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January 11, 2019

Quesada gigas (Olivier, 1790)

Quesada gigas (Olivier, 1790) Is a cicada found in the United States (Texas), Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Tobago, Trinidad, and Venezuela. It is the largest cicada in these locations.

Visit this page to listen to their song.

Quesada gigas was formerly known as Tympanoterpes gigas.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Hyantiini
Genus: Quesada
Species: Quesada gigas (Olivier, 1790)

Quesada gigas (Olivier, 1790)
The image says Tympanoterpes gigas but its newest name is Quesada gigas.

Quesada gigas
Photo by Leonardo Milhomem.

Species description notes from Insect. Rhynchota.:

Stal treated this species as a synonym of T. grossa, Fabr. The type of the Fabrician species, however, is in the Banksian collection contained in the British Museum, and is very distinct, the opercula being large and rounded.

The figure given in the Encyclopedic Methodique is, like Stal’s, useless for any practical purpose. Among the habitats of this wide-ranging species is that given by Walker 2, ” West coast of America,” which, as before remarked in connexion with other species, seems clearly to refer to Central America. The forms inhabiting this region (of which a Guatemalan specimen is figured) appear to be somewhat smaller than more southern specimens, or do not exhibit the gigantic specimens which are frequently and commonly received from the southern portion of the Neotropical Region.

Mr. Gervase F. Mathew (Ent. Mo. Mag. xi. p. 175) gives some interesting details relating to this insect as observed at Tobago. As regards its powers of stridulation he writes of a ” tropical afternoon: ” — ” Suddenly, from right above, you hear one or two hoarse, monotonous cries something like the croak of a tree-frog, and, looking upwards, wonder what it can be. But wait a moment ; this is merely a signal ; for the next minute everywhere above and around you these croaks are repeated in rapid and increasing succession until they merge into a long shrill whistle almost exactly similar to the whistle of a first-rate locomotive ; this continues for nearly half a minute, and then abruptly terminates.” ” Presently similar cries will be heard in the far distance, as if in reply to those which have just died away overhead. The whistling pierces one’s ears to such a degree that its vibrations can be felt long after it has ceased.”

Mr. Mathew describes this species as frequenting trees growing in ravines where the soil is generally soft and damp, in which their larvae and pupae find no difficulty in burrowing. ” When the latter are full-grown and ready for their last transformation, they emerge from the ground and crawl about four or five feet up the trunk of a tree, when they firmly fix themselves to the bark by means of their powerfully hooked fore tibiae.” ” The flight of the mature Cicada is abrupt, rapid, and by no means graceful ; and it does not appear to have the power of controlling itself when on the wing ; for I have often seen it fly in an insane manner against the trunk of a tree, a branch, or any other object that might be in its line of flight; and when it has performed its journey without any accident, it alights abruptly and awkwardly. As a rule, however, it does not attempt to fly to any great distance at a time.”

References:

  1. The illustration comes from Biologia Centrali-Americana. Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. 1. By W. L. Distant F.E.S. and The Rev. Canon W. W. Fowler, F.L.S. (1881-1905). Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name information comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

January 2, 2019

Well, the genus is still Proarna

This one’s a bit of a brain twister, so I’m going to dump some facts and run.

Proarna albida is a former name for two species: Proarna insignis Distant, 1881 and Proarna olivieri Metcalf, 1963.

Scientific classification down the genus:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Fidicinini
SubTribe: Guyalnina
Genus: Proarna

The image below might be either one…

Description for Proarna albida from Insecta. Rhynchota.:

This species is strikingly variable, both in size and also as regards the length of the second apical area of the tegmina. Stoll’s figure being very unsatisfactory, I have here figured a specimen from Costa Rica.

Found in: Costa Rica, Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, and Brazil.

Description for Proarna insignis from Insecta. Rhynchota.:

Var. insignis:

Body much broader than in any varietal forms of P. albida which have passed through my hands, lateral margins of pronotum more ampliated, markings of the tegmina darker and more distinct.

Long. 24 millim., exp. tegm. 63 millim.

Three females possessing this form have passed through my hands. As I have not seen the their sex, and can find no sufficient structural character in the female of specific value, I have felt it necessary to give a varietal name for the present, to prevent confusion.

Found in NicaraPanamand Panama.

For comparison sake, P. olivieri is found in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Cuba, Central America, South America. All over the place. From the notes within the Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

Whatever the latest name for Proarna albida is, it’s a nice looking cicada:
Proarna olivieri Metcalf, 1963

References:

  1. The illustration comes from Biologia Centrali-Americana. Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. 1. By W. L. Distant F.E.S. and The Rev. Canon W. W. Fowler, F.L.S. (1881-1905). Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Name information from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

December 30, 2018

Fidicinoides spinicosta (Walker, 1850)

Fidicinoides spinicosta (Walker, 1850) is a cicada from Costa Rica, Panama, Guiana, French Guiana, and Brazil.

