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October 10, 2018

Kongota punctigera (Walker, 1850)

Kongota punctigera (Walker, 1850). Found in south-east Africa, specifically the nation of South Africa. Remarkable wing shape!

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Kongota
Species: Kongota punctigera (Walker, 1850)

Kongota punctigera (Walker, 1850)

Kongota genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) about as wide as base of mesonotum, anteriorly subtruncate, deflected in front of eyes ; pronotum transverse, its posterior margin about half the length of its vertex, the lateral margins ampliately and subangulately produced, their apices extending to about the base of basal cell of tegmina; mesonotum about as long as pronotum; anterior femora basally and subapically tuberculously spinous; 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, broader than the costal area, 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 8, 2018

Munza laticlavia

There are three subspecies of Munza laticlavia: M. laticlavia laticlavia (Stål, 1858), M. laticlavia lubberti Schumacher, 1913 and M. laticlavia semitransparens Schumacher, 1913. It is found in southern Africa, including the countries South Africa & Nambia. Perhaps Kenya too.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Munza
Species: Munza laticlavia
Subspecies: M. laticlavia laticlavia (Stål, 1858)
Subspecies: M. laticlavia lubberti Schumacher, 1913
Subspecies: M. laticlavia semitransparens Schumacher, 1913

Not sure which subspecies appears in this photo:
Munza laticlavia

Munza genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) a little wider than base of mesonotum, subtruncate and deflected in front of eyes; pronotum transverse, about as long as mesonotum, its posterior margin a little more than half the length of its vertex, its lateral margins dilated and a little angulated, but not reaching the basal cell of tegmina; anterior femora not spined ; posterior tibiae longly spined on their apical halves; metasternum a little elevated and centrally sulcate; tympanal coverings somewhat small ; opercula short, broad, their lateral and posterior margins a little oblique and sinuate ; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae ; tegmina with the basal cell broadened apically ; wings with the outer and posterior membrane Very broad, about one third their length.

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. Species name information/verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

October 6, 2018

Platypleura polydorus (Walker, 1850)

Platypleura polydorus (Walker, 1850). Found in Sub-Saharan, West, South and East Africa. Platypleura has a remarkable, angular pronotal collar like other members of the Platypleurini tribe.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Platypleura
Species: Platypleura polydorus (Walker, 1850)

Platypleura polydorus (Walker, 1850)

Platypleura genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Body robust. somewhat short; abdomen in male about as long as space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation; head broad, truncate anteriorly, including eyes a little or scarcely broader than base of mesonotum, ocelli about twice and sometimes thrice the distance from eyes as from each other, face moderately convex not prominent above; pronotum with the lateral margins ampliated or laminately medially angulate ; anterior femora not prominently spined; metasternum with a Central elevated plate-like process, which is centrally sulcated and posteriorly somewhat sinuately truncate; tympana practically concealed by the tympanal flaps or coverings; opercula in male short, broad, their apices more or less convexly rounded ; tegmina and wings either hyaline or more or less opaquely coloured, tegmina with the basal cell a little longer than broad, the coastal membrane only moderately dilated or arched at base, apical areas eight in number. Oxypieura, Amyot & Serville, merely includes species with hyaline non-opaque tegmina and wings: Pcecilopsaltria, Stal was regarded as distinct from Platypleura by the slightly greater width of the head including eyes ; this form being more dominant in the Oriental Region, while the character of typical Platy pleura is a marked feature in the Ethiopian species.

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. Species name information/verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

October 4, 2018

Afzeliada hyalina (Distant, 1905)

Filed under: Africa (Continent) | Afzeliada | Genera Insectorum | Platypleurini | W. L. Distant — Tags: — Dan @ 5:06 am

Afzeliada hyalina (Distant, 1905), was formerly known as Sadaka hyalina. Yes, its genus has changed (thereby changing its name)! The Sadaka genus still exists, this cicada was just moved out of it, and into the Afzeliada Boulard, 1973 genus. It is found in Sub-Saharan, West Africa.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genera: Afzeliada
Species: Afzeliada hyalina (Distant, 1905)

Afzeliada hyalina (Distant, 1905)
The image says Sadaka hyalina but this cicada’s new name is Afzeliada hyalina.

