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February 21, 2019

Distantalna splendida splendida (Distant, 1878)

Distantalna splendida splendida is a cicada found in China, Thailand, India, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. It is formerly known as Tosena splendida. It is known in pop culture as the basis for the Cicada 3301 logo.

Photo by Dan Mozgai:
Distantalna splendida formerly Tosena splendida

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
splendida

This description comes from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website:

Body above black; front with a reddish spot at each basal angle; eyes, two small spots on vertex, four large spots to pronotum (two on disk and one at each posterior lateral angle) and two spots on disk of mesonotum,* luteous. Body beneath and legs black; lateral margins of the face, a wide central annulation to femora, and a central discal series of subtriangular spots, sanguineous.

Tegmina and wings— where not obscured by darker markings— pale hyaline, exhibiting varied opaline luster, which in some lights is found to be ornamented with close and regular series of transverse darker strife ; tegmina at base (narrowly) and costal membrane shining blackish ; venation bright luteous and for two-thirds from base broadly margined with shining blackish, and a series of shining blackish marginal spots on the apices of longitudinal veins to apical areas largest and somewhat fused at apex; claval area pale greenish. Wings pale greenish for nearly two-thirds their area from the base; remaining apical area shining blackish, enclosing a submarginal series of pale opaline spots, of which the largest are subapical.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Tosenini
Genus: Distantalna
Species: Distantalna splendida splendida (Distant, 1878)

References:

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

February 10, 2019

Huechys sanguinea

Huechys sanguinea is a cicada found in Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, and likely many other nations in Asia. There are at least 5 subspecies of this cicada. It is also known as the “medicinal cicada” because people use it as a medicine (see my translation below).

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
Huechys sanguinea

Description1:

Body and legs black; front and face to head, two large spots to mesonotum — sometimes fused and covering the whole disk — and the abdomen, sanguineous; base of abdomen narrowly black.

Tegmina black, opaque; wings shining fuscous, sometimes almost black, the interior of the anal area always paler.

Rostrum passing the intermediate coxae; face moderately compressed, and very coarsely striate.

Long. excl. tegm. Male and Female 17 to 25 millim. Exp. tegm. 43 to 65 millim.

Here’s my translation, from French, of a note about the medicinal properties of the cicada. The original text comes from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas:

According to Dr. Fumouze, “Huechys sanguinea, the Cicada sangiunolenta d’OIivier, is a very strong [common] insect in certain provinces of China, where it is harvested for the needs [valuable medicinal properties] of the species. In China, this insect would pass into China to enjoy curative properties, and it would be used chiefly in the treatment of rabies, but its value as much as the medicine against rabies is doubtful, but its action on the genitourinary organs seems to be certain, and this is what is in the fore, if the Huechys sanguinea would not yield a particular or similar active ingredient to the cantharides, what I can say now, it is because, by the procedures used to extract Cantharidin from cantharides, I have obtained no results, perhaps I will be later after that, but my first researches have not been completely unsuccessful, because I arrived to extract from Huechys sanguinea the material which gives to the abdominous teguments of this insect their magnificent yellow-orange color. This matter, which I will call Huechys’ red, is of a color exactly like that of the abdomen of the animal, as you can see by means of a sample which I put before your eyes. Huechys sanguinea also contains, but in smaller quantities, another yellowish, hygrometric dying material. “- Btdl. Soc. Ent. Fr. 1888, pp. xxii., xxiii.

TL;DR = “People use it to treat rabies, but it’s doubtful it actually works as a rabies treatment. It does work for its ‘Viagra-like’ properties. And its red pigment can be extracted.”

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadettinae
Tribe: Huechysini
SubTribe: Huechysina
Genus: Huechys
Species:

  • Huechys sanguinea hainanensis Kato, 1931
  • Huechys sanguinea philaemata (Fabricius, 1803)
  • Huechys sanguinea sanguinea (Degeer, 1773)
  • Huechys sanguinea suffusa Distant, 1888
  • Huechys sanguinea wuchangensis Liu, 1940

For more information about this cicada, visit Cicadas of India.

References:

  1. The description and location information comes from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name information comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

October 20, 2018

Talainga binghami Distant, 1890

Talainga binghami Distant, 1890, is found in Burma, and south-east Asia, in general.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Talaingini
SubTribe: Talaingina
Genus: Talainga
Species: Talainga binghami Distant, 1890

Tailanga binghami
Photo by Michel Chantraine.

Talainga binghami Distant, 1890

Talainga genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) a little narrower than base of mesonotum, about as long as breadth between eyes, front globose and prominent, shorter than vertex; pronotum about as long as mesonotum, its lateral margins a little convex, angularly incised before ‘posterior angles which are ampliated; abdomen somewhat cylindrical, longer than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation; tympanal coverings small and lateral; anterior femora robustly spined beneath; tegmina talc-like, semi-opaque, the apical half with the venation reticulate and forming a mass of small cellular areas, sometimes the ulnar areas are crossed by transverse veins, basal cell about twice as long- as broad; wings with the posterior margin deeply sinuate near the abdominal area; apical areas six, sometimes broken up by transverse veins into a more numerous and reticulate series.

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).

October 2, 2018

Haphsa bindusara (Distant, 1881)

Haphsa bindusara (Distant, 1881) was formerly known as Aola bindusara.Yes, its name has changed since 1913. Aola is no longer a genus, although the subtribe is still the similarly named Aolaria.

This cicada is found in Burma.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Aolaria
Genus: Haphsa
Species: Haphsa bindusara (Distant, 1881)

Haphsa bindusara (Distant, 1881)
The image says Aola bindusara but this cicada is now known as Haphsa bindusara.

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

Polyneura ducalis Westwood, 1840

Polyneura ducalis Westwood, 1840, is found in China, Tibet, Indonesia, Burma, Nepal, India, and likely more nations in the region.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Polyneurini
SubTribe: Polyneurina
Genus: Polyneura
Species: Polyneurina ducalis Westwood, 1840

Polyneura ducalis Westwood, 1840

Polyneura genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head including eyes about as wide as base of mesonotum, but narrower than pronotum, ocelli further apart from eyes than from each other, front obliquely depressed; pronotum longer than mesonotum, its lateral margins ampliated and medially shortly angulate; abdomen longer than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation; tympanal orifices completely covered; opercula short and broad; meso- and metasterna centrality sulcate; tegmina opaque with the venation dense and furcate, reticulate towards apex, all the areas numerous and ill-defined.

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).