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February 29, 2020

Neotibicen linnei photo by Tom Lehmkuhl

Filed under: Art | Neotibicen | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 2:53 pm

Tom Lehmkuhl sent us this photo of an uninvited house guest, a Neotibicen linnei cicada.

Tom Lehmkuhl sent us this photo of an uninvited house guest (Neotibicen linnei).

Okanagana bella photo by Phobe

Filed under: Okanagana | Photos & Illustrations | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 11:01 am

Okanagana bella photo by Phobe.

Okanagana belle photo by Phobe

Pacarina puella photos by John Beard taken in Texas

Filed under: Fidicinini | Pacarina | Photos & Illustrations | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 10:41 am

Pacarina puella Davis,1923. These photos were take by John Beard in Atascosa County, TX.

Pacarina puella photos by John Beard taken in Texas

Pacarina puella photos by John Beard taken in Texas

Okanagana bella photo by Matt Berger

Filed under: Matt Berger | Okanagana | Photos & Illustrations | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 10:06 am

Matt Berger was backpacking around Yellowstone national park recently when his chanced upon this Okanagana bella. 07/25/2008.

Okanagana bella photo by Matt Berger

Okanagana bella photo by Matt Berger

Neotibicen photos by Elise Solloway from 2005

Filed under: Neocicada | Photos & Illustrations | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 9:35 am

Neotibicen photos by Elise Solloway, from 2005.

Photos taken southwest of Woodward, Oklahoma, the first week in July, 2005 and in Oklahoma in August, 2005
Neotibicen photos by Elise Solloway, from 2005.

Neotibicen superbus photos by Elise Solloway, from 2005.

Neotibicen superbus photos by Elise Solloway, from 2005.

Neotibicen superbus photos by Elise Solloway, from 2005.

Neotibicen photos by Elise Solloway, from 2005.

Neotibicen photos by Elise Solloway, from 2005.

Neotibicen photos by Elise Solloway, from 2005.

Neotibicen photos by Elise Solloway, from 2005.

Neotibicen superbus:
Neotibicen superbus

Megatibicen resonans photos by Joe Green

Filed under: Joe Green | Megatibicen | Photos & Illustrations | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 9:16 am

Neotibicen resonans photos by Joe Green from 2007, taken in Florida.

Neotibicen resonans photos by Joe Green from 2007, taken in Florida.

Neotibicen resonans photos by Joe Green from 2007, taken in Florida.

Neotibicen resonans photos by Joe Green from 2007, taken in Florida.

Neotibicen resonans photos by Joe Green from 2007, taken in Florida.

Neotibicen superbus photo by Sloan Childers from 2005

Neotibicen superbus photo by Sloan Childers from 2005. Round Rock, Texas.

Neotibicen superbus photo by Sloan Childers from 2005. Round Rock, Texas.

Diceroprocta olympusa photos by Joe Green

Filed under: Diceroprocta | Joe Green | Photos & Illustrations | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 7:18 am

Diceroprocta olympusa photos by Joe Green from 2007. Florida.

Diceroprocta  olympusa photos by Joe Green from 2007.

Diceroprocta  olympusa photos by Joe Green from 2007.

Diceroprocta  olympusa photos by Joe Green from 2007.

Diceroprocta  olympusa photos by Joe Green from 2007.

February 18, 2019

The Curious Case of Cultriformis in California

Megatibicen cultriformis (Davis, 1915), aka the Grand Western Flood Plain Cicada, is large cicada found in the states Arizona and New Mexico in the U.S. and in Mexico. According to the Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips, it is found in the Mexican Highland Section of the Basin and Range Province of the Sonoran Desert, and is associated with cottonwood and willow trees1.

Over the weekend, cicada collector Richard Newfrock emailed me some cicada photos for identification. Amongst those photos was what appears to be Megatibicen cultriformis labeled Escondido, Cal[iforia]. I asked Richard about the location, and sure enough, he said they were found in a pool in Escondido. I double-checked the species and location with top-tier cicada experts Jeffery Cole and David Marshall. From our conversation, I believe they agreed that the cicadas appeared to be M. cultriformis and that Escondido is far from its normal range (about 400 miles away).

Female (left), Male (right). Found floating in a pool.
Megatibicen cultriformis

So, how did these cicadas Megatibicen cultriformis end up in Escondido? More than likely, if they are truly M. cultriformis, they hitchhiked on a tree transported from Arizona to California — or as David Marshall said to me in an email, “it’s at least possible that cultriformis could have been introduced on the roots of saplings transplanted from Arizona”.

Does anyone in the Escondido area want to listen for these cicadas in the summer and report back to us if you hear them?

Listen to its song:

Source: ©Insect Singers

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cryptotympanini
SubTribe: Cryptotympanina
Genera: Megatibicen
Species: Megatibicen cultriformis (Davis, 1915)

William T Davis’s description from A New Cicada from Arizona2:

Resembles Cicada marginata Say [now called Megatibicen pronotalis walkeri Metcalf, 1955] in size, color, and markings. Head black with an oblong greenish yellow spot each side between the eyes and a small spot of the same color on the front just above the transverse rugae. Pronotum greenish yellow with a large, conspicuous black spot occupying the fore part of its central area. The hind margin of the pronotum (collar) is entirely unicolorous as in marginata. The mesonotum is black, with a pruinose band each side at the base of the wings; the elevated x is greenish yellow, and there are two conspicuous, irregularly formed (pipe-shaped) greenish yellow spots occupying its central portion. The tergum is black, each side broadly margined with pruinose, and the segments have their posterior margins yellowish. There is also an indication of a dorsal line of pruinose spots on the tergum, which in the type have been nearly worn off. Beneath the head is blackish, the remainder of the insect being greenish yellow and more or less pruinose. The costal margin of the fore wing is entirely greenish yellow, darkened beyond the middle, and the w-mark is inconspicuous. Both fore and hind wings are greenish-yellow at base, with the veins darkened beyond the middle.

Note that greens often fade to tannish colors after a cicada dies.

Trivia: In Latin, “cultr” means knife, and “form” means shape — cultriformis means knife-shaped. Davis named cultriformis because “uncus locks, which are s millimeters long in cultriformis, and when seen in profile are shaped like the blade of a pruning knife, hence the name.” The uncus is the male genitalia.

Resources:

January 11, 2019

Quesada gigas (Olivier, 1790) aka Giant Cicada

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.

See 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.

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