If I find an Afzeliada genus description from Boulard’s 1973 paper, I’ll add it here.

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. Species name information/verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

September 30, 2018

Muansa clypealis (Karsch, 1890)

Filed under: Africa (Continent) | Cameroon | CAR | DRC | Genera Insectorum | Karsch | Muansa | Nigeria | Platypleurini | Zaire — Tags: — Dan @ 4:54 am

Muansa clypealis (Karsch, 1890) is a visually amazing cicada, with a remarkable angular pronotal collar and almost butterfly-like wing inclusions. It is found in Sub-Saharan Africa/West Africa, including the countries Cameroon, The Central African Republic, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, and Zaire.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Muansa
Species: Muansa clypealis (Karsch, 1890)

Muansa clypealis (Karsch, 1890)

A Muansa Distant genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) slightly wider than base of mesonotum, not truncate anteriorly, but frontally produced, about as long as pronotum (excluding its posterior margin); pronotum transverse, its posterior margin little more than half the length of vertex, the lateral margins strongly and angularly produced, angular apices reaching to about middle of basal cell of tegmina; mesonotum a little longer than pronotum; anterior femora with one or more distinct spines, posterior tibiae with a few slender spines on apical areas; metasternum elevated and centrally sulcated ; tympana practically covered; opercula short, broad, their apices more or less convexly rounded; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae; tegmina with the basal cell 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. Species name information/verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

May 12, 2018

Cicadas of Africa

Filed under: Africa (Continent) — Dan @ 11:45 am

There are far more species in Africa than you’ll find on this page, but this is a start.

Click or tap the image for information about the cicada.

Afzeliada hyalina (Distant, 1905)

Antankaria signoreti (Metcalf, 1955)

Berberigetta

New Cicada: Berberigetta dimelodica

Brevisana

Brevisana brevis, the LOUDEST cicada

Cicadatra flavicollis Horváth, 1911

flavicollis

Ioba limbaticollis (Stål, 1863)

Koma bombifrons (Karsch, 1890)

Kongota punctigera (Walker, 1850)

Muansa clypealis (Karsch, 1890)

Munza laticlavia

Quintilla aurora

Quintilia aurora

Platypleura polydorus (Walker, 1850)

Tugelana butleri Distant, 1912

Ugada nutti Distant, 1904

Umjaba evanescens (Butler, 1882)

Yanga brancsiki (Distant, 1893)

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March 25, 2017

New Cicada: Berberigetta dimelodica

Filed under: Africa (Continent) | Berberigetta | Cicadettini | Vera L. Nunes | Video — Tags: — Dan @ 10:24 am

Thanks to Vera L. Nunes for letting us know about a newly described/discovered cicada named Berberigetta dimelodica.

Berberigetta is also a new genus, belonging to the Tribe Cicadettini.

See and listen to it in this YouTube video:

The paper than describes the species is:

Gonçalo João Costa, Vera L. Nunes, Eduardo Marabuto, Raquel Mendes, Telma G. Laurentino, José Alberto Quartau, Octávio S. Paulo, Paula Cristina Simões. 2017. Morphology, songs and genetics identify two new cicada species from Morocco: Tettigettalna afroamissa sp. nov. and Berberigetta dimelodica gen. nov. & sp. nov. (Hemiptera: Cicadettini). Zootaxa. Vol 4237, No 3.

Link to the Zootaxa page for the document.

