New changes to the classification of the North American cicadas belonging to the genus Cicadetta have been published. The North American Cicadetta were found to be unrelated to the European Cicadetta (including the type species C. montana), so a new genus was needed. The new genus is Cicadettana. Research & paper by David Marshall and Kathy Hill.
The generic classification of cicadas within the globally distributed tribe Cicadettini (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) has been challenging due to their often conservative morphology. A recent molecular analysis has indicated that the six North American taxa currently classified in Cicadetta are unrelated to the European type species of Cicadetta, C. montana Scopoli. Here we identify a set of diagnostic morphological characters for a new genus, which we distinguish from its closest relatives in Eurasia and Australasia.
A new subspecies of the Similar Dog-Day Cicada has been described in the paper A new Neotibicen cicada subspecies (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) from the southeastern USA forms hybrid zones with a widespread relative despite a divergent male calling song by David C. Marshall and Kathy B. R. Hill (Zootaxa, Vol 4272, No 4). The cicada is named Neotibicen similaris apalachicola.
This cicada lives in Florida, Georgia & Alabama, and hybridizes with the other Similar Dog-Day Cicada sub-speces, Neotibicen similaris similaris. The document is available on biotaxa.org.
A morphologically cryptic subspecies of Neotibicen similaris (Smith and Grossbeck) is described from forests of the Apalachicola region of the southeastern United States. Although the new form exhibits a highly distinctive male calling song, it hybridizes extensively where it meets populations of the nominate subspecies in parapatry, by which it is nearly surrounded. This is the first reported example of hybridization between North American nonperiodical cicadas. Acoustic and morphological characters are added to the original description of the nominate subspecies, and illustrations of complex hybrid song phenotypes are presented. The biogeography of N. similaris is discussed in light of historical changes in forest composition on the southeastern Coastal Plain.
Thanks to Vera L. Nunes for letting us know about a newly described/discovered cicada named Berberigetta dimelodica.
Berberigetta is also a new genus, belonging to the Tribe Cicadettini.
See and listen to it in this YouTube video:
The paper than describes the species is:
Gonçalo João Costa, Vera L. Nunes, Eduardo Marabuto, Raquel Mendes, Telma G. Laurentino, José Alberto Quartau, Octávio S. Paulo, Paula Cristina Simões. 2017. Morphology, songs and genetics identify two new cicada species from Morocco: Tettigettalna afroamissa sp. nov. and Berberigetta dimelodica gen. nov. & sp. nov. (Hemiptera: Cicadettini). Zootaxa. Vol 4237, No 3.
Morocco has been the subject of very few expeditions on the last century with the objective of studying small cicadas. In the summer of 2014 an expedition was carried out to Morocco to update our knowledge with acoustic recordings and genetic data of these poorly known species. We describe here two new small-sized cicadas that could not be directly assigned to any species of North African cicadas: Tettigettalna afroamissa sp. nov. and Berberigetta dimelodica gen. nov. & sp. nov. In respect to T. afroamissa it is the first species of the genus to be found outside Europe and we frame this taxon within the evolutionary history of the genus. Acoustic analysis of this species allows us to confidently separate T. afroamissa from its congeners. With B. dimelodica, a small species showing a remarkable calling song characterized by an abrupt frequency modulation, a new genus had to be erected. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses with DNA-barcode sequences of Cytochrome C Oxidase 1 support the monophyly of both species, their distinctness and revealed genetic structure within B. dimelodica. Alongside the descriptions we also provide GPS coordinates of collection points, distributions and habitat preferences.
A new species of Megatibicen, named Megatibicen harenosus sp. n., has been described by Jeffrey A. Cole. It lives in the Mescalero-Monahans shinnery sands areas of New Mexico and Texas. It is very similar to Megatibicen (Neotibicen, Tibicen) tremulus, which itself looks a lot like dorsatus and dealbatus.
Megatibicen harenosus sp. n. is described from the Mescalero-Monahans shinnery sands of New Mexico and Texas, U.S.A. The new species is diagnosed from similar species, especially M. tremulus which it resembles closely, by male genital morphology, color pattern, calling song, and ecology. Seven characters from the male calling song are described from analysis of field recordings, of which all four temporal song characters are significantly different from M. tremulus. With one of the most southwestern distribution of any Megatibicen species, M. harenosus is a new addition to the rich, endemic, and understudied Mescalero-Monahans shinnery sands biota. The possibility that M. harenosus and M. tremulus are sister species is raised. The ecological, biological, and evolutionary species concepts support species status for M. harenosus, and an hypothesis of peripatric speciation in peripheral isolation is advanced.
There is a sample of this cicada’s song on the Insect Singers website. Check it out.
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