Cicada Mania

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December 24, 2013

Photos of Cicadas from Australia

Kees Green sent us many photos of cicadas taken in Australia.

Here is a sample:

A Green Grocer (Cyclochila australasiae) nymph:

Green Grocer Cyclochila australasiae  nymph by Kees Green

An unidentified Pauropsalta sp.:

Pauropsalta sp by Kees Green 02

A Thopha sessilibia:

Thopha sessilibia by Kees Green 02

See all of Kees’ photos, including a Tamasa tristigma and an aggregation of Macrotristria goding.

October 12, 2013

A third way cicadas make sounds

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”

Cyclochila australasiae stridulatory structures

The location of these structures is right about where the blue pin is in this photo:
Collar

Update:

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:
stridatory file

October 10, 2013

Masked Devil aka Cyclochila australasiae

Filed under: Australia,Cyclochila australasiae — by @ 4:37 am

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.

Masked Devil

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

Cicada Season has begun in Australia

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!

Cheers, David.

Masked Devil cicada (Cyclochila australasiae):

Masked Devil

More information about Cyclochila australasiae.

Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii):

Bladder Cicada

More information about Cystosoma saundersii.

December 31, 2010

Cicada Mania: Y

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:

December 10, 2010

Multi-color Cyclochila australasiae

Filed under: Australia,Cyclochila australasiae — by @ 1:59 pm

Found on Flickr.



Addition to the display, originally uploaded by mgjefferies.

Red, orange, blue and green!

August 22, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: G

G is for Greengrocer. The Greengrocer is the green morph of the Australian cicada Cyclochila australasiae. These cicadas can be found in south-eastern Australia. They have a large pronotal collar, and if you use your imagination, it looks like they’re wearing a tiny Pith helmet above their eyes.

Here’s a close of up of a Greengrocer (from Bron):
Green Grocer Cicada

Here’s a box of Greengrocers (from Kevin Lee):
Green Grocers

December 4, 2007

Green Grocer

Filed under: Australia,Cyclochila australasiae — Tags: — by @ 12:14 pm

Bron sent us this Green Grocer photo taken in Orange NSW Australia.

Green Grocer Cicada

The scientific term for Green Grocers is Cyclochila australasiae. The come in other varieties such as the yellow colored Yellow Mondays and blue Blue Moons.

Cyclochila australasiae can be found in eastern Queensland, NSW and Victoria, and most emerge in October and November (Moulds, M.S.. Australian Cicadas Kennsignton: New South Wales Press, 1990, p. 61.).

November 30, 2007

Australian Cicada Information

Filed under: Australia,Cyclochila australasiae,David Emery — Tags: — by @ 4:02 pm

The many colors of the Cyclochila australasiae

I asked Dr. David Emery to explain the different colors of the Cyclochila australasiae, a.k.a. the Green Grocer, Yellow Monday, Blue Moon, Masked Devil, etc. David has allowed me to use his explanation on the site, and here it is:

Most “green” cicadas like our GG (Green grocer – Cyclochila australasiae) are coloured from the mixture of yellow and blue pigments. It is quite common for the blue to be missing to various degrees in GGs, and they exhibit shades of lighter green to yellow (even close to orange) and are then called “Yellow Mondays!”. It is also common for the blue pigment to fade in collections and so many “green” species turn a dull beige or brown. This can be fixed with a 24h soaking in 2.5-10% neutral-buffered formalin immediately after killing (or inject formalin after they die). MUCH more rarely, the yellow pigment can be missing and then we get the “Blue Moon”- love those purple eyes! In fact, having collected or spotted more than 10,000 GGs in my time, I have not caught a Blue Moon. My daughter Samantha, found the one in the photo when she was 4 years old, and another when she was 7!!

The orange-black, “masked devil” morph of the GG seems associated with altitude and these progressively appear with increasing frequency amongst GG populations above 500m in the mountains west of Sydney. For example, at Glenbrook, (elevation 150m) they are <5% of the population whereas at Hazelbrook and Blackheath (670m and 1200m, respectively), they increase to around 95% of the population. It was thought that cold underground temperatures during larval and nymphal development might also contribute, but the huge numbers of green GGs west of our ranges argue against a direct effect of temperature alone. Here the winter temps are very cold too, just as cold as the mountains. So just how these “melanisation” effects are mediated remain unresolved- one of life’s tantalizing mysteries!

Here are photos of cicadas by David Emery. Take a look.

Australian Cicada Websites

  1. The Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges has a page of cicada facts and photos of Northern Greengrocers and a Green Baron from Tropical North Queensland.
  2. The AusEmade: Cicada page features cicada facts, as well as a very nice matrix of Common cicada names, their Scientific names and where they can be found. The site was just updated with Orange Drummer photos.
  3. The Brisbane Insects site has a selection of pages devoted to cicadas found in the Brisbane area. There are information and photos of Double Drummers, Clangers, White Drummers, Brown Bunyips, Razor Grinders, Bladder Cicadas, Floury Bakers, Thin-striped Wattles, Small Bottle, Either Bark Squeakers, and Small Bark Squeakers.
  4. The CSIRO site has a great list of cicadas by Scientific name; there are photos for each species, general information including where they are found.
  5. The Summer of Singing Cicadas page on the Scribbly Gum site is filled with excellent information including cicada names, keeping cicadas as pets, their sound, their life cycle, The Black Prince, cicada myths and where they can be found.

Ozzie Cicadas: Masked Devil

Here is a Masked Devil cicada (Cyclochila australasiae) photo taken by David Emery. A Masked Devil is the same species as the Green Grocer and Blue Moon.

Masked Devil

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