Fidicinoides spinicosta was formerly known as Fidicina spinicosta. Its name changed when it moved from the Fidicina Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843 genus to the Fidicinoides Boulard & Martinelli, 1996 genus.

Update (2/19/2019): this cicada is now Guyalna bicolor (Olivier, 1790). All add more info soon.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Fidicinini
SubTribe: Fidicinina
Genus: Fidicinoides
Species: Fidicinoides spinicosta (Walker, 1850)

References:

  1. The illustration comes from Biologia Centrali-Americana. Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. 1. By W. L. Distant F.E.S. and The Rev. Canon W. W. Fowler, F.L.S. (1881-1905). Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

December 29, 2018

Dorisiana semilata (Walker, 1850)

Dorisiana semilata (Walker, 1850) is a cicada found in Costa Rica, St. Lucia, Guiana, French Guiana, Trinidad, and Brazil.

Dorisiana semilata was formerly known as Fidicina semilata. Its name changed when it moved from the Fidicina Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843 genus to the Dorisiana Metcalf, 1952 genus.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Fidicinini
SubTribe: Guyalnina
Genus: Dorisiana
Species: Dorisiana semilata (Walker, 1850)

Dorisiana semilata (Walker, 1850)
The image might say Fidicina semilata, but the newest name of this cicada is Dorisiana semilata.

References:

  1. The illustration comes from Biologia Centrali-Americana. Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. 1. By W. L. Distant F.E.S. and The Rev. Canon W. W. Fowler, F.L.S. (1881-1905). Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

November 12, 2018

Majeorona bovilla Distant, 1905

Majeorona bovilla Distant, 1905 is a cicada found in Brazil.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Fidicinini
SubTribe: Guyalnina
Genus: Majeorona
Species: Majeorona bovilla Distant, 1905

Majeorona genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) considerably broader than base of mesonotum, eves porrect, more or less stylate, length of head about equal to half its breadth between eyes, and distinctly shorter than pronotum which is about equal in length to mesonotum; abdomen a little shorter than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation, tympanal coverings in male with their inner margins strongly concave; metasternal plate well developed, centrally longitudinally impressed and anteriorly produced on each side; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae; anterior femora strongly spined beneath; opercula in male small, transverse, not extending beyond base of abdomen, tegmina about two and a half times as long as broad, with eight apical areas and the basal cell about as long as broad.

References:

  1. The illustration and description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1914 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Gaeaninae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

November 10, 2018

Fidicinoides sericans (Stål, 1854)

Fidicinoides sericans (Stål, 1854) is a cicada found in Brazil.

Its name changed when it was moved from the Fidicina Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843 genera, to the Fidicinoides Boulard & Martinelli, 1996 genera.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Fidicinini
SubTribe: Fidicinina
Genus: Fidicinoides
Species: Fidicinoides sericans (Stål, 1854)

Fidicinoides sericans (Stål, 1854)
The image says Fidicina sericans, but the newer name of theis cicada is Fidicinoides sericans.

References:

  1. The illustration and description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1914 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Gaeaninae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

November 1, 2018

Orialella boliviana (Distant, 1904)

Orialella boliviana (Distant, 1904) was formerly known as Oria boliviana. Yes, its name has changed since 1913. The genus Oria still exists.

It is found in Bolivia and Brazil.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cryptotympanini
SubTribe: Cryptotympanina
Genus: Orialella
Species: Orialella boliviana (Distant, 1904)

Orialella boliviana (Distant, 1904)
The image says Oria boliviana, but the newest name of this cicada is Orialella boliviana.

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).

September 22, 2018

Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832)

I’m starting a new series on this blog called “has its name changed?” I’m looking through old documents and papers and using modern documents like Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha) to check. Cicada names change from time to time, based on new discoveries by the modern cicada research/science community, and sometimes to fix grammar (like gender agreement between genus and species).

This cicada is Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832), also known as the “stop and go” or “stop light” cicada because of the red and green color of its wings. If you want to see one in real life, they exist in Central and South America, specifically Panama, Ecuador, Brazil, and adjacent nations. If you’re in New York and you want to see one, they have a few in the collection at the Staten Island Museum — last time I was there, there was a faded one in a display by the door (UV rays fade cicada specimen colors).

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Piccinini
Sub Tribe: Guyana
Genus: Hemisciera
Species: Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832)

And, since 1914 at least, its name has not changed.

Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832)

Hemisciera Amyot & Serville genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) considerably broader than base of mesonotum, eves porrect, more or less stylate, length of head about equal to half its breadth between eyes, and distinctly shorter than pronotum which is about equal in length to mesonotum; abdomen a little shorter than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation, tympanal coverings in male with their inner margins strongly concave; metasternal plate well developed, centrally longitudinally impressed and anteriorly produced on each side; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae; anterior femora strongly spined beneath; opercula in male small, transverse, not extending beyond base of abdomen, tegmina about two and a half times as long as broad, with eight apical areas and the basal cell about as long as broad.

References:

  1. The illustration comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1914 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Gaeaninae. 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 18, 2018

Coffee and Cicadas

Filed under: Agriculture,Brazil,Fidicinoides,Ovipositing,Quesada — Dan @ 8:51 pm

Instarbucks

When I think of cicadas I rarely think of them as an agricultural pest, mostly because I’m located in the U.S. where they’re not quite a menace to agriculture as other creatures can be, like aphids or the dreaded, invasive Spotted Lanternfly. Periodical cicadas can be a pest to fruit trees1 — tip: don’t plant an orchard where periodical cicadas live. Whenever there is an emergence of periodical cicadas some of the weaker, ornamental or fruit trees will be lost to damage from ovipositing (egg laying). In these cases, the cicadas are impacting non-native trees introduced into America — apples, pears, and peaches are originally from Asia — and these trees did not evolve to withstand cicadas and their root-sucking, egg-laying ways. I try to be empathetic to owners of weak trees and I go into some detail in my article Will the cicadas kill my trees, shrubs or flowers. Cicada lawyer recommends that I don’t give too much advice in this area.

Cicada Lawyer
Cicada Laywer says “don’t give advice you aren’t willing to back up in court, and we need to discuss your ‘Instarbucks logo’.”

Outside the U.S., cicadas can have more of an impact to agriculture. In Australia, the Brown sugarcane cicada (Cicadetta crucifera), Green cicada (C. multifascia), and Yellow sugarcane cicada (Parnkalla muelleri) suck on sugar plant roots when they’re nymphs, which can cause poor or failed ratoons2. Also in Australia, the Bladder Cicada is said to cause severe damage to olive trees when they oviposit (lay eggs in branches)3.

I was researching the cicadas of Brazil, trying to ID a cicada someone emailed me. One thing I noticed was a lot of papers about cicadas mention coffee (cafeeiro). Papers have names like, “Description and key to the fifth-instars of some Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) associated with coffee plants in Brazil”4, or “Description of new cicada species associated with the coffee plant and an identification key for the species of Fidicinoides (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) from Brazil”5. These documents often contain wonderful cicada information, illustrations, and photos, just the sort of stuff I’m looking for.

Coffee and cicadas. Cafeeiro e cigarras. This association piqued my interest because I am both a huge fan of cicadas and coffee. Both are addictions, and if I tried to quit either, it would be painful (I’ve tried — lots of headaches). I enjoy cicadas as a hobby, and coffee as a stimulant and treat. I’ve even thought of opening a cafe called “Instarbucks” (that is a joke for entomologists).

Unfortunately, the association between coffee and cicadas is that cicadas are pests of the coffee plant. As nymphs, they suck the xylem roots of the coffee plant, and may occasionally cause damage4. Of course, coffee farms will be none too pleased about possible damage to their cash crops, so a lot of research goes into cicadas and their relationship to the coffee plant. Coffee is not native to Brazil, it originates from Ethiopia, and so it’s another non-native species of plant, grown for agricultural reasons, that is impacted by a native species of cicada. I’m sensing a pattern here. The unfortunate (for cicadas) reality is that folks will use information about the cicadas to control them, rather than risk damage to their coffee crops.

I’ll use the rest of this article to discuss coffee + cicada papers and some highlights within.

Description and key to the fifth-instars of some Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) associated with coffee plants in Brazil4:

This paper is interesting as it describes and visually illustrates the physical characteristics of each instar (phase) of the cicadas development during their nymph stage. It covers these cicadas: Dorisiana drewseni (Stål) Dorisiana viridis (Olivier), Fidicina mannifera (Fabricius), Fidicinoides pronoe (Walker) and Carineta fasciculata (Germar). Related to coffee, these researchers are providing the knowledge that allows folks to identify fifth-instar nymphs, for the purpose of determining the extent of a plant’s cicada infestation4.

Oviposition of Quesada gigas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) in coffee plants.6:

This paper describes and visually illustrates the ovipositing behavior of Quesada gigas (the Giant Cicada). Related to coffee — other than the fact that Q. gigas will lay their eggs in the coffee’s tree branches — this paper provides ideas for preventing the egg-laying behavior, such as the removal of dry branches from “the upper third of the coffee plant, which is the preferred egg-laying location”6.

Nice photo of the bearly 2mm long cicada eggs — very small for a very large cicada.

Description of the Nymphs of Quesada gigas (Olivier) (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) Associated with Coffee Plants6:

Unfortunately, I cannot read Portuguese, so I cannot read this article. That said, the illustrations of the Quesada gigas nymphs (ninfas) contained within are wonderful.

