Cicada Mania

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

May 12, 2022

Chremistica ribhoi, the World Cup Cicada, is emerging!

Filed under: Chremistica | Cryptotympanini | India | Periodical — Tags: — Dan @ 4:33 am

Chremistica ribhoi, aka Niangtasar and the World Cup Cicada, is emerging! Chremistica ribhoi is a periodical cicada that lives in India (state of Meghalaya) and emerges every four years. It is nicknamed the World Cup cicada because it emerges the same year as the World Cup soccer/football sports event.

Sudhanya Ray Hajong sent us the following photos and text describing the event:

A molted, teneral (soft) male:
a newly emerged teneral adult of C.ribhoi

The worldcup cicada emergence May 2022

The four year long wait is over for the young and old of the villagers of Saiden village in the
northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya, and if you happen to be around you not fail to
notice the excitement among the young and old, men and women here in Saiden . It is
beginning of May and the World cup cicada or ‘Niangtaser’ as is called by the Bhoi
community has started emerging. The forest of Iewsier located on this a remote corner of
the world is suddenly buzzing with the calls of thousands of ‘Niangtaser’ or Chremistica
ribhoi Hajong & Yaakop, 2013.

Come sunset, one will see young children, boys and girls, and even aged man and
women with a bag carried around their shoulder, a piece of bamboo cane hung by tread
around their neck and a torch in hand – they are conversing in excitement and flocking in
small groups proceeding on trails taking them inside the forest. The atmosphere is almost
festive and everyone is so friendly and smiling expecting eagerly to seek out and pick as
many ‘ Niangtaser’ as possible, to be brought back home for delicious preparation and to
be pickles and dried and kept for months to relish the unique taste that Mother nature has
bestowed.

The nymphs with their powerful forelegs silently dig over ground in the stillness of the
night and one can see the still freshly emerged nymphs covered in soil crawling sluggishly
seeking anything upright to cling upward until they can secure themself on the surface with
their claws, the slow process then begins, with the splitting of the thoracic integument
along the mid dorsal line, the adult gradually pushes out of the shell until they are fully
outside the old exuviae, the wings which were crumpled slowly unfold and the now fully
emerged teneral adult with their fully spread-out wings appear as a beautiful greenish
ethereal glow under the soft light of our headlamps.

Come daylight and the adults now in hundreds and thousands fly out resting in clusters on
tips of twigs and branches of the several bamboos, one would hear the incessant and
almost whistling crescendo of calls of the ‘Niangtaser’ with the rising heat of the sun if you
are just below these trees one would feel the rain like shower drizzling earthward from the
hundreds of adults peeing from the tree tops.

This year though the fear of a fresh COVID resurgence had dampened the spirit of the
villagers of Siden , as no ‘Niangtaser’ Festival could be organised with much fanfare like
the previous emergence years.

The Folklore of the Bhoi people – A sick old women who was transformed into the
peeing ‘Niangtsers’

Long ago as the Bhoi Khasis of Siden village traditionally believed that, there lived an old
women who suddenly fell sick with a strange stomach ailment that made her to go
frequently to calls of nature for her frequent watery discharge. Fearing that her ailment
would spread among the villagers, the village elders finally decided that she was to taken
to the forest and kept separated alone in a bamboo thatch until she could get herself
cured. It is said that, when the villagers next morning went to check on her with food and
water, they were surprised to find they she had strangely vanished, but surprisingly they
found thousands of the cicadas everywhere on the branches of the trees and strangely all
of them were found to be discharging some kind of fluid from the rear of their abdomen.
They were thus lead to believe that the forest sprit feeling pity on her had transformed the
old sick women into thousands of the cicadas, and to this day the old women appear
around the forest of Iewsier in the form of thousands of ‘Niangtasers’ and even now she
still suffers from her stomach ailment and pass frequent watery discharges from the top of
trees.

Will the ‘Niangtaser’ come again and again, after every four years, few village the elders
who narrates how once upon a time ‘Niangtaser were plentiful and widespread; and how
now things have changed and how forest were gone along with many areas from were
‘Niangtaser’ are no more found. They are saddened by this development and tells us that
the number of ‘Niangtaser’is dwindling, forest patches where large number of them
emerges are no longer there, in its place farmlands and houses had appeared, they fear it
is not far when the folklore and the ‘Niangtaser’ that is so relished will vanish and only
remain a folklore of the distant past. The unique gift of mother nature may no longer be
there if we do not check our greed and our want for more and more land and more
material wealth. Village elders like Bah Kret Sungkli caution us that if we do not part our
greedy ways we may have to lose this wonderful gift of mother nature.

