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October 11, 2018

Tacua speciosa

The Tacua speciosa is a beautiful cicada native to the countries Malaysia & Indonesia, and the islands Borneo & Sumatra, and likely other islands and nations of the area. Tacua speciosa are well known for their large size, opaque wings, black body, striking yellow/chartreuse pronotal collar, red cruciform elevation, and cyan or yellow tergites. There are two subspecies.

The name speciosa comes from the Latin word “specios” which means beautiful or showy.

Tacua speciosa
Image credit: Alexey Yakovlev, Tacua speciosa (Cicadidae). Borneo. Trusmadi area. 2100 m, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Check out this gallery of Tacua speciosa cicadas, which includes great images like this one:

Tacua speciosa from Malaysia (peace)

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Tacuini
Genera: Tacua
Species: Tacua speciosa
SubSpecies: Tacua speciosa decolorata Boulard, 1994
SubSpecies: Tacua speciosa speciosa (Illiger, 1800)

Here is W.L. Distant’s description of this insect from A monograph of oriental Cicadidae:

Body above black ; eyes, anterior pronotal margin (narrowly), posterior margin of pronotum, posterior margin of the third, and the whole of the fourth, fifth and sixth abdominal segments, ochraceous ; basal cruciform elevation red, with its anterior angles black ; body beneath black ; lateral areas and margins to prosternum, a spot at lateral margins of third abdominal segment, and the lateral margins of the fourth, fifth and sixth abdominal segments, ochraceous. Tegmina black, coastal membrane and venation dull reddish, outer margin narrowly creamy-white wings black, the outer margin (excluding anal area) creamy-white. Var. a. Tegmina and wings greyish-brown, the black coloration only observable at margins of the veins. Long.excl.tegm. 47 to 57 millim. Exp.tegm.150 to 180 millim.

Two Distinct Types:

This image comes from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892.
Tacua speciosa
Which is which in the photos and illustrations on this page? Can you tell?

Normal form (#9 in the image): “Tegmina [forewings] black, coastal membrane and venation dull reddish, outer margin narrowly creamy-white wings black, the outer margin (excluding anal area) creamy-white.”

Variety A (#10 in the image) “Tegmina and wings are greying-brown, the black coloration only observable around the veins.”

Size:

T. speciosa is one of the largest cicadas. According to the Distant’s description above — tegm.[forewings] 150 to 180 millim. That’s 5.9 to 7.1 inches. According to my own collection (I have 2). The male is 160mm (6.3″), and the female is 142mm (5.7″). Both are smaller than the Megapomponia and largest Tosena in my collection. T. speciosa cicadas are big, but not the biggest.

Song:

A video of a singing T. speciosa:

The only document specifically about the T. speciosa I’ve found is Boulard, M. 1994c. Tacua speciosa, variete decolorata n. var. (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Revue Française d’Entomologie. 16: 66. — however, that document usually costs around $60, which I’m not ready to invest in (I’ll spend the money on cicadas).

When and Where

The iNaturalist page for Tacua speciosa shows sightings on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and the Malay Peninsula.

Peak times are March-April.

Illustrations

At one point in time, the Tacua speciosa was one of the most illustrated cicadas:


Original Source: From Dictionnaire universel d’histoire naturelle. (Paris: Renard, 1841-1849) Orbigny, Charles d’, Author.


Original Source: From Animate creation : a popular edition of “Our living world” : a natural history. (New York: Selmar Hess, 1885) Wood, J. G. (John George) (1827-1889), Author.

An Illustration of Tacua speciosa from Genera Insectorum, 1913:

An illustration of Tacua speciosa from An epitome of the natural history of the insects of India : and the islands in the Indian seas by Edward Donovan:
. Note that one of its older names was Cicada indica!

Pop Culture

Pop culture note: this species of cicada was featured on the Wednesday, January 16, 2013 episode of the Daily Show. It is not, however, a 17-year cicada. :) T. speciosa probably has a 2-7 year lifecycle and is not a periodical cicada, but it might be proto-periodical (but most likely is an annual species).

May 12, 2018

Cicadas of Asia

Many species shown on this page are not endemic to a single country. Typically if a cicada can be found in one country in Indo-China (Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), it will be found in many others, as well as southern China.

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

Ambragaeana Chou & Yau, 1985

Ambragaeana ambra
Ambragaeana ambra Chou & Yao, 1985

Ambragaeana ambra is found in Indo-China and China.

Angamiana Distant, 1890

Angamiana floridula
Angamiana floridula Distant, 1904

Angamiana floridula is found in Indo-China and China.

Ayuthia Distant, 1919

Ayuthia spectabile
Ayuthia spectabile Distant, 1919. Female.

