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Genera of cicadas.

October 15, 2018

Yanga brancsiki (Distant, 1893)

Yanga brancsiki (Distant, 1893) is found in Madagascar.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genera: Yanga
Species: Yanga brancsiki (Distant, 1893)

Yanga brancsiki (Distant, 1893)

Yanga genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) as wide or a little wider than base of mesonotum, not truncate anteriorly, but with the lateral margins of the vertex a little oblique on each side, the front produced, about as long as the pronotum (excluding its posterior margin); pronotum transverse, its posterior margin about half the length of vertex, the lateral margins strongly and angulately produced on each side, their apices extending a little more than the base of basal cell of tegmina; mesonotum a little longer than pronotum; anterior femora with a basal and subapical spinous tubercle; posterior tibiae with a few spines on apical area; metasternum elevated and centrally sulcate; tympanal coverings moderate in size; opercula short and broad, their apices more or less convexly rounded ; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae; tegmina with the costal membrane much arched at base and dilated, about as broad or broader than the costal area, basal cell short and broad, ulnar veins widely separated at their bases.

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 14, 2018

Umjaba evanescens (Butler, 1882)

Umjaba evanescens (Butler, 1882) is found in Madagascar.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genera: Umjaba
Species: Umjaba evanescens (Butler, 1882)

Umjaba evanescens (Butler, 1882)

Umjaba genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) only about two thirds the width of base of mesonotum, not truncate anteriorly, but obliquely deflected in front of eyes; pronotum transverse, its posterior margin about half the length of its vertex, the lateral margins ampliated, a little angulated anteriorly and posteriorly, but not medially, and not reaching base of basal cell of tegmina; mesonotum slightly longer than pronotum; anterior femora tuberculously angulated near base and apex; posterior tibiae with a few spines on their apical areas; metasternum elevated and centrally sulcate; tympanal coverings broad; opercula short, broad. their apices more or less convexly rounded; rostrum just passing the posterior coxae; tegmina with the costal membrane much arched at base, but very much narrower than the costal area which is broadly dilated, basal cell very broad, ulnar veins widely separated at their bases.

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 13, 2018

Arunta perulata (Guérin-Méneville, 1831)

Arunta perulata (Guérin-Méneville, 1831). Found in Australia. Known as a White Drummer. Like other members of the tribe Thophini, like Thopha colorata (Orange Drummer) and Thopha saccata (Double Drummer), they have massive sac-like tymbal covers, which is why they’re called drummers.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Thophini
Genera: Arunta
Species: Arunta perulata (Guérin-Méneville, 1831)

White Drummer cicada (Arunta perulata)
Photo by David Emery.

Arunta perulata (Guérin-Méneville, 1831)

Arunta genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head transverse, moderately truncate in front of eyes, between eyes much narrower than base of mesonotum ; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae; pronotum moderate broad, its breadth considerably less than length of both pro- and mesonotum (including the basal cruciform elevation); tympana very largely developed and sac-like, their apices obliquely extending beyond the lateral margins of the abdomen and to about half its length; opercula very small, not extending to base of metasternum, placed wide apart, and with their apical margins convex; anterior femora incrassated and spined ; posterior tibiae with a few lateral fine spines; tegmina and wings talc-like, tegmina with eight apical areas.

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 12, 2018

Koma bombifrons (Karsch, 1890)

Koma bombifrons (Karsch, 1890). Found in eastern Africa, specifically Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genera: Koma
Species: Koma bombifrons (Karsch, 1890)

Koma bombifrons (Karsch, 1890)

Koma genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) wider than base of mesonotum, not truncate anteriorly. but frontally produced, about as long as pronotum (excluding its posterior margin); pronotum slightly shorter than mesonotum, its posterior margin about half the length of vertex, the lateral margins- moderately dilated, slightly angulated, but not reaching basal cell of tegmina ; anterior femora with one or more distinct spines on under surface; posterior tibiae with a few slender spines on apical areas; metasternum elevated and centrally sulcate; tympana large; opercula short, broad, in type the margins oblique; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae ; tegmina with the basal cell short and broad; ulnar veins well separated at their bases.

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).

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