After watching a news report (nine national news), it seems possible that Australian cicadas might be more annoying than American cicadas — annoying according to the ear of the beholder of course — I think they’re awesome.
The big difference between Australian cicadas and American cicadas is the loud & abundant American Magaicicada periodical cicadas only come around every 17 or 13 years, and annual species of American cicadas are loud but they aren’t found in large numbers or groups (aggregations). In Australia certain species of cicadas are noisy and abundant every year.
Here’s yet another wonderful cicada photo from David Emery in Australia: the Diemeniana euronotiana. The cicada is a mere 20mm in length, and they are now just out in the bushland around 1000m.
The Diemeniana euronotiana can be found in eastern NSW, south-eastern Victoria and Tasmania. They are most common in late November to January. (Moulds, M.S.. Australian Cicadas Kennsignton: New South Wales Press, 1990, p. 112)
Bron sent us this Green Grocer photo taken in Orange NSW Australia.
The scientific term for Green Grocers is Cyclochila australasiae. The come in other varieties such as the yellow colored Yellow Mondays and blue Blue Moons.
Cyclochila australasiae can be found in eastern Queensland, NSW and Victoria, and most emerge in October and November (Moulds, M.S.. Australian Cicadas Kennsignton: New South Wales Press, 1990, p. 61.).
More Orange Drummer (Thopha colorata) photos from Jodi!
Thanks to Jodi for allowing us to post some of her Orange Drummer (Thopha colorata) photos. Two today, two tomorrow! Apparently they’re hatching in droves in Central Australia.
More photos of Jodi’s Orange Drummers.
Here are some emerging Thopha, Thopha saccata a.k.a. Double Drummer (I think — not 100% sure), taken by David Emery.
The many colors of the Cyclochila australasiae
I asked Dr. David Emery to explain the different colors of the Cyclochila australasiae, a.k.a. the Green Grocer, Yellow Monday, Blue Moon, Masked Devil, etc. David has allowed me to use his explanation on the site, and here it is:
Most “green” cicadas like our GG (Green grocer – Cyclochila australasiae) are coloured from the mixture of yellow and blue pigments. It is quite common for the blue to be missing to various degrees in GGs, and they exhibit shades of lighter green to yellow (even close to orange) and are then called “Yellow Mondays!”. It is also common for the blue pigment to fade in collections and so many “green” species turn a dull beige or brown. This can be fixed with a 24h soaking in 2.5-10% neutral-buffered formalin immediately after killing (or inject formalin after they die). MUCH more rarely, the yellow pigment can be missing and then we get the “Blue Moon”- love those purple eyes! In fact, having collected or spotted more than 10,000 GGs in my time, I have not caught a Blue Moon. My daughter Samantha, found the one in the photo when she was 4 years old, and another when she was 7!!
The orange-black, “masked devil” morph of the GG seems associated with altitude and these progressively appear with increasing frequency amongst GG populations above 500m in the mountains west of Sydney. For example, at Glenbrook, (elevation 150m) they are <5% of the population whereas at Hazelbrook and Blackheath (670m and 1200m, respectively), they increase to around 95% of the population. It was thought that cold underground temperatures during larval and nymphal development might also contribute, but the huge numbers of green GGs west of our ranges argue against a direct effect of temperature alone. Here the winter temps are very cold too, just as cold as the mountains. So just how these “melanisation” effects are mediated remain unresolved- one of life’s tantalizing mysteries!
Here are photos of cicadas by David Emery. Take a look.
Australian Cicada Websites
- The Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges has a page of cicada facts and photos of Northern Greengrocers and a Green Baron from Tropical North Queensland.
- The AusEmade: Cicada page features cicada facts, as well as a very nice matrix of Common cicada names, their Scientific names and where they can be found. The site was just updated with Orange Drummer photos.
- The Brisbane Insects site has a selection of pages devoted to cicadas found in the Brisbane area. There are information and photos of Double Drummers, Clangers, White Drummers, Brown Bunyips, Razor Grinders, Bladder Cicadas, Floury Bakers, Thin-striped Wattles, Small Bottle, Either Bark Squeakers, and Small Bark Squeakers.
- The CSIRO site has a great list of cicadas by Scientific name; there are photos for each species, general information including where they are found.
- The Summer of Singing Cicadas page on the Scribbly Gum site is filled with excellent information including cicada names, keeping cicadas as pets, their sound, their life cycle, The Black Prince, cicada myths and where they can be found.
Here is a Masked Devil cicada (Cyclochila australasiae) photo taken by David Emery. A Masked Devil is the same species as the Green Grocer and Blue Moon.
Here is a White Drummer cicada (Arunta perulata) photo taken by David Emery.
The White Drummer cicada can be found in eastern Queensland and NSW, from November to April, but they are most common during December and January. (Moulds, M.S.. Australian Cicadas Kennsignton: New South Wales Press, 1990, p. 58)
Here is an Redeye cicada (Psaltoda moerens) photo taken by David Emery. The Redeye is also know as the Cherryeye.
The Redeye cicada can be found in eastern NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, and are most abundant in late November and December. (Moulds, M.S.. Australian Cicadas Kennsignton: New South Wales Press, 1990, p.75)