Ayuthia spectabile is found in Indo-China and China.

Becquartina Kato, 1940


Becquartina electa

Becquartina electa (Jacobi, 1902) from Thailand.

Becquartina electa is found in Indo-China and China.

Becquartina versicolor
Becquartina versicolor Boulard, 2005 Thailand.

Becquartina versicolor is found primarily in Thailand, but I imagine it can be found in adjacent nations as well.

Callogaeana Chou & Yao, 1985

Orange Gaeana festiva
Callogaeana festiva festiva (Fabricius, 1803). Formerly Gaeana festiva.

Callogaeana festiva festiva is found in Indo-China and China.

Chremistica Stål, 1870

Cicadmalleus

Cryptotympana Stål, 1861

Cryptotympana aquila
Cryptotympana aquila (Walker, 1850) from Thailand.

Cryptotympana aquila has a huge range from Korea south to Indo-China, as well as, Borneo, Sumatra and Brunei.

Cryptotympana atrata
Female Cryptotympana atrata (Fabricius, 1775) from Korea.

Cryptotympana atrata has a large range from Indo-China north to Korea.


Cryptotympana mandarina

Cryptotympana mandarina Distant, 1891

Distantalna Boulard, 2009

Distantalna splendida
Distantalna splendida (Distant, 1878)

Dundubia Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Dundubia
Dundubia sp.

Dundubia spiculata
Dundubia spiculata Noualhier, 1896

Euterpnosia Matsumura, 1917

Euterpnosia chibensis
Euterpnosia chibensis

Formotosena Kato, 1925

Formotosena montivaga
Formotosena montivaga (Distant, 1889)

Gaeana Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Gaeana cheni
Gaeana cheni Chou & Yao, 1985

Hyalessa China, 1925

Oncotympana maculaticollis
Hyalessa maculaticollis maculaticollis (de Motschulsky, 1866)

Huechys Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Huechys sanguinea
Huechys sanguinea (Degeer, 1773).

H. sanguinea can be found throughout Asia, including China, Indo-China, India & Pakistan.

Lyristes Horváth, 1926

Depending on who you ask, the Genus is Lyristes or Tibicen, so I’ll mention both.

Tibicen flammatus aka Lyristes flammatus
Lyristes flammatus or Tibicen flammatus (Distant, 1892)

L. flammatus aka T. flammatus (there is some dispute over the name of the genus) can be found in Japan, Korea and China.

Macrosemia Kato, 1925

Macrosemia chantrainei
Macrosemia chantrainei Boulard, 2003

Macrosemia tonkiniana
Macrosemia tonkiniana (Jacobi, 1905)

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

Orientopsaltria Kato, 1944

Orientopsaltria beaudouini

Orientopsaltria beaudouini Boulard, 2003

Platylomia Stål, 1870

Platylomia radah
Platylomia radah (Distant, 1881)

Platypleura Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Platypleura capitata Cicada Found Near Mysore, India by Raghu Ananth
Platypleura capitata (Olivier, 1790)

Platypleura mira
Platypleura mira Distant, 1904

Platypleura mokensis
Platypleura mokensis Boulard, 2003

Pomponia Stål, 1866

Purana Distant, 1905

Salvazana Distant, 1913

Salvazana imperialis
Salvazana mirabilis imperialis Distant, 1918

Salvazana mirabilis
Salvazana mirabilis mirabilis Distant, 1913

Sulphogaeana Chou & Yao, 1985

Tacua Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Tacua speciosa from Malaysia on a leaf
Tacua speciosa (Illger, 1980)

Tailanga Distant, 1890

Tailanga binghami
Tailanga binghami Distant, 1890.

T. binghami is found in China and the countries of Indo-China.

Tosena Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843

Tosena paviei
Tosena paviei (Noualhier, 1896)

Tosena albata
Tosena albata
Distant, 1878.

Trengganua Moulton, 1923

Trengganua sibylla is found in Malaysia and Thailand.

Blog Catagories:

Links for further research:

Southeast Asia

India

Japan

Cicada species names and locations verified using The Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha) by Allen F Sanborn.

May 4, 2013

Some cicadas from Malaysia

Filed under: Dundubia,Malaysia,Tacua — Dan @ 8:24 am

Malaysia, like all south-east Asian countries, has a fantastic array of beautiful cicada species.

A world traveler sent us her recent cicada photos. Here are a sample:

An amazing Tacua speciosa aka Emperor Cicada:


Tacua speciosa from Malaysia on an arm

Look at the size of it! Behold the beauty!

See all the Tacua speciosa photos.

And…

A severely injured but persevering Dundubia vaginata:


Dundubia  vaginata missing abdomen

It won’t ever mate again, but it will live for a little longer.

See all the Dundubia vaginata photos.