

Ayesha genus description by W. L. Distant from Genera Insectorum, 1913:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) as wide or a little wider than base of mesonotum, much shorter than breadth between eyes, lateral margins obliquely continuous to face or very slightly sinuate, eyes large and oblique; pronotum shorter than mesonotum, its lateral margins angulated anteriorly; mesonotum moderately convexly tumid; abdomen short, not longer than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation; tympanal coverings about as long as broad; rostrum reaching the intermediate coxae; opercula in male long, about twice as broad at apex as at base, inner .margins concave, widening to basal area, outer margins sinuate near centre, their apices broad overlapping;tegmina and wings hyaline, greatest width of tegmina about one third their length.

The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.

Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

November 17, 2018

Hamza ciliaris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Hamza ciliaris (Linnaeus, 1758) is found in south-east Asia, specifically Indonesia.

Hamza ciliaris has many synonyms / former names, and Hamza bouruensis, as seen in the image below, is one of them.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Hamzini
Genera: Hamza
Species: Hamza ciliaris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Hamza ciliaris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Hamza genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Body short, broad; head including eyes about as wide’ as the anterior margin of the mesonotum; ocelli placed nearer to each other than to eyes; pronotum with the lateral margins ampliated, obtusely angulated near middle; anterior femora distinctly tuberculately spined; metasternum slightly elevated, broadly centrally sulcate and sinuately truncated; tympana only about half covered by the dilated and expanded lateral areas of the basal abdominal segment; opercula short, broad, their apices convexly rounded; tegmina about three times as long as broad, the basal cell broad, with at least four angles, ulnar veins widely separated at their bases.

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).

November 11, 2018

Kamalata pantherina Distant, 1889

Kamalata pantherina Distant, 1889 is a cicada found in ‎Indonesia.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cicadini
SubTribe: Leptopsaltriina
Genera: Kamalata
Species: Kamalata pantherina Distant, 1889

Image from Genera Insectorum (1914):
Kamalata pantherina Distant, 1889

Image from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas:

Kamalata genus description from Genera Insectorum (1914):

Characters. — Head moderately deflected in front of eyes, its length about equal to space between eyes, its lateral margins discontinuous, the lateral margins of vertex being more or less at right angles to those of front, its width between eyes being distinctly narrower than base of mesonotum ; face globose; pronotum a little shorter than mesonotum. its lateral margins somewhat angulately sinuate, broad and laminate on posterior half; abdomen broad, robust, and moderately inflated, above somewhat laterally oblique on each side, beneath strongly channelled near each lateral margin ; tympanal coverings about as broad but shorter than the tympanal cavities, their length variable, either very short as in K. pantherina or about half the length of cavities as in K. javanensis ; opercula in male short, transverse, not extending beyond base of abdomen; rostrum considerably passing the posterior coxae; anterior femora strongly spined beneath ; tegmina and wings hyaline, the first maculate, variable in length, about as long as body, as in K. pantherina, or longer than body, as in K. javanensis, basal cell longer than broad ; apical areas eight.

Kamalata pantherina species description from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas:

Body above and beneath dark chocolate-brown ; head with a longitudinal fascia to front, the margins and a transverse fascia to the ampliations in front of eyes, and a transverse spot at anterior margin of vertex, behind which are two outwardly curved lineate spots ochraceous, eyes luteous; pronotum with a central black hour-glass-shaped fascia somewhat margined and streaked with ochraceous, the posterior margin also ochraceous; mesonotum with two longitudinal waved linear fasciae, between which near anterior margin are two oblique spots, and the cruciform elevation, ochraceous; abdominal segmental margins ochraceous; apices of the femora luteous, anterior and posterior tibia) annulated at base, and the intermediate tibiae both at base and apex with fuscous.

Tegmina pale greenish-ochraceous-hyaline, the venation brownish-ochraceous; a large pale fuscous spot at bases of second, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh apical areas, some small spots at bases of sixth and eighth apical areas, two very small spots on the margins of third ulnar area, and a series of large marginal spots at the apices of the longitudinal veins to apical areas. Wings pale hyaline, the venation brownish-ochraceous.

Long. excl. tegm. [male] , 34 millim. Exp. tegm. 75 millim.

References:

  1. The first illustration and the genus 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. The second illustration, description and location information comes from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  3. Name verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

November 7, 2018

Megapomponia merula (Distant, 1905)

Megapomponia merula (Distant, 1905) used to be know as Pomponia merula. Why did its genus change? Mega refers to the very large size of these cicadas. Michel Boulard created the Megapomponia Boulard, 2005 genus. Pomponia still exists (but those cicadas are smaller).

This cicada is found in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Megapomponiina
Genera: Megapomponia
Species: Megapomponia merula (Distant, 1905)

Megapomponia merula (Distant, 1905)
The image says Pomponia merula, but the newest name of this cicada is Megapomponia merula.

