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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.

2 Comments »

  1. Hi,I am a keen cicada collector. I have approx 40 species but am keen to find anyone who can help me expand my collection.Many thanks
    Paul Sperinck

    Comment by paul sperinck — January 20, 2013 @ 2:56 am

  2. G maculata sounds a lot like Magicicada cassini! Great post!!

    Comment by Elias — January 20, 2013 @ 7:01 am

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