Cicada Mania

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

Cicada researchers associated with academic institutions.

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).

October 18, 2018

Balinta auriginea Distant, 1905

Filed under: Asia (Continent) | Balinta | Gaeanini | Genera Insectorum | W. L. Distant — Tags: — Dan @ 1:01 am

Balinta auriginea Distant, 1905, is found in south-east Asia. Thailand, maybe — the Genera Insectorum says “Mis. du Ht. Song-Chai.”

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Gaeanini
SubTribe: Gaeanina
Species: Balinta
Species: Balinta auriginea Distant, 1905

Balinta auriginea Distant, 1905

Balinta genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) about as wide as base of mesonotum and as long as pronotum, obliquely depressed in front of eyes; pronotum about as long as mesonotum, its lateral margins sinuate, the posterior angles moderately dilated; abdomen in male much longer than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation ; tympanal coverings both shorter and narrower than the tympanal orifices, which are most exposed inwardly; opercula in male small and transverse, widely separated, and not extending beyond base of abdomen; rostrum reaching posterior coxae ; anterior femora strongly spined beneath; tegmina and wings opaque; tegmina with their greatest breadth about one third their length and with eight apical areas.

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).

Angamiana floridula Distant, 1904

Angamiana floridula Distant, 1904, is found in the southeastern quadrant of Asia, including China, India, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Polyneurini
SubTribe: Polyneurina
Genus: Angamiana
Species: Angamiana floridula Distant, 1904

A. floridula

Angamiana floridula
Photo by Dan Mozgai.

angamiana floridula
Photo by
Michel Chantraine.

Photo by Martin Kolner
Photo by Martin Kolner.

Angamiana genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head small, including eyes much narrower than pronotum and narrower than base of mesonotum, ocelli much wider apart from eyes than from each other, front much depressed; pronotum longer than mesonotum, its lateral and posterior margins very broad, the first strongly ampliated and obscurely angulated; abdomen longer than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation, above with its lateral areas oblique; tympanal orifices completely covered ; opercula broad, obtusely angulated, not reaching the middle of abdomen; tegmina semihyaline, with the apical third more or less reticulateh^ veined, the apical areas numerous, generali}’ twelve or thirteen in number.

References:

  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

October 17, 2018

Pycna coelestia Distant, 1904

Filed under: Asia (Continent) | China | Genera Insectorum | Platypleurini | Pycna | W. L. Distant — Tags: — Dan @ 1:01 am

Pycna coelestia Distant, 1904 is found in China.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Pycna
Species: Pycna coelestia Distant, 1904

Pycna coelestia Distant, 1904

Pynca genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) only about two-thirds the width of base of mesonotum, not truncate anteriorly, but obliquely deflected in front of eyes; pronotum transverse, the posterior margin about half the length of its vertex, the lateral margins ampliated, but not angulated, and scarcely extending over the base of tegmina ; mesonotum about as long as pronotum ; anterior femora tuberculously angulated near base and apex, posterior tibiae spinous on apical area; metasternum a little elevated and centrally sulcate; tympana well covered; abdomen short and robust; opercula short, very broad, their apices more or less convexly rounded ; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae; tegmina with the costal membrane much arched at base, dilated, and always as broad or very much broader than the costal area; basal cell very broad; ulnar veins widely separated at their bases.

Not sure of the species, but this cicada belongs to the Pycna genus. Photo by Michel Chantraine:
Pycna sp.

References:

  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

October 16, 2018

Ugada nutti Distant, 1904

Filed under: Africa (Continent) | Genera Insectorum | Platypleurini | Tanzania | Ugada | W. L. Distant — Tags: — Dan @ 1:01 am

Ugada nutti Distant, 1904 is found in Tanzania. It has, perhaps, the most impressive pronotal collar of any cicada.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Ugada
Species: Ugada nutti Distant, 1904

Ugada nutti Distant, 1904

Ugada genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) only about two thirds the width of base of mesonotum, not truncate anteriorly, but obliquely deflected in front of eyes; pronotum transverse, the posterior margin a little more than half the length of its vertex, the lateral margins strongly ampliated and medially angulated, their apices reaching to middle or near end of basal cell of tegmina ; mesonotum about as-long-as pronotum; anterior femora tuberculately angulate near apex, posterior tibiae spined on apical area ; metasternum elevated and centrally sulcate ; tympana well covered ; opercula short and broad, their apices more or less convexly rounded; rostrum reaching or passing the posterior coxae; tegmina with the costal membrane not prominently arched at base, only moderately dilated, basal cell moderately short and broad; ulnar veins widely separated at their apices.

The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.

Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).chenorrhyncha).