By Sudhanya Ray Hajong with able field assistance from my dear Rodeson Thangkiew,
who was inspired by ‘Niangtaser’ and to take up his PhD in cicadas.

A poem by Sudhanya Ray Hajong:
Niangtaser poem

Two nymphs that have emerged from the ground:
nymphs of C.ribhoi just emerges and covered with soil

A molting adult:
emerging adult

A molting adult:
side view of teneral adult with a termite attracted to our headlamp

A molting adult:
teneral adult in process of emergence

January 16, 2021

Three new species of cicadas from Meghalaya, India

Filed under: Dundubiini | India | Mata | Vivek Sarkar — Dan @ 9:45 pm

Three new species of cicadas have been discovered in Meghalaya, India:
Mata meghalayana, Mata lenonia, and Mata ruffordii.

Mata cicadas  Vivek Sarkar
Photo courtesy of Vivek Sarkar.

Access the paper on Research Gate or Zootaxa Vol 4908, No 1.

Paper title: Description of three new species of the genus Mata Distant, 1906 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae: Oncotympanini) with notes on their natural history from the Indian state of Meghalaya, India

Authors: Vivek Sarkar, Cuckoo Mahapatra, Pratyush P. Mohapatra, Manoj V. Nair, Krushnamegh Kunte

Abstract: “Three new species of the Asian genus Mata Distant, 1906 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) viz. Mata lenonia sp.nov.; Mata ruffordii sp.nov. and Mata meghalayana sp.nov. are described from the Indian state of Meghalaya. Keys and taxonomic descriptions of these species are provided with detailed accounts of their natural history and acoustics.”

March 24, 2020

Vittagaeana dives (Westwood, 1842)

Filed under: Arenopsaltriini | Gaeanini | India | John O. Westwood | Tosena | Tosenini | Vittagaeana — Tags: , — Dan @ 7:36 pm

This is a Vittagaeana dives (Westwood, 1842) from the W.T. Davis cicada collection at the Staten Island Museum. I believe they can be found in India.

This cicada was formerly known as Tosena dives, but its name recently changed due to research done as part of the article: Hill Kathy B. R., Marshall David C., Marathe Kiran, Moulds Maxwell S., Lee Young June, Pham Thai-Hong, Mohagan Alma B., Sarkar Vivek, Price Benjamin W., Duffels J. P., Schouten Marieke A., de Boer Arnold J., Kunte Krushnamegh, Simon Chris (2021) The molecular systematics and diversification of a taxonomically unstable group of Asian cicada tribes related to Cicadini Latreille, 1802 (Hemiptera : Cicadidae). Invertebrate Systematics 35, 570-601.

Tosena dives (Westwood, 1842)

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Gaeanini
Genus: Vittagaeana
Species: Vittagaeana dives (Westwood, 1842)

See the related cicada: Vittagaeana paviei (Noualhier, 1896)

March 24, 2019

Platypleura watsoni = Platypleura mokensis

Filed under: Burma | India | Michel Boulard | Platypleurini | Thailand | W. L. Distant — Dan @ 1:01 am

Platypleura watsoni, also known as Platypleura mokensis, is a cicada found in Thailand, India, and Myanmar (Burma), and very likely adjacent nations.

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
]Platypleura mokensis

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Platypleura
Species: Platypleura watsoni (Distant, 1897)

References:

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

March 23, 2019

Platypleura hampsoni (Distant, 1887)

Filed under: India | Oriental Cicadidae | Platypleura | Platypleurini | W. L. Distant — Dan @ 1:01 am

Platypleura hampsoni is a cicada found in India.

Platypleura hampsoni

Image and Description from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website:

Male. Head luteous; front with a number of black linear markings; vertex with a transverse, narrow, black fascia between the eyes, and with a central black spot containing the ocelli. Pronotum greenish-ochraceous, the disk with the following black markings: — a central I-shaped spot, on each side of which are some oblique linear markings; the lateral dilated margins are black, and the anterior margin is narrow — and the posterior margin broadly— dull reddish ochraceous. Mesonotum greenish-ochraceous, with the following black spots: — four obconical from anterior margin, of which the central two are smallest; and a large, oblong, discal spot, with a small partly rounded spot on each side of it; the basal cruciform elevation dull reddish ochraceous. Abdomen above black. Head beneath, with the face black, marked with luteous transverse lines; sternum somewhat ochraceously pilose; abdomen beneath black, the segmental margins ochraceous, the anal appendage of the same color; legs castaneous, streaked or spotted with piceous and luteous. Rostrum black, the basal portion luteous.