And here’s a quote of the Abstract:

Morocco has been the subject of very few expeditions on the last century with the objective of studying small cicadas. In the summer of 2014 an expedition was carried out to Morocco to update our knowledge with acoustic recordings and genetic data of these poorly known species. We describe here two new small-sized cicadas that could not be directly assigned to any species of North African cicadas: Tettigettalna afroamissa sp. nov. and Berberigetta dimelodica gen. nov. & sp. nov. In respect to T. afroamissa it is the first species of the genus to be found outside Europe and we frame this taxon within the evolutionary history of the genus. Acoustic analysis of this species allows us to confidently separate T. afroamissa from its congeners. With B. dimelodica, a small species showing a remarkable calling song characterized by an abrupt frequency modulation, a new genus had to be erected. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses with DNA-barcode sequences of Cytochrome C Oxidase 1 support the monophyly of both species, their distinctness and revealed genetic structure within B. dimelodica. Alongside the descriptions we also provide GPS coordinates of collection points, distributions and habitat preferences.

October 6, 2015

Quintilla aurora cicada of the Republic of South Africa

Filed under: Africa (Continent) | Parnisini | South Africa — Dan @ 4:59 am

Quintilia aurora

Thanks to David Emery for sending this photo of the amazing Quintilia aurora (Walker, 1850) cicada which can be found in the Republic of South Africa.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadettinae
Tribe: Parnisini
Genus: Quintilia
Species: Quintilia aurora (Walker, 1850)

October 5, 2014

What is the loudest cicada?

Filed under: Africa (Continent) | Anatomy | FAQs | Sounds — Dan @ 7:58 am

Africa is home to the Loudest cicada

A recent BBC article says researcher John Petti as found the answer: Brevisana brevis, an African cicada, reaches 106.7 decibels — with the loudest North American cicada, Megatibicen pronotalis walkeri at 105.9 decibels. Their sound was measured at a distance of 50cm (approximately 20 inches). Specifics about the equipment used and calibration of said equipment is not mentioned.

There are over 3500 types of cicadas in the world, and for now, Brevisana brevisis the king of the insect noisemakers. More information on Petti’s study can be found here. Sound files of Brevisiana brevis.

In North America

The article does introduce room for skepticism and debate, by noting that other species come very close (Diceroprocta apache), that the Megatibicen pronotalis walkeri alarm call reaches 108.9 decibels and a North American study that suggests decibels are correlated to body mass (and Brevisana brevis is not the most massive cicada).
Megatibicen pronotalis photo by Roy Troutman, taken in Batavia, Ohio
Megatibicen pronotalis photo by Roy Troutman, taken in Batavia, Ohio.

In Australia

According to the book Australian Cicadas by M.S. Moulds (New South Wales University Press, 1990) Cyclochila australasiae and Thopha saccata reach nearly 120db at close range. The “at close range” might be the key difference in measuring the sound, as Petti measured at a distance of 50cm.
Double Drummer (Thopha saccata)
Double Drummer (Thopha saccata), a cicada found in Australia, can reach 120db at close range. Photo by Kevin Lee.

What about Magicicada in the U.S.?

Personally, I’ve observed Magicicada cassini choruses achieve between 85 & 86 decibels (link to video), and M. cassini responding to fingersnaps (mimics female wing flicks) at as high as 116 decibels (link to video) 35s in). The 116 decibels level was recorded with the insect standing on the microphone of my Extech 407730. Magicicada choruses have been documented to reach 100 decibels

Magicicada chorus at around 80db:

Some people want to know how loud a cicada can get just because it is a cool fact to know, but others are concerned about noise-induced hearing loss (about which, I am not an expert). Both decibels and prolonged exposure seem to matter. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders page on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, prolonged exposure to sounds over 85db can cause hearing loss (just above the chorus of a Magicicada). The WebMD harmful noise levels page has chainsaws and leaf blowers in the range of the loudest cicadas. Lessons learned: 1) Make sure you wear hearing protection if you plan on blowing leaves or searching for the loudest cicada, and 2) Do not complain about the cicadas in your yard — complain about your neighbors and their leaf blowers.

Male cicadas, in case you were wondering, use their opercula (flaps on their abdomen) to cover their tympana (the cicadas hearing organs) when they sing, so they don’t damage their own hearing. Cicadas — male and female — listen with their tympana.

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