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February 10, 2019

Huechys sanguinea

Filed under: Borneo | Burma | China | Cicadettini | Huechys | India | Indonesia | Malaysia | Michel Chantraine | Sumatra | Thailand — Dan @ 1:01 am

Huechys sanguinea is a cicada found in Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, and likely many other nations in Asia. There are at least 5 subspecies of this cicada. It is also known as the “medicinal cicada” because people use it as a medicine (see my translation below).

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
Huechys sanguinea


Body and legs black; front and face to head, two large spots to mesonotum — sometimes fused and covering the whole disk — and the abdomen, sanguineous; base of abdomen narrowly black.

Tegmina black, opaque; wings shining fuscous, sometimes almost black, the interior of the anal area always paler.

Rostrum passing the intermediate coxae; face moderately compressed, and very coarsely striate.

Long. excl. tegm. Male and Female 17 to 25 millim. Exp. tegm. 43 to 65 millim.

Here’s my translation, from French, of a note about the medicinal properties of the cicada. The original text comes from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas:

According to Dr. Fumouze, “Huechys sanguinea, the Cicada sangiunolenta d’OIivier, is a very strong [common] insect in certain provinces of China, where it is harvested for the needs [valuable medicinal properties] of the species. In China, this insect would pass into China to enjoy curative properties, and it would be used chiefly in the treatment of rabies, but its value as much as the medicine against rabies is doubtful, but its action on the genitourinary organs seems to be certain, and this is what is in the fore, if the Huechys sanguinea would not yield a particular or similar active ingredient to the cantharides, what I can say now, it is because, by the procedures used to extract Cantharidin from cantharides, I have obtained no results, perhaps I will be later after that, but my first researches have not been completely unsuccessful, because I arrived to extract from Huechys sanguinea the material which gives to the abdominous teguments of this insect their magnificent yellow-orange color. This matter, which I will call Huechys’ red, is of a color exactly like that of the abdomen of the animal, as you can see by means of a sample which I put before your eyes. Huechys sanguinea also contains, but in smaller quantities, another yellowish, hygrometric dying material. “- Btdl. Soc. Ent. Fr. 1888, pp. xxii., xxiii.

TL;DR = “People use it to treat rabies, but it’s doubtful it actually works as a rabies treatment. It does work for its ‘Viagra-like’ properties. And its red pigment can be extracted.”

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadettinae
Tribe: Cicadettini
SubTribe: Huechysina
Genus: Huechys

  • Huechys sanguinea hainanensis Kato, 1931
  • Huechys sanguinea philaemata (Fabricius, 1803)
  • Huechys sanguinea sanguinea (Degeer, 1773)
  • Huechys sanguinea suffusa Distant, 1888
  • Huechys sanguinea wuchangensis Liu, 1940

For more information about this cicada, visit Cicadas of India.


  1. The description and location information comes from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name information 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:

December 9, 2012

Learn about the cicadas of Singapore

Filed under: Chremistica | Dundubia | Huechys | Purana | Singapore — Dan @ 7:54 am

Want to learn more about the cicadas of Singapore?

The National University of Singapore has six PDF documents about six species of cicadas living in Singapore. Each document contains photos of cicadas, and plenty of interesting information.

1) Record Of The Cicada, Purana usnani Duffels & Schouten In Singapore, With Preliminary Acoustic Analysis by Tzi Ming Leong (Nature In Singapore 2012 5: 13—17 Date Of Publication: 17 January 2012). Link:

This document features photos of the P. usnani as well as analysis of their songs.

A video of Purana usnani singing:

2) Oviposition By The Black And Scarlet Cicada, Huechys sanguinea (De Geer, 1773) In Singapore by Tzi Ming Leong and Ali bin Ibrahim (Nature In Singapore 2011 4: 303—306 Date Of Publication: 18 October 2011). Link:

Huechys sanguinea is a small but beautiful black and red cicada. This document features photos of an H. sanguinea ovipositing (laying eggs) in a tree branch.

Huechys sanguinea
An image of H. sanguinea, which can be found in Singapore, Thailand and other S.E. Asian countries (and often in acrylic keychains on ebay).

3) Records Of The Cicada, Chremistica umbrosa (Distant, 1904) In Singapore, With Accounts Of Its Mass Emergence by Tzi Ming Leong, Aminurashid and Benjamin P. Y-H. Lee (Nature In Singapore 2011 4: 163—175 Date Of Publication: 15 June 2011). Link:

This document features information about distribution, emergence, bio-acoustics, communal feeding, and predation.

Here’s a video of an aggregation C. umbrosa urinating and singing:

4) Records Of The Black And Golden Cicada, Huechys fusca Distant, 1892 In Singapore, With Natural History Observations by Tzi Ming Leong, Mishak Shunari, Laurence Y. K. Leong, and Sai Khoon Foo (Nature In Singapore 2011 4: 203—211 Date Of Publication: 8 July 2011). Link:

This document features information about emergence, bio-acoustics, mating, and oviposition of Huechys fusca.

A video of Huechys fusca singing:

5) Records Of The Black And Scarlet Cicada, Huechys sanguinea (De Geer) In Singapore, With Notes On Its Emergence by Ali bin Ibrahim and T. M. Leong (Nature In Singapore 2009 2: 317—322 Date Of Publication: 5 August 2009). Link:

This document features observations of Huechys sanguinea. Huechys sanguinea is a beautiful cicada.

6) The Jade-Green Cicada, Dundubia vaginata (Fabricius, 1787) In Singapore, With Notes On Emergence, Bioacoustics, And Mating by Tzi Ming Leong, Mishak Shunari, Aminurashid and Timothy D. Harvey-Samuel (Nature In Singapore 2011 4: 193—202 Date Of Publication: 5 July 2011). Link:

This document features information about emergence, bio-acoustics, and mating of Dundubia vaginata. Dundubia are known for there huge opercula (the structures on their abdomen that