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October 20, 2018

Cicadas that look like Dracula!

Cicadas that look like Dracula!

Halloween is almost here, and so I created something special for that time of year: a poster of cicadas with pronotal collars that look like Dracula’s collar — or at least Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. Or maybe Dr. Strange?

Download the large 1.4MB version.

The image features the cicada’s species name and where it can be found. To save space, I went with the continent(s) in when the cicada is found in multiple nations or continents.

The images of cicadas come from the Genera Insectorum 1913, Genera Insectorum 1914, and Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. I (1881-1905). Old but classic and important documents with plenty of awesome cicada illustrations.

Happy Halloween!!

September 30, 2018

Miranha imbellis (Walker, 1858)

Miranha imbellis (Walker, 1858) can be found in Mexico and Central America.

Miranha imbellis is a member of the Zammarini tribe of cicadas, known for their Dracula/Vampire-style pronotal collars. One way to sort the M. imbellis from other members of this tribe is the infuscations (dark colorations) on its wings are relatively pale compared to Zammara cicadas, but not absent like the Odopoea azteca or Daza montezuma, and more obvious than Odopoea degiacomii. See this page to compare.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Zammarini
Genera: Miranha
Species: Miranha imbellis (Walker, 1858)

Miranha imbellis (Walker, 1858)

Miranha genus description by W. L. Distant:

Characters. — Head (including eves) a little narrower than base of mesonotum. the front moderately prominent, but only about half the length of vertex, lateral margins of vertex a little convex; pronotum about as long as mesonotum, its lateral margins ampliate and medially angulate ; abdomen about as long as space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation, its lateral areas above moderately oblique, the tympanal orifices inwardly covered but outwardly exposed; abdomen beneath with the disk oblique on each side, but with the lateral margins broadly subreflected ; rostrum passing the posterior coxœ; opercula small, transverse; tarsi three-jointed ; tegmina and wings hyaline, the first with eight apical areas, and the basal cell considerably longer than 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).

September 26, 2018

Odopoea degiacomii Distant, 1912

Odopoea degiacomii Distant, 1912, was described by British entomologist W. L. Distant in 1812.

Odopoea degiacomii is a visually impressive cicada with a prominent pronotal collar that should inspire thoughts of Dracula the Vampire (like other members of the cicada tribe Zammarini). It won’t suck your blood, but it will suck xylem sap from trees.

This cicada is found in the Dominican Republic and probably Haiti.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Sub Family: Cicadinae
Tribe: Zammarini
Genera: Odopoea
Species: Odopoea degiacomii Distant, 1912

Odopoea degiacomii Distant, 1912

An Odopoea degiacomii Stål genus description by W. L. Distant from Genera Insectorum:

Characters. — Head (including eyes) about equal in width t.. base of mesonotum, ocelli a little wider apart from eyes than from each other, eyes prominent, a little passing the anterior pronotal angles; face more or less longitudinally sulcate; rostrum about reaching the posterior cox*; pronotum shorter than mesonotum, the lateral margins angularly ampliate; mesonotum (including basal cruciform elevation) almost as long as head and pronotum together; abdomen broad, centrally ridged, the lateral areas more or less oblique, about as long as space between apex of head and base of cruciform elevation; operçula short, broad, not extending beyond base of abdomen; tympanal coverings outwardly complete, the orifices only exposed inwardly; tegmina three or more than three times as long as broad, apical areas eight; wings with six apical areas.

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).

September 24, 2018

Zammara intricata Walker, 1850

Zammara intricata Walker, 1850 (in case you’re wondering “Walker” is the person who first described this cicada, and 1850 was the year he described it) is another beautiful cicada belonging to the Zammara genus. Zammara cicadas are known for their prominent pronotal collars that inspire thoughts of Dracula the vampire, their brilliant green to turquoise colors, and infuscation (the dark areas) on their wings. Zammara intricata has a lot of infuscation in their wings, even for a Zammara. Intricata means “complex”, which might be a reference to the complexity of the infuscation.

It is found in Puerto Rico.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Sub Family: Cicadinae
Tribe: Zammarini
Genera: Zammara
Species: Zammara intricata Walker, 1850

Zammara intricata Walker, 1850

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

Characters. — Head (including eyes) about as wide as base of mesonotum, ocelli farther removed from eyes than from each other, eyes prominent but scarcely projecting beyond the anterior pronotal angles, vertex strongly depressed before base of front; face longer than broad, narrowly sulcate; pronotum shorter than mesonotum, the lateral margins angularly ampliate; mesonotum about as long as head and pronotum together; metanotum exposed; abdomen short; tympanal coverings outwardly complete, the orifices very widely exposed internall} – ; opercula short, oblique; rostrum reaching or slightly passing the posterior coxae; tegmina usually three times as long as broad, apical areas eight; wings with six apical areas.

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).

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.

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