Tegmina pale hyaline, with the venation brown, the costal membrane greenish, the basal third somewhat opaque, with darker transverse markings and small basal black markings; a double irregular series of dark brown spots cross the tegmina at about center, a dark brown fascia at bases of upper apical areas, a few small subapical spots and some small marginal spots of the same color. Wings brownish-ochraceous, paler at apex than at base and very pale across the center, with a white marginal spot near anal angle; the venation brown.

The rostrum reaches the basal abdominal segment; the lateral margins of the pronotum are distinctly angulated; the face is robustly gibbous, with a profound central longitudinal sulcation; the posterior tibijE have three distinct spines on each side of apical half.

Long. excl. tegm. 2 . 23 millim. Exp. tegm. 70 millim. ; exp. pronot. angl. 13 millim.

Hab. — Continental India : Neelgiri Hills, northern slopes, 3500 & 5000 feet (Hampson — coll. Dist.).

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Platypleura
Species: Platypleura hampsoni (Distant, 1887)

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

March 22, 2019

Platylomia radah (Distant, 1881)

Filed under: Burma | China | Dundubiini | India | Michel Chantraine | Nepal | Platylomia | Thailand | W. L. Distant — Dan @ 1:01 am

Platylomia radah is a cicada found in Burma, China, India, Nepal, and Thailand.

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
Platylomia radah

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Dundubiina
Genus: Platylomia
Species: Platylomia radah (Distant, 1881)

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

March 13, 2019

Pomponia linearis (Walker, 1850)

Filed under: Cicadini | Francis Walker | India | Pomponia | Raghu Ananth — Dan @ 1:01 am

Pomponia linearis is a cicada found in India.

Photo by Raghu Ananth taken in Bhagamandala, Coorg, India:

Pomponia linearis Cicada Found in Bhagamandala, Coorg, India by Raghu Ananth

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cicadini
SubTribe: Psithyristriina
Genus: Pomponia
Species: Pomponia linearis (Walker, 1850)

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

Yasumasa Saisho of the Cicadae in Japan website left a note on Facebook about this cicada:

Pomponia linearis is currently considered to contain several species (complex), for example, the population of Taiwan and Japan has been changed to Pomponia yayeyamana. See Duffels and Hayashi (2006) Tijd. Entomol., 149, 189-201.

I’m putting this at the end. It is a description of Pomponia fusca which back in the 1800s was a “synonym” of Pomponia linearis, from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website:

Head, pronotum, and mesonotum are greenish-ochraceous. Head with the anterior margins of the front, an irregular central fascia to vertex enclosing the ocelli, a large spot on the inner side of eyes, and the anterior lateral angle of vertex, dark olivaceous. Pronotum with a broad central longitudinal fascia, two large oblique spots on each lateral area, and a spot on the lateral margin, brownish-olivaceous. Mesonotum with seven brownish-olivaceous spots; situate two central and obconical, between which is an arrow-shaped discal spot, a small spot on each side of the two central ones, and a long spot on each lateral area, two small spots of the same color in front of each anterior angle of the basal cruciform elevation. Abdomen pale castaneous with ochraceous pilosity. Head beneath, sternum, legs, and opercula pale greenish ; upper and apical areas of face, a spot between face and eyes, posterior margins of eyes, anterior tibiae, apices of intermediate tibiae, a spot near apices of femora, apices of anterior and intermediate tarsi, apex of rostrum, and a triangular spot between the intermediate and posterior coxae, dark fuscous. Abdomen beneath dark ochraceous.

Tegmina and wings pale hyaline ; tegmina with the costal membrane greenish, transverse veins at the bases of the second, third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth apical areas infuscated, and a marginal series of small fuscous spots situate at the apices of the longitudinal veins to apical areas; the venation is otherwise ochraceous, sometimes replaced by black; basal cell and claval margin brownish-ochraceous.

Wings with the venation brownish-ochraceous; claval margin darker in hue.

Long. excl. tegm.