October 15, 2018

Yanga brancsiki (Distant, 1893)

Yanga brancsiki (Distant, 1893) is found in Madagascar.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Yanga
Species: Yanga brancsiki (Distant, 1893)

Yanga brancsiki (Distant, 1893)

Yanga genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) as wide or a little wider than base of mesonotum, not truncate anteriorly, but with the lateral margins of the vertex a little oblique on each side, the front produced, about as long as the pronotum (excluding its posterior margin); pronotum transverse, its posterior margin about half the length of vertex, the lateral margins strongly and angulately produced on each side, their apices extending a little more than the base of basal cell of tegmina; mesonotum a little longer than pronotum; anterior femora with a basal and subapical spinous tubercle; posterior tibiae with a few spines on apical area; metasternum elevated and centrally sulcate; tympanal coverings moderate in size; opercula short and broad, their apices more or less convexly rounded ; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae; tegmina with the costal membrane much arched at base and dilated, about as broad or broader than the costal area, basal cell short and broad, ulnar veins widely separated at their bases.

References:

  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

October 14, 2018

Umjaba evanescens (Butler, 1882)

Umjaba evanescens (Butler, 1882) is found in Madagascar.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Umjaba
Species: Umjaba evanescens (Butler, 1882)

Umjaba evanescens (Butler, 1882)

Umjaba genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) only about two thirds the width of base of mesonotum, not truncate anteriorly, but obliquely deflected in front of eyes; pronotum transverse, its posterior margin about half the length of its vertex, the lateral margins ampliated, a little angulated anteriorly and posteriorly, but not medially, and not reaching base of basal cell of tegmina; mesonotum slightly longer than pronotum; anterior femora tuberculously angulated near base and apex; posterior tibiae with a few spines on their apical areas; metasternum elevated and centrally sulcate; tympanal coverings broad; opercula short, broad. their apices more or less convexly rounded; rostrum just passing the posterior coxae; tegmina with the costal membrane much arched at base, but very much narrower than the costal area which is broadly dilated, basal cell very broad, ulnar veins widely separated at their bases.

References:

  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

October 13, 2018

Arunta perulata (Guérin-Méneville, 1831)

Filed under: Arunta | Australia | Genera Insectorum | Guerin-Meneville | Thophini | W. L. Distant — Tags: — Dan @ 1:01 am

Arunta perulata (Guérin-Méneville, 1831). Found in Australia. Known as a White Drummer. Like other members of the tribe Thophini, like Thopha colorata (Orange Drummer) and Thopha saccata (Double Drummer), they have massive sac-like tymbal covers, which is why they’re called drummers.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Thophini
Genus: Arunta
Species: Arunta perulata (Guérin-Méneville, 1831)

White Drummer cicada (Arunta perulata)

Photo by David Emery.

Arunta perulata (Guérin-Méneville, 1831)

Arunta genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head transverse, moderately truncate in front of eyes, between eyes much narrower than base of mesonotum ; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae; pronotum moderate broad, its breadth considerably less than length of both pro- and mesonotum (including the basal cruciform elevation); tympana very largely developed and sac-like, their apices obliquely extending beyond the lateral margins of the abdomen and to about half its length; opercula very small, not extending to base of metasternum, placed wide apart, and with their apical margins convex; anterior femora incrassated and spined ; posterior tibiae with a few lateral fine spines; tegmina and wings talc-like, tegmina with eight apical areas.

References:

  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

October 12, 2018

Koma bombifrons (Karsch, 1890)

Koma bombifrons (Karsch, 1890). Found in eastern Africa, specifically Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Koma
Species: Koma bombifrons (Karsch, 1890)

Koma bombifrons (Karsch, 1890)

Koma genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) wider than base of mesonotum, not truncate anteriorly. but frontally produced, about as long as pronotum (excluding its posterior margin); pronotum slightly shorter than mesonotum, its posterior margin about half the length of vertex, the lateral margins- moderately dilated, slightly angulated, but not reaching basal cell of tegmina ; anterior femora with one or more distinct spines on under surface; posterior tibiae with a few slender spines on apical areas; metasternum elevated and centrally sulcate; tympana large; opercula short, broad, in type the margins oblique; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae ; tegmina with the basal cell short and broad; ulnar veins well separated at their bases.

References:

  1. The illustration and genus description comes from the journal Genera Insectorum, and a specific article from 1913 by W. L. Distant titled Homoptera. Fam. Cicadidae, Subfam, Cicadinae. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Current species name verified using Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

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 (Illger, 1980) photos from Malaysia. The author of the image wishes to be anonymous.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cryptotympanini
Genus: Tacua
Species: Tacua speciosa
Subspecies: Tacua speciosa decolorata Boulard, 1994
Subspecies: Tacua speciosa speciosa (Illiger, 1800)

Recently updated 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

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).

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