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May 8, 2014

Gaeana atkinsoni from the Uttara Kannada district in India

Filed under: Gaeana,India,Raghu Ananth — by @ 1:46 am

Here’s a cicada I never thought I would see, but thanks to Raghu Ananth, here are two photos of a Tosena sibyla Gaeana atkinsoni .

Tosena sibylla from Uttara Kannada district in India by Raghu Ananth 2

This photo was taken on May 2nd, 2009:

Tosena sibylla from Uttara Kannada district in India by Raghu Ananth

Note the characteristic double stripes on the fore wings. Note how the smaller stripe doesn’t make it all the way to the claval fold.

Here are observations about this cicada provided by Raghu Ananth:

Brief description –
The cicada has red eyes, red thorax with black patch above, red abdomen, black wings with yellow veins and a large yellow patch lines on the wings.

Numbers. found – several dozens.
Habitat – tree barks near forest path
length – 4-5 cms

The orange-red coloured cicada is one of the beautiful cicadas in the forests. It has a red body, red eyes and black wings with yellow patches. During one of our trips to the evergreen forests in the Uttara Kannada district (Karnataka), we spotted two of them camouflaged on the bark of each tree, actively walking up and down and then appearing a colourful red when in flight from one bark of the tree to another. Their singing, however, seemed not in sync with each another. On our approach they would try to hide behind the bark or fly to a distant tree.

This illustration of a T. sibylla Gaeana atkinsoni comes from the document A monograph of oriental cicadidae (1892) by William Lucas Distant.

Tosena sibylla

Updated (5/8/2014) with a video by Harinath Ravichandran:

January 19, 2014

A visual comparison of some cicadas of Southeast Asia

This is a photo of one of my displays at home. Some of the specimens aren’t in the best shape, but it is good enough to distinguish the species.

Angamiana floridula, Becquartina electa, Gaeana cheni, Gaeana festiva, Platypleura mira, Tacua speciosa, Tosena albata, Tosena melanoptera, Tosena paviei, and Trengganua sibylla are featured in the image.

Cicadas of South East Asia

Click the image for a larger image.

January 19, 2013

The “Butterfly Cicadas”

Filed under: Ambragaeana,Becquartina,Gaeana — by @ 6:39 pm

The cicadas belonging to the tribe Gaeanini (Ambragaeana sp., Gaeana sp., and Becquartina sp.)1 are among the world’s most beautiful cicadas. These cicadas have broad, multicolored wings. Their wings beat slowly rather than vibrate quickly, allowing them to flutter like butterflies. Michel Boulard calls them “Butterfly Cicadas” 2. Watch the video of a Gaeana festiva in flight:

Behold the beautiful “Butterfly Cicadas”:

Ambragaeana ambra

Ambragaeana ambra

Distinguishing features: Brown fore wings with white/cream colored spots. Black hind wings with white/cream colored spots/markings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Gaeana cheni

Gaeana cheni

Distinguishing features: Black/Brown fore wings with chartreuse/yellow spots. Black and mint-green hind wings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Gaeana festiva

Gaeana festiva (orange)
Orange form of Gaeana festiva

Gaeana festiva (white)
White form of Gaeana festiva

Gaeana festiva
Orange & White form of Gaeana festiva

A photo of a living G. festiva.

Distinguishing features: Gaeana festiva come in an amazing variety of color variations. Colors include orange, yellow, white and pale green; fore and hind wings are often different colors as well. G. festiva, as Michel Boulard speculates, might be a periodical cicada, as it emerges in very large numbers 2. They might he proto-periodical as well.

Habitat: India, Southeast Asia3

Gaeana hageni

A photo of a Gaeana hageni specimen.

Distinguishing features: Chartreuse-green fore wings. White hind wings. No spots (unlike most Gaeana).

Habitat: Malayan Archipelago3

Gaeana maculata

Video of a Gaeana maculata:

A photo of a living G. maculata.

Distinguishing features: Black wings and body with yellow spots. (Maculata means spotted.)

Habitat: India, China3

Gaeana sulphurea

Mating Gaeana sulphurea from Bhutan taken by Jeff Blincow
Mating Gaeana sulphurea from Bhutan taken by Jeff Blincow

A photo of a Gaeana sulphurea specimen.

Distinguishing features: Black and yellow wings & body.

Habitat: India3, Bhutan

Becquartina electa

Becquartina electa

Distinguishing features: Dark brown fore wings with striking yellow lines forming a triangle-like shape. Dark brown and yellow hind wings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Becquartina versicolor

Becquartina versicolor

Distinguishing features: Dark brown fore wings with red veins and striking yellow lines, sort of in the shape of the number 7. Black hind wings with white markings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Note: there are

References:

  1. Sanborn, Allen F., Phillips, Polly K. and Sites, Robert W. The Cicadas of Thailand (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). p 1.
  2. Boulard, Michel. 2007. The Cicadas of Thailand, General and Particular Characteristics, Volume 1. p 66,72, Plate 30.
  3. Distant, W.L. 1892. A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae. The Order of the Trustees of the Indian Museum of Calcutta. p 104-108.