Pomponia fusca note

March 11, 2019

Platypleura capitata (Olivier, 1790)

Filed under: India | Olivier | Platypleura | Platypleurini | Raghu Ananth | Sri Lanka — Dan @ 1:01 am

Platypleura capitata is a cicada found in Sri Lanka and India.

Photos by Raghu Ananth, taken near Mysore, India:
Platypleura capitata  by Raghu Ananth, taken near Mysore, India:

Platypleura capitata  by Raghu Ananth, taken near Mysore, India:

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Platypleura
Species: Platypleura capitata (Olivier, 1790)

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

March 10, 2019

Macrosemia umbrata (Distant, 1888)

Macrosemia umbrata is a cicada found in China, Burma, India, Nepal, Thailand, and likely adjacent nations.

Photo by Raghu Ananth taken in Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Macrosemia umbrata Cicada Found in Arunachal Pradesh, India by Raghu Ananth

This cicada is also known as Macrosemia chantrainei2. Here is a photo by Michel Chantraine:
Macrosemia chantrainei Boulard, 2003

Same insect?

Description (from when the cicada was known as Cosmopsaltria umbrata):

Male. Head and thorax above obscure olivaceous. Head with the lateral margins to the front, the area of the ocelli, and some irregular spots on each lateral area of the vertex black; eyes ochraceous. Pronotum with two u-regular central black fasciae, ampliated at base and apex, and with two at each lateral margin, the posterior margin with its edge narrowly black and a black spot near lateral angles. Mesonotum with two central blackish obconical spots, between which a narrow l)lack fascia extends to the base, and a black spot in front of each anterior angle of the basal cruciform elevation. Abdomen above largely suffused with dull black shadings. Body beneath olivaceous; a central fascia to face, the anterior margin between face and eyes, inner margins and apices of femora, and the tibia more or less blackish. Opercula olivaceous, their apices and a spot near base blackish. Abdomen beneath olivaceous, largely suffused with black shadings.

Tegmina and wings pale hyaline, the venation fuscous; tegmina with the base and costal membrane fuscous, the transverse veins at the bases of the second, third, fifth, and seventh apical areas and the apices of the longitudinal veins of apical areas infuscated.

The rostrum has the apex pitchy and just passing the posterior coxa; the opercula are somewhat narrowed, concavely sinuated on each side near the base, and narrowed towards apices, which are obtusely and reach the fourth abdominal segment.

Long. excl. tegm. 46 millim. Exp. tegm. 120 millim.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Macrosemiina
Genus: Macrosemia
Species: Macrosemia umbrata (Distant, 1888)

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).

March 3, 2019

Sulphogaeana sulphurea (Westwood, 1839)

Filed under: China | Gaeanini | India | John O. Westwood | Nepal | Sulphogaeana — Tags: — Dan @ 1:01 am

Sulphogaeana sulphurea is a cicada found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, and Nepal. Is was formerly known as Gaeana sulphurea. It is one of the cicadas known as “butterfly cicadas” because of their colorful wings. Sulphogaeana sulphurea are yellow like the mineral sulfur.

Photo by Jeff Blincow:
Mating Gaeana sulphurea from Bhutan taken by Jeff Blincow

Description:

Male. Body above black; lateral margins of the vertex of head,— continued to between eyes,— pronotum (excluding the fissures, margins, and a central hour-glass-shaped fascia), four linear spots to mesonotum (sometimes united in pairs), and the margins of the anal appendage, reddish-ochraceous. Body beneath and legs black; a fascia on each side of the face, sternal streaks, a spot at the base of tegmina, posterior segmental margins,- obliterated centrally,— and the anal appendage, ochraceous.

Tegmina and wings sulphureous; tegmina with the inner margin of the costal membrane, a curved and inwardly angulated fascia crossing center, and the whole apical area,— including the upper ulnar area,— blackish; costal membrane ochraceous, postcostal area blackish; wings with the apical area— broadly, and narrowing to anal angle— blackish.

Face with a narrow but distinct central sulcation; the rostrum reaching the posterior coxae.

Long. excl. tegm. Male 35 to 37 milHm. Exp. tegm. 85 to 92 millim.

This is a moderately scarce species, and it seems almost confined to the province of Bengal.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Gaeanini
SubTribe: Gaeanina
Genus: Sulphogaeana
Species: Sulphogaeana sulphurea (Westwood, 1839)

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).

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