Cicada Mania

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

September 22, 2018

Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832)

I’m starting a new series on this blog called “has its name changed?” I’m looking through old documents and papers and using modern documents like Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha) to check. Cicada names change from time to time, based on new discoveries by the modern cicada research/science community, and sometimes to fix grammar (like gender agreement between genus and species).

This cicada is Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832), also known as the “stop and go” or “stop light” cicada because of the red and green color of its wings. If you want to see one in real life, they exist in Central and South America, specifically Panama, Ecuador, Brazil, and adjacent nations. If you’re in New York and you want to see one, they have a few in the collection at the Staten Island Museum — last time I was there, there was a faded one in a display by the door (UV rays fade cicada specimen colors).

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Fidicinini
Sub Tribe: Guyana
Genus: Hemisciera
Species: Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832)

And, since 1914 at least, its name has not changed.

Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832)

A specimen from the Staten Island Museum:
Stop and Go

Hemisciera Amyot & Serville genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) considerably broader than base of mesonotum, eves porrect, more or less stylate, length of head about equal to half its breadth between eyes, and distinctly shorter than pronotum which is about equal in length to mesonotum; abdomen a little shorter than space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation, tympanal coverings in male with their inner margins strongly concave; metasternal plate well developed, centrally longitudinally impressed and anteriorly produced on each side; rostrum reaching the posterior coxae; anterior femora strongly spined beneath; opercula in male small, transverse, not extending beyond base of abdomen, tegmina about two and a half times as long as broad, with eight apical areas and the basal cell about as long as broad.

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).
  3. 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

August 6, 2018

Megatibicen resh aka the Resh Cicada

Filed under: Cryptotympanini | Megatibicen | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 6:51 am

Megatibicen resh (formerly Neotibicen resh and Tibicen resh) is commonly known as the Resh Cicada because the markings on its back resemble the Hebrew symbol Resh “ר”. The Resh Cicada has been documented to be found in Arkansas, Kansas, Lousiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennesee, and Texas.

Most people will discover them by finding their exuvia (shed skins, “shells”) on trees, or by their striking calls at sunset. I first encountered this cicada in Dallas, Texas near Pioneer Plaza (cattle sculptures). First I found the exuvia on oak trees (I needed a 3′ stick added to my 8′ reach to knock them down), and then at sunset I heard their call (which I mistook for M. auletes (which is not in Texas)). Listen to their song.

It is one of the smaller Megatibicen — maybe only M. dealbatus is smaller. Compare sizes using this image by Kathy Hill. Its compound eyes are gray-beige, with a black “mask” between the eyes, and its simple eyes are pink. Its ventral side is white and caramel colored. Its dorsal side is dominated by a light green color, with black, brown and white — forming a symmetrical camouflage pattern — which helps to hide the cicada in its arboreal habitat. Recently molted, golden pruinose shimmers on its head, pronotum, mesonotum, and abdomen.

Megatibicen resh molting adult

During the molting process, up until the cicada’s body sclerotizes (hardens), the cicada’s body is leaf-green (camouflaged like a hanging leaf).

Megatibicen resh spreading wings 2

The exuvia of the Resh cicada is large and easy to spot, even high up in trees. Even though molted adults are closer in size to N. tibicen than M. auletes, the exuvia of M. resh is comparable to M. auletes, which is the largest cicada in North America.

Resh Auletes and Tibicen

More photos from this series: Megatibicen resh gallery.

July 25, 2018

Collared cicadas of Mexico, Central & South America

Most of the information on this website is focused on cicadas of the U.S.A. and Canada. There are plenty of cicadas south of the U.S., of course. Recently we started getting identification (ID) requests for cicadas of Mexico, and with the help of experts (Geert Goemans and Allen Sanborn) and a paper from the early 20th century, I was able to ID them all.

A large number of the IDs were for cicadas with pronounced pronotal collars. Many of these look like the same species, but they’re not. Many of these species are found from Mexico, throughout Central America down to South America.

