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October 2, 2018

Pacarina puella Davis, 1923

Pacarina puella Davis, 1923 is a small cicada. About 2 centimeters, according to BugGuide.You can find this cicada in the several southern (United) States, Mexico, and Central America. It is commonly known as the Little Mesquite Cicada.

It’s also one of the cuter cicadas. See what I mean:

Pacarina puella Davis, 1923
Photo credit: Pacarina by by John Beard in Atascosa County, TX

Listen to its song on this page.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Sub Family: Cicadinae
Tribe: Fidicinini
Sub Tribe: Guyalnina
Genera: Pacarina
Species: Pacarina puella Davis, 1923

And its name has changed since 1914. It used to be known as Pacarina signifera (technically, its a synonym):

Pacarina puella Davis, 1923
The image says Pacarina signifera but the newest name of this cicada is Pacarina puella.

Pacarina genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) broader than base of mesonotum ; eyes projecting beyond anterior angles of pronotum ; vertex at area of ocelli much longer than front ; pronotum with the posterior angles moderately lobately produced, its lateral margins oblique, slightly sinuate, its length shorter than that of mesonotum ; abdomen about as long as space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation; tympanal coverings distinct but inwardly concavely narrowed and exposing the tympanal cavities; face convex, a little broader than the space between it and eyes; opercula about reaching base of abdomen, their lateral margins oblique, their posterior margins a little rounded; anterior femora armed with two strong spines beneath; rostrum about reaching the posterior coxae; tegmina and wings hyaline; apical areas eight.

References:

  1. The illustration 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 information/verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

June 25, 2015

How do you pronounce Cicada?

Filed under: FAQs,William T. Davis — Dan @ 8:35 pm

You can say “si-kah-da” or “si-kay-da”. Either pronunciation is correct. The pronunciation changes depending on your regional accent.

Around New York and New Jersey folks pronounce it “si-kah-da”. William T. Davis pronounced it “si-kah-da”. Davis was a naturalist and entomologist located in Staten Island, NY, active in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. Davis collected the largest collection of cicadas in the United States. The collection is currently housed at the Staten Island Museum. Davis described over 100 cicadas in his career — he should know what he’s saying. :)

William T. Davis

February 4, 2013

A day at the Staten Island Museum

Filed under: Edward Johnson,Hemisciera,United States,William T. Davis — Dan @ 10:51 pm

I spent most of the day at the Staten Island Museum. The Staten Island Museum has North America’s largest collection of cicadas — over 35,000 specimens!!! Most, if not all the specimens came from William T. Davis’ personal collection. Davis was a naturalist and entomologist located in Staten Island, NY, who was active in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Read more about the collection.

The museum is currently working on a huge cicada exhibit and many cicada events throughout the year. The They’re Baaack! Return of the 17-year Cicada Family Day event will happen in a few weeks.

Here’s a few shots of the museum and the collection I took with my camera phone:

Part of their giant Wall of Insects:


S.I. Wall of Insects

Number 39 in that photo is Hemisciera maculipennis, aka the “stop and go cicada”. When alive the cicada’s coloring is green and red, like a traffic signal. Here is a photo of a live H. maculipennis.

Tibicen and Cicada Killer Wasps:


Tibicen and Cicada Killer Wasps

Tacua speciosa detail:


Tacua speciosa

A giant light-up cicada outside the museum:

Light Up Cicada

Just part of the Staten Island Museum’s cicada collection


Staten Island Museum Cicada Collection

Thanks to Ed Johnson, Director of Science, for showing me many of amazing specimens in the museum’s collection.

Bonus: You can download a copy of William T. Davis’ document North American Cicadas. It’s free!