Cicada Mania

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

March 18, 2019

Megapomponia imperatoria (Westwood, 1842)

Megapomponia imperatoria is a cicada found in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, and Thailand. This is the largest cicada in the world

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
Megapomponia imperatoria
Note: the photo reads “Pomponia imperatoria”, but since the time of the photograph the name of the cicada has changed.

Description 1:

Body above brownish-ochraceous, in some specimens castaneous. Head with a central longitudinal spot to the front, the area of the ocelli, a transverse spot behind eyes, and a spot at anterior angles of vertex, black. Pronotiim with two central longitudinal linear fasciae not extending beyond center — a central spot at the posterior margin — and the furrows black; posterior margin greenish, with two black spots on each side. Mesonotum with two obconical central spots, from the junction of which a longitudinal fascia extends to posterior margin, four spots in transverse series at the base, a spot on each lateral discal area, and sometimes some small spots at anterior margin black. Abdomen with the posterior margins of the abdominal segments narrowly black. Body beneath and legs brownish-ochraceous; transverse striations and the apex of the face, anterior tibiae, bases, and apical thirds of the intermediate tibiae, anterior and intermediate tarsi and the apex of the rostrum, black.

Tegmina and wings pale hyaline, the venation ochraceous. Tegmina with the costal membrane and basal cell brownish or ochraceous, the claval area ochraceous or sanguineous; the transverse veins at the bases of the second, third, fifth, and seventh apical areas infuscated and a series of fuscous marginal spots at the apices of the longitudinal veins to apical areas. Wings with the base of claval area ochraceous or sanguineous; outer margin of claval area ochraceous.

Long. excl. tegm. Male 46 to 68 millim. ; Female 41 to GO millim. Exp. tegm. Male 137 to 180 millim. ; Female, 145 to 216 millim.

This is a most variable species, both as regards size and markings. The largest specimen I have yet seen is a female in my o\vn collection from Perak, whose tegmina reach an expansion of 216 millim. In some of the smaller specimens, the body is darker, and the markings to same and the spotting of the tegmina very indistinct. There almost seem to be two races of this species, one very much smaller and somewhat less prominently marked than the other.

As I have elsewhere recorded, I captured this fine species myself, not infrequently, when sojourning in the Malay Peninsula. It often frequented the dining-room, and on holding it between the fingers its stridulation caused a thrill through the nerves of the arm.*

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Megapomponiina
Genus: Megapomponia
Species: Megapomponia imperatoria (Westwood, 1842)

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).

February 18, 2019

Cryptotympana aquila (Walker, 1850)

Cryptotympana aquila is a cicada found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, and likely adjacent nations.

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
Photo by Michel Chantraine

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

Male: Body above black; eyes ochraceous; ocelli luteous. Pronotum with some indistinct discal markings and the posterior margin pale castaneous. Mesonotum with a central triangular linear fascia, on each side of which is an irregular and inwardly notched fascia, and the basal cruciform elevation, pale castaneous. Abdomen black, the lateral margins fringed with pale castaneous pile. Body beneath very pale castaneous; the face, anterior margin of the head between face and eyes, and basal abdominal patch, black. Anterior legs black, the femera streaked with pale castaneous; intermediate legs with the femora black streaked with pale castaneous, the tibis pale castaneous with their bases and apices black; posterior legs pale castaneous, the bases and apices of femora and tibiae black.

Tegmina and wing pale hyaline; tegmina with the venation and the costal membrane pale castaneous, the extreme basal margin of the last black; the basal third (excluding venation) and the subcostal area to apex, blackish; wings with about basal half obliquely black.

The body is robust but moderately elongate; the opercula do not overlap at their basal margins, and at a short distance from base become widely divergent and narrowed to apices, their outer margins slightly concavely sinuate and in length, they extend a little beyond the middle of the abdomen.

Long. excl. tegm. Male, 40 to 45 millim. Exp. tegm. 115 to 120 millim.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cryptotympanini
SubTribe: Cryptotympanina
Genus: Cryptotympana
Species: Cryptotympana aquila (Walker, 1850)

February 16, 2019

Callogaeana festiva festiva (Fabricius, 1803)

Callogaeana festiva festiva is a cicada found in China, Thailand, India, Laos, Malaysia, Indochina, Bhutan, and likely adjacent countries. They are part of a group of cicadas known as “butterfly cicadas” because of their colorful wings.

Photo of a Callogaeana festiva festiva (orange) by Michel Chantraine:
Callogaeana festiva festiva (orange)

Callogaeana festiva festiva (white) by Michel Chantraine:

Photos by Dan Mozgai:
Callogaeana festiva festiva

Callogaeana festiva festiva

Callogaeana festiva festiva

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Gaeanini
SubTribe: Gaeanina
Genus: Callogaeana
Species: Callogaeana festiva festiva (Fabricius, 1803)

Note: there is another sub-species of Callogaeana festiva, but it is not named.

Here is a description of this cicada from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.

Male: Body above black; ocelli, eyes and a broad fascia behind them reddish-ochraceous; margins of pronotum and four discal fasciae to mesonotum— of which the two central ones are angulated and connected with the anterior angle at the basal cruciform elevation — greenish-ochraceous. Body beneath and legs lack; apical half of face and a spot between face and eyes reddish-ochraceous.

Tegmina greenish-ochraceous; the radial area, a transverse fascia crossing center from the apex of the radial area, near which is a large triangular spot, apex, and outer and inner margins, and two small spots near the base, blackish. The black area at the apex is more or less broken, sometimes including a small greenish-ochraceous spot. Wings pale bluish-green; the apex broadly black — containing a pale bluish spot — and the margin continued more narrowly black to anal angle.

The face is coarsely transversely striate, and broadly sulcated at base.

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

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).

January 25, 2019

Tosena depicta Distant, 1888

Tosena depicta Distant, 1888 is a cicada found on Borneo (Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia), and possbily other islands of the Malay archipelago.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Tosenini
Genus: Tosena
Species: Tosena depicta Distant, 1888

Tosena depicta Distant, 1888

Species specimen description from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W.L. Distant:

Head and thorax above black; head with a spot at apex of front and a spot at each anterior angle of vertex, two central spots on anterior margin of pronotum, the posterior margin of pronotum, four spots in transverse series on mesonotum, and the posterior margin of mesonotum ochraceous ; the centre of basal cruciform elevation black. Abdomen above reddish ochraceous, with a central, longitudinal, narrow, dorsal, fuscous fascia. Head beneath, sternum, a lateral fascia to opercula, and legs black; a spot at base and one on each side of base of face ; coxas, apices of femora and tibia, tarsi (excluding base) and rostrum (excluding apex) ochraceous. Body beneath ochraceous, the basal segment blackish.

Tegmma dark olivaceous, the costal membrane and the venation reddish ochraceous, and with a transverse and slightly oblique greyish-white fascia near centre, not extending above the base of the second ulnar area; posterior basal margin narrowly reddish ochraceous. Wings black, the basal area reddish ochraceous, with its posterior margin black.

The rostrum reaches the apex of the basal abdominal segment, and the tegmina have their apices considerably attenuated.

Long. excl. tegm. 36 millim. Exp. tegm. 90 millim.

References:

  1. The illustration, 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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