Description of new cicada species associated with the coffee plant and an identification key for the species of Fidicinoides (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) from Brazil7:

This paper describes a new cicada, Fidicinoides sarutaiensis Santos, Martinelli & Maccagnan sp. n, and provides information, illustrations and photos to help identify this cicada and others belonging to the genus Fidicinoides, including F. opalina, F. sericans, F. pauliensis, F. picea, F. pronoe, F. distanti, F. brisa, F. rosabasalae, F. brunnea, F. besti, F. sucinalae, F. saccifera, F. jauffretti and F. pseudethelae. Related to coffee, these cicadas feed from the xylem roots of coffee plants.7

This paper includes wonderful photos of key parts of these cicadas’ anatomy, which is very helpful for identifying them.

Instarbucks

There are many more papers about cicadas that appreciate coffee plants as much as you do. I’ll leave it up to you to research further.

If I had to choose, I’d choose cicadas over coffee. Which would you choose?

Sources:

  1. Tree Fruit Insect Pest – Periodical Cicada
  2. Peter Samson, Nader Sallam, Keith Chandler. (2013). Pests of Australian Sugarcane.
  3. Spooner-Hart, Robert & Tesoriero, L & Hall, Barbara. (2018). Field Guide to Olive Pests, Diseases and Disorders in Australia.
  4. DMACCAGNAN, DHB and MARTINELLI, NM. Description and key to the fifth-instars of some Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) associated with coffee plants in Brazil. Neotrop. entomol. [online]. 2011, vol.40, n.4 [cited 2018-09-18], pp.445-451. Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1519-566X2011000400006&lng=en&nrm=iso. ISSN 1519-566X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-566X2011000400006.
  5. Santos RS, Martinelli NM, Maccagnan DHB, Sanborn AF, Ribeiro R (2010) Description of new cicada species associated with the coffee plant and an identification key for the species of Fidicinoides (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) from Brazil. Zootaxa, 2602: 48-56.
  6. DECARO JUNIOR, SERGIO T; MARTINELLI, NILZA M; MACCAGNAN, DOUGLAS H. B. and RIBEIRO, EDUARDO S.. Oviposition of Quesada gigas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) in coffee plants. Rev. Colomb. Entomol. [online]. 2012, vol.38, n.1 [cited 2018-09-18], pp.1-5. Available from: http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0120-04882012000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso. ISSN 0120-0488.
  7. DHB Maccagnan, NM Martinelli. Descrição das ninfas de Quesada gigas (Olivier)(Hemiptera: Cicadidae) associadas ao cafeeiro. Neotropical Entomology, 2004 – SciELO Brasil.
  8. SANTOS RS, MARTINELLI NM, MACCAGNAN DHB, SANBORN AF,RIBEIRO R. Description of new cicada species associated with the coffee plant and an identification key for the species of Fidicinoides (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) from Brazil. Zootaxa, 2010.

May 12, 2018

Cicadas of South America

There are far more species in South America than you’ll find on this page, but these are among the most well known.

Carineta Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Carineta diardi
Carineta diardi (Guérin-Menéville, 1829)

Chonosia Distant, 1905

Fidicina Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Fidicina mannifera
Fidicina mannifera (Fabricius, 1803)

Hemisciera Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Majeorona Distant, 1905

Majeorona aper
Majeorona aper (Walker, 1850)

Quesada Distant, 1905

Quesada gigas
Quesada gigas (Olivier, 1790)

Zammara Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Zammara_smaragdina_sm
Zammara smaragdina Walker, 1850

Tettigades Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Blog posts by country:

Links for further research:

If you’re researching Cicadas in the Neotropic ecozone, which is Central and South America, here are some resources that will help you:

1) Follow Andreas Kay’s Flickr feed. He posts many excellent cicada photos from Ecuador. Many cicadas found in Ecuador are not endemic, so the cicadas you see in Andreas’ Flickr feed should be found in adjacent countries.

2) Visit Cigarras do Brasil – Brazilian Cicadas for photos and information about the cicadas of Brazil.

3) Read Jacobi (1907) “Homoptera Andina”. (Not sure where to find it – maybe eBay).

4) Read: Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Volume I (1881-1905) by W. L. Distant and W. W. Fowler. It is available online. Here is a sample from that book:

Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Volume I (1881-1905) by W. L. Distant and W. W. Fowler

5) Search for papers written by Allen F. Sanborn. Here is how to search for cicada research papers online.

6) Use ITIS to traverse cicada species names and get listings of papers about the cicada — then search for the cicada names and papers.

5) Many photos and sound files of Paraguayan cicadas.

Thanks again to David Emery!

Click the images for larger versions, the species name and the name of the photographer.

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