Cicada Mania

Dedicated to cicadas, the most amazing insects in the world.

May 16, 2020

A cicada from Ecuador, probably Pachypsaltria sp. Photo by Rebecca van den Bogert

Filed under: Cicadatrini,Ecuador,Pachypsaltria — Dan @ 8:53 am

Rebecca van den Bogert shared this photo of a cicada from Ecuador.

Details: “Plaza de Ponchos” Marktet in Otovalo / April 19th 2007 / 2 p.m. / about 65 °F.

I’m reasonably certain it belongs to the genus Pachypsaltria, and might be Pachypsaltria cinctomaculata. I’m not 100% of that.

Rebecca van den Bogert - Ecuador
Photo by Rebecca van den Bogert. Original was cropped.

March 16, 2019

Majeorona aper (Walker, 1850)

Majeorona aper (Walker, 1850) is a cicada found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Panama, and likely adjacent nations.

Photo by Leonardo Milhomem:
Majeorona aper from Brazil, Photo by Leonardo Milhomem. 2005.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Fidicinini
SubTribe: Guyalnina
Genus: Majeorona
Species: Majeorona aper (Walker, 1850)

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.

Quesada gigas from Brazil, Photo by Leonardo Milhomem
Quesada gigas from Brazil, Photo by Leonardo Milhomem.

⭢ All Quesada gigas photos and information on cicadamania.com.

Song

Source: ©Insect Singers | Species: Q. gigas

Playlists contain multiple videos found on YouTube.

Name, Location and Description

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

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

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.”

Resources:

The Giant Cicada / Chicharra Grande page on the Texas Entomology websites is a very good resource, particularly in relation to the state of Texas.

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).
  3. Full Binomial Names: ITIS.gov
  4. Common names: BugGuide.net; The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott and Wil Herschberger; personal memory.
  5. Locations: Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips.
  6. Descriptions, Colors: personal observations from specimens or photos from many sources. Descriptions are not perfect, but may be helpful.
  7. Tribe information comes from: MARSHALL, DAVID C. et al. A molecular phylogeny of the cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) with a review of tribe and subfamily classification. Zootaxa, [S.l.], v. 4424, n. 1, p. 1–64, may 2018. ISSN 1175-5334. Available at: https://www.biotaxa.org/Zootaxa/article/view/zootaxa.4424.1.1
  8. Notes:

    • Some descriptions are based on aged specimens which have lost some or a lot of their color.

October 19, 2018

Pachypsaltria cinctomaculata (Stål, 1854)

Pachypsaltria cinctomaculata (Stål, 1854) is found in Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venuezela.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cicadatrini
Genus: Pachypsaltria
Species: Pachypsaltria cinctomaculata (Stål, 1854)

Pachypsaltria cinctomaculata (Stål, 1854)

Pachypsaltria genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head including eyes a little more than half the width of base of mesonotum, the front subconically produced, about as long as vertex, head obliquely depressed, eyes oblique, slightly passing the anterior pronotal angles; face moderately globose, not longitudinally sulcate; rostrum passing the posterior coxas; pronotum shorter than mesonotum, its posterior margin nearly twice as broad as anterior margin, the lateral margins dentately sinuate; mesonotum shorter than head and pronotum together, convex; abdomen short, about as long as head and pronotum together; tympanal orifices inwardly exposed; opercula short, broad, scarcely extending beyond base of abdomen: body pilose, marginally longly so; anterior femora not spined beneath; tegmina more than twice longer than broad, apical areas eight; wings with six apical areas.

Pachy (Greek) means thick, and psalt comes from “psalter” (Greek), which means harp player. Pachypsaltria = thick harp player.

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).

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: Fidicinini
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)

A specimen from the Staten Island Museum:
Stop and Go

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).
  3. Tribe information comes from: MARSHALL, DAVID C. et al. A molecular phylogeny of the cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) with a review of tribe and subfamily classification. Zootaxa, [S.l.], v. 4424, n. 1, p. 1–64, may 2018. ISSN 1175-5334. Available at: https://www.biotaxa.org/Zootaxa/article/view/zootaxa.4424.1.1

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