Male: Body above black; eyes fuscous; the anal segment of the abdomen with an ochraceous spot on each side. Body beneath and legs black; a spot at the anterior margin of the face, two marginal spots between face and eyes, lateral margins of face, femoral streaks, posterior tibiae (excluding bases and apices), margins of opercula, segmental margins (excluding disk), and apex of terminal segment, dark ochraceous.
Tegmina and wings hyaline, the venation fuscous; tegmina with the costal membrane castaneous, its extreme costal edge blackish, the post-costal area blackish; basal cell black; about the basal third of tegmina and the subcostal area to ax^es pale castaneous. Wings with about basal half irregularly very dark castaneous.
The opercula extend to about half the length of the abdomen, slightly overlap at the basal margin, somewhat concavely and obliquely sinuate at outer margins, and inwardly beyond base widely divergent to apices, which are narrowly and obtusely convex.
Megatibicen cultriformis (Davis, 1915), aka the Grand Western Flood Plain Cicada, is large cicada found in the states Arizona and New Mexico in the U.S. and in Mexico. According to the Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips, it is found in the Mexican Highland Section of the Basin and Range Province of the Sonoran Desert, and is associated with cottonwood and willow trees1.
Over the weekend, cicada collector Richard Newfrock emailed me some cicada photos for identification. Amongst those photos was what appears to be Megatibicen cultriformis labeled Escondido, Cal[iforia]. I asked Richard about the location, and sure enough, he said they were found in a pool in Escondido. I double-checked the species and location with top-tier cicada experts Jeffery Cole and David Marshall. From our conversation, I believe they agreed that the cicadas appeared to be M. cultriformis and that Escondido is far from its normal range (about 400 miles away).
Female (left), Male (right). Found floating in a pool.
So, how did these cicadas Megatibicen cultriformis end up in Escondido? More than likely, if they are truly M. cultriformis, they hitchhiked on a tree transported from Arizona to California — or as David Marshall said to me in an email, “it’s at least possible that cultriformis could have been introduced on the roots of saplings transplanted from Arizona”.
Does anyone in the Escondido area want to listen for these cicadas in the summer and report back to us if you hear them?
William T Davis’s description from A New Cicada from Arizona2:
Resembles Cicada marginata Say [now called Megatibicen pronotalis walkeri Metcalf, 1955] in size, color, and markings. Head black with an oblong greenish yellow spot each side between the eyes and a small spot of the same color on the front just above the transverse rugae. Pronotum greenish yellow with a large, conspicuous black spot occupying the fore part of its central area. The hind margin of the pronotum (collar) is entirely unicolorous as in marginata. The mesonotum is black, with a pruinose band each side at the base of the wings; the elevated x is greenish yellow, and there are two conspicuous, irregularly formed (pipe-shaped) greenish yellow spots occupying its central portion. The tergum is black, each side broadly margined with pruinose, and the segments have their posterior margins yellowish. There is also an indication of a dorsal line of pruinose spots on the tergum, which in the type have been nearly worn off. Beneath the head is blackish, the remainder of the insect being greenish yellow and more or less pruinose. The costal margin of the fore wing is entirely greenish yellow, darkened beyond the middle, and the w-mark is inconspicuous. Both fore and hind wings are greenish-yellow at base, with the veins darkened beyond the middle.
Note that greens often fade to tannish colors after a cicada dies.
Trivia: In Latin, “cultr” means knife, and “form” means shape — cultriformis means knife-shaped. Davis named cultriformis because “uncus locks, which are s millimeters long in cultriformis, and when seen in profile are shaped like the blade of a pruning knife, hence the name.” The uncus is the male genitalia.
Male: Body above black; eyes ochraceous; ocelli luteous. Pronotum with some indistinct discal markings and the posterior margin pale castaneous. Mesonotum with a central triangular linear fascia, on each side of which is an irregular and inwardly notched fascia, and the basal cruciform elevation, pale castaneous. Abdomen black, the lateral margins fringed with pale castaneous pile. Body beneath very pale castaneous; the face, anterior margin of the head between face and eyes, and basal abdominal patch, black. Anterior legs black, the femera streaked with pale castaneous; intermediate legs with the femora black streaked with pale castaneous, the tibis pale castaneous with their bases and apices black; posterior legs pale castaneous, the bases and apices of femora and tibiae black.
Tegmina and wing pale hyaline; tegmina with the venation and the costal membrane pale castaneous, the extreme basal margin of the last black; the basal third (excluding venation) and the subcostal area to apex, blackish; wings with about basal half obliquely black.
The body is robust but moderately elongate; the opercula do not overlap at their basal margins, and at a short distance from base become widely divergent and narrowed to apices, their outer margins slightly concavely sinuate and in length, they extend a little beyond the middle of the abdomen.
Long. excl. tegm. Male, 40 to 45 millim. Exp. tegm. 115 to 120 millim.
Cicada Mania has been around since 1996. It’s lived on at least five different domains (cicadamania.com is the current domain). Lots of history. Yesterday I was looking at old versions of the site on archive.org’s Wayback machine, which created archives of websites. I came across this post from 2001 and thought “these photos are not on the current site, let me upload them.
So here’s a copy of the original post, approximately 18 years later.
BTW, the cicada is Lyristes/Tibicen plebejus.
Cicada Experts, try to ID this French cicada!
Hello, In the south of France last week I saw a big insect. From the moment it climbed up a flower (picture 1) till the moment it became the one of picture 2 (10 hours later) I made 300 pictures with my Sony Mavica. Some questions; a) is this a cicada b) if so, whats the name c) do you know a site where I can find the sound of this species d) who could be interested in my pictures of the complete metamorphosis Greetings, H. Bakkenes Holland.
Cicada orni is a cicada found in many European & Asian countries, including Spain, Turkey, Albania, Austria, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Romania, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia.
Photo by Iván Jesus Torresano García taken in Spain.
Callogaeana festiva festiva is a cicada found in China, Thailand, India, Laos, Malaysia, Indochina, Bhutan, and likely adjacent countries. They are part of a group of cicadas known as “butterfly cicadas” because of their colorful wings.
Photo of a Callogaeana festiva festiva (orange) by Michel Chantraine:
Callogaeana festiva festiva (white) by Michel Chantraine:
Male: Body above black; ocelli, eyes and a broad fascia behind them reddish-ochraceous; margins of pronotum and four discal fasciae to mesonotum— of which the two central ones are angulated and connected with the anterior angle at the basal cruciform elevation — greenish-ochraceous. Body beneath and legs lack; apical half of face and a spot between face and eyes reddish-ochraceous.
Tegmina greenish-ochraceous; the radial area, a transverse fascia crossing center from the apex of the radial area, near which is a large triangular spot, apex, and outer and inner margins, and two small spots near the base, blackish. The black area at the apex is more or less broken, sometimes including a small greenish-ochraceous spot. Wings pale bluish-green; the apex broadly black — containing a pale bluish spot — and the margin continued more narrowly black to anal angle.
The face is coarsely transversely striate, and broadly sulcated at base.