On this page are six collared cicadas that exist in Mexico, Central America and South America. Illustrations come from Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. I by W. L. Distant and The Rev Canon W. W. Fowler, F.L.S. I updated the names to their current names (the source is about 100 years behind the times, expectedly so). Note that the illustrations from this document are of dead specimens, so the colors were faded at the time they were illustrated.

Daza montezuma (Walker, 1850)

Formerly Odopoea montezuma. This cicada is actually tourquois to pale blue when alive. Red eyes. No infuscation (coloration) in the wings. Link to original illustration..

Daza montezuma

Zammara smaragdina Walker, 1850

Green with black infuscation in the wings.

Zammara smaragdina Walker, 1850

Here is a photo by Andreas Key (taken in Ecuador):

Emerald Cicada, Zammara smaragdina

Zammara calochroma Walker, 1858

Green with remarkable black infuscation in the wings.

Zammara calochroma Walker, 1858

Miranha imbellis (Walker, 1858)

formerly Odopoea imbellis

Miranha imbellis (Walker, 1858)

Procollina medea (Stål, 1864)

formerly Odopoea medea

Procollina medea (Stål, 1864)

Odopoea azteca Distant, 1881

Odopoea azteca Distant, 1881

References:

  • Allen F. Sanborn. Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). Academic Press. 2014. 10.1016/B978-0-12-416647-9.00001-2
  • Goemans, Geert. (2010). A historical overview of the classification of the Neotropical tribe Zammarini (Hemiptera, Cicadidae) with a key to genera. ZooKeys. 43. 10.3897/zookeys.43.386.
  • This flicker gallery of cicadas with collars. I think Geert curates this.
  • W. L. Distant et al. Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. I (1881-1905)
  • A recent, related article by Allen: Allen F. Sanborn. 2018. The cicada genus Procollina Metcalf, 1952 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae): Redescription including fourteen new species, with a key to the species of the subtribe Dazina Kato, 1932 rev. stat., the description of the Aragualnini n. tribe, and one new combination. Zootaxa 4389(1):1. 10.11646/zootaxa.4389.1.1.

December 10, 2017

Four new species of Semia from Vietnam

Filed under: David Emery | Pham Thai | Psithyristriini | Semia | Vietnam | Young June Lee — Dan @ 3:41 pm

Four new species of Semia cicadas living in Vietnam were described in 2017: Semia magna, Semia spiritus, Semia pallida, and Semia albusequi.

Here’s the details on the paper:

Title: Descriptions of four new species of Semia Matsumura (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Psithyristriini) from Vietnam, with a key to the species of Semia
Authors: David Emery, Young June Lee, & Thai Pham.
Year: 2017
Publication: Zootaxa. 4216. 153-166.
Document link: https://biotaxa.org/Zootaxa/article/view/zootaxa.4216.2.2
Abstract:

This paper provides descriptions of four new species of the genus Semia Matsumura, 1917 from Vietnam: Semia magna sp. nov., Semia spiritus sp. nov., Semia pallida sp. nov., and Semia albusequi sp. nov. A key to the 13 species of Semia is provided.

The World Cup Cicada, Chremistica ribhoi

Filed under: Chremistica | Cryptotympanini | India | Periodical | Sudhanya Hajong — Tags: — Dan @ 1:01 am

Update: a reminder that the World Cup Cicada will be back in 2022 (along with the World Cup)!

cicada soccer

Chremistica ribhoi Hajong and Yaakop 2013 is a cicada that lives in the Ri-Boi district of India. C. ribhoi is known as the World Cup cicada because it emerges every four years in synch with the World Cup association football (soccer) tournament.

C. ribhoi is known locally as Niangtasar. It only lives in a very small area: Saiden village (25°51’37.1″N 91°51’16.3″E) and Lailad/Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary (25°55’09.7″N 91°46’25.0″E) situated on the northern part of the state of Meghalaya. The cicada can be identified by the presence of two white spots on either side of the anterior abdominal segment.

Researcher Sudhanya Hajong is gearing up to study these cicadas since this is the year they will emerge. Ri-Boi area locals use these cicadas as a food source and fish bait. These cicadas are threatened by deforestation (cutting down forests for agricultural purposes). Sudhanya plans to educate locals about conserving them and protecting their habitat.