Not quite Mega, but here’s the Pomponia genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) about as wide as base of mesonotum, its length about or nearly equal to space between eyes, ocelli much farther apart from eyes than from each other, front anteriorly convex and slightly prominent; pronotum with the lateral margins moderately ampliate and sinuate, the posterior angles dilated, a little shorter than mesonotum; mesonotum with the disk moderately convex; abdomen in male longer than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation; tympanal coverings complete; opercula in male short and transverse ; rostrum passing posterior coxae; anterior femora spined beneath; tegmina and wings hyaline, the first usually more or less maculate, basal cell longer than broad, apical areas eight.

References:

  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

October 11, 2018

Tacua speciosa

The Tacua speciosa is a beautiful cicada native to the countries Malaysia & Indonesia, and the islands Borneo & Sumatra, and likely other islands and nations of the area. Tacua speciosa are well known for their large size, opaque wings, black body, striking yellow/chartreuse pronotal collar, red cruciform elevation, and cyan or yellow tergites. There are two subspecies.

The name speciosa comes from the Latin word “specios” which means beautiful or showy.

Tacua speciosa
Image credit: Alexey Yakovlev, Tacua speciosa (Cicadidae). Borneo. Trusmadi area. 2100 m, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Check out this gallery of Tacua speciosa cicadas, which includes great images like this one:

Tacua speciosa from Malaysia (peace)

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Tacuini
Genera: Tacua
Species: Tacua speciosa
SubSpecies: Tacua speciosa decolorata Boulard, 1994
SubSpecies: Tacua speciosa speciosa (Illiger, 1800)

Here is W.L. Distant’s description of this insect from A monograph of oriental Cicadidae:

Body above black ; eyes, anterior pronotal margin (narrowly), posterior margin of pronotum, posterior margin of the third, and the whole of the fourth, fifth and sixth abdominal segments, ochraceous ; basal cruciform elevation red, with its anterior angles black ; body beneath black ; lateral areas and margins to prosternum, a spot at lateral margins of third abdominal segment, and the lateral margins of the fourth, fifth and sixth abdominal segments, ochraceous. Tegmina black, coastal membrane and venation dull reddish, outer margin narrowly creamy-white wings black, the outer margin (excluding anal area) creamy-white. Var. a. Tegmina and wings greyish-brown, the black coloration only observable at margins of the veins. Long.excl.tegm. 47 to 57 millim. Exp.tegm.150 to 180 millim.

Two Distinct Types:

This image comes from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892.
Tacua speciosa
Which is which in the photos and illustrations on this page? Can you tell?

Normal form (#9 in the image): “Tegmina [forewings] black, coastal membrane and venation dull reddish, outer margin narrowly creamy-white wings black, the outer margin (excluding anal area) creamy-white.”

Variety A (#10 in the image) “Tegmina and wings are greying-brown, the black coloration only observable around the veins.”

Size:

T. speciosa is one of the largest cicadas. According to the Distant’s description above — tegm.[forewings] 150 to 180 millim. That’s 5.9 to 7.1 inches. According to my own collection (I have 2). The male is 160mm (6.3″), and the female is 142mm (5.7″). Both are smaller than the Megapomponia and largest Tosena in my collection. T. speciosa cicadas are big, but not the biggest.

Song:

A video of a singing T. speciosa:

The only document specifically about the T. speciosa I’ve found is Boulard, M. 1994c. Tacua speciosa, variete decolorata n. var. (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Revue Française d’Entomologie. 16: 66. — however, that document usually costs around $60, which I’m not ready to invest in (I’ll spend the money on cicadas).

When and Where

The iNaturalist page for Tacua speciosa shows sightings on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and the Malay Peninsula.

Peak times are March-April.

Illustrations

At one point in time, the Tacua speciosa was one of the most illustrated cicadas:


Original Source: From Dictionnaire universel d’histoire naturelle. (Paris: Renard, 1841-1849) Orbigny, Charles d’, Author.


Original Source: From Animate creation : a popular edition of “Our living world” : a natural history. (New York: Selmar Hess, 1885) Wood, J. G. (John George) (1827-1889), Author.

An Illustration of Tacua speciosa from Genera Insectorum, 1913:

An illustration of Tacua speciosa from An epitome of the natural history of the insects of India : and the islands in the Indian seas by Edward Donovan:
. Note that one of its older names was Cicada indica!

Pop Culture

Pop culture note: this species of cicada was featured on the Wednesday, January 16, 2013 episode of the Daily Show. It is not, however, a 17-year cicada. :) T. speciosa probably has a 2-7 year lifecycle and is not a periodical cicada, but it might be proto-periodical (but most likely is an annual species).

October 4, 2018

Megapomponia merula (Distant, 1905)

Megapomponia merula (Distant, 1905) is a cicada found in Indonesia. Its name was once Pomponia merula, but recently, that changed.

There’s a dozen species in the Megapomponia Boulard, 2005 genus. “Mega” refers to their large size.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Megapomponiina
Genera: Megapomponia
Species: Megapomponia merula (Distant, 1905)

Megapomponia merula (Distant, 1905)
The image says Pomponia merula but the cicada is now known as Megapomponia merula.

References:

  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name information/verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

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