Photos of Chremistica ribhoi.

Most of the facts in the post come from the following document: Hajong, S.R. 2013. Mass emergence of a cicada (Homoptera: Cicadidae) and its capture methods and consumption by villagers in ri-bhoi district of Meghalaya. Department of Zoology, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong – 793 022, Meghalaya, India.

Thanks to Chris Simon of The Simon Lab at UCONN for providing the information that made this post possible.

Note: the image in this article is not an accurate depiction of C. ribhoi. 🙂


November 4, 2017

Fiji 8-year periodical Nanai aka Raiateana knowlesi

Filed under: Cryptotympanini | Fiji | Periodical | Raiateana — Dan @ 1:25 am

Fiji $100 note

Update (11/4/2017): from Facebook, it looks like folks are finding them. Here’s an image.

Update (9/13/2017): the Nanai have begun to emerge! This cicada last emerged in 2009 in Nadroga-Navosa and Serua Provinces, and now again emerge in 2017. People in Fuji will be able to report sightings to nanai-tracker.herokuapp.com.

Notes from Chris Simon:

Early this morning I got the first Reports of the 8-year periodical Nanai emerging in Navosa, Fiji! Some people in that area had them for dinner.

This confirms earlier reports of the eight-year periodicity. There was some uncertainty because the original specimens were dated (1906) a year later than they would be if on the current 8-year schedule.

Duffels and Ewart (1988, The Cicadas of the Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga Islands, their taxonomy and Biogeograohy) noted that “Until recently the present species is only known from three males collected in “Fijii” in 1906 by C. Knowles.” Duffels was not able to describe them when he first saw the specimens because they were missing the male genitalia. After obtaining, “a series of females and two males” from Dick Watling and Andrew Laurie in 1986, Duffels was able to assign it to the genus Raiateana. There is one other species of Raiateana in Fiji, R. kuruduadua (two subspecies in Fiji and one in Samoa) but it is not periodical as far as we know.

You might be familiar with American periodical cicadas (Magicicada) and the World-cup synchronized Chremistica ribhoi of India, but Fiji has a periodical cicada too: the 8-year periodical Nanai cicada aka Raiateana knowlesi.

It also appears on Fiji’s $100 note.

There’s even a local legend about the cicada.

More information:

Thanks to Chris Simon of the University of Connecticut for this information.

More shots of the Fiji $100 note and the folder it comes in:

Fiji $100 note

Fiji $100 note

September 17, 2017

New species of Clinopsalta cicadas

Filed under: Australia | Cicadettini | Clinopsalta | L. W. Popple | Papers and Documents — Dan @ 9:36 pm

Lindsay Popple announced on Twitter that two new species of Clinopsalta cicadas have been described.

Links:

Sounds: Calling songs of Clinopsalta cicadas.

Journal Article: TWO NEW SPECIES OF CLINOPSALTA MOULDS (HEMIPTERA: CICADIDAE) AND ADDITIONAL DISTRIBUTION RECORDS FOR CLINOPSALTA ADELAIDA (ASHTON), WITH NOTES ON THEIR DISTINCTIVE CALLING SONGS. Popple and Emery, 2017. Rec. Aust. Mus. 69(4): 237—256

Abstract from the journal article:

Two new species are described in the genus Clinopsalta Moulds. Clinopsalta autumna sp. nov. exhibits a warm temperate distribution from south-east Queensland south to Goulburn and Nerriga in eastern New South Wales. Clinopsalta semilunata sp. nov. has a patchy distribution in southern Queensland from Binjour Plateau west to near Miles, south to Yelarbon State Forest and Durikai State Forest, both near Inglewood. In addition to the descriptions of these new species, further distribution records are provided for C. adelaida (Ashton), which extend its distribution from south-eastern South Australia and northern Victoria to inland central and northern New South Wales. The species of Clinopsalta are small—medium sized cicadas (< 20 mm body length) with distinctive calling songs of an intermediate frequency (c. 6 to 18 kHz). The temporal structures of the calling songs follow a similar pattern in each species, comprising an introductory rattle followed by a series of clicking phrases. The call is characteristically accompanied with bouts of prominent wing-snapping, except in one species (C. semilunata sp. nov.).

July 6, 2017

Cicada 3301 cicada compared to Distantalna splendida

Filed under: Distantalna | Identify | Pop Culture | Tosenini — Tags: , — Dan @ 9:08 pm

Today I took a fresh look at the 3301 Cicada image. In the past I thought it was a composition of multiple cicadas — and it still might be — but I now think it’s primarily a Distantalna splendida formerly Tosena splendida, a cicada found in southern Asia (China, India, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.). Distortions caused by embossing — or whatever filters they used — make identifying the cicada difficult.

Here’s my comparison of the wings.

cicada 3301

I will probably do a comparison of the body and head at some point.

Here’s a photo of this Splendid cicada:
splendida

Specimens vary in appearance (size, wing patterns) from individual to individual — they all look similar, but they’re not exact matches. The process of spreading a specimen’s wings and preserving it can also alter its appearance, and introduce unnatural changes to the insect’s morphology.

Distantalna splendida are easy to find on eBay or taxidermy shops if you’re interested, although they’re often mislabeled using their former name Tosena splendida, or something totally different.

Bonus:

Here’s an illustration from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website:

3301 Cicada

More information about 3301: Cicada 3301 – solution.

March 25, 2017

New Cicada: Berberigetta dimelodica

Filed under: Africa (Continent) | Berberigetta | Cicadettini | Vera L. Nunes | Video — Tags: — Dan @ 10:24 am

Thanks to Vera L. Nunes for letting us know about a newly described/discovered cicada named Berberigetta dimelodica.

Berberigetta is also a new genus, belonging to the Tribe Cicadettini.

See and listen to it in this YouTube video:

The paper than describes the species is:

Gonçalo João Costa, Vera L. Nunes, Eduardo Marabuto, Raquel Mendes, Telma G. Laurentino, José Alberto Quartau, Octávio S. Paulo, Paula Cristina Simões. 2017. Morphology, songs and genetics identify two new cicada species from Morocco: Tettigettalna afroamissa sp. nov. and Berberigetta dimelodica gen. nov. & sp. nov. (Hemiptera: Cicadettini). Zootaxa. Vol 4237, No 3.

Link to the Zootaxa page for the document.

And here’s a quote of the Abstract:

Morocco has been the subject of very few expeditions on the last century with the objective of studying small cicadas. In the summer of 2014 an expedition was carried out to Morocco to update our knowledge with acoustic recordings and genetic data of these poorly known species. We describe here two new small-sized cicadas that could not be directly assigned to any species of North African cicadas: Tettigettalna afroamissa sp. nov. and Berberigetta dimelodica gen. nov. & sp. nov. In respect to T. afroamissa it is the first species of the genus to be found outside Europe and we frame this taxon within the evolutionary history of the genus. Acoustic analysis of this species allows us to confidently separate T. afroamissa from its congeners. With B. dimelodica, a small species showing a remarkable calling song characterized by an abrupt frequency modulation, a new genus had to be erected. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses with DNA-barcode sequences of Cytochrome C Oxidase 1 support the monophyly of both species, their distinctness and revealed genetic structure within B. dimelodica. Alongside the descriptions we also provide GPS coordinates of collection points, distributions and habitat preferences.

April 24, 2016

Platypedia affinis Davis, 1939

Filed under: Platypedia | Platypediini | United States | William T. Davis — Tags: — Dan @ 8:21 pm

Platypedia affinis Davis, 1939.

Name, Location and Description

Classification:

Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadettinae
Tribe: Platypediini
Subtribe: ?
Genera: Platypedia
Species: Platypedia affinis Davis, 1939

List of sources

  1. Full Binomial Names: ITIS.gov
  2. Common names: BugGuide.net; The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott and Wil Herschberger; personal memory.
  3. Locations: Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips.
  4. Descriptions, Colors: personal observations from specimens or photos from many sources. Descriptions are not perfect, but may be helpful.
  5. 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

Notes:

  • Some descriptions are based on aged specimens which have lost some or a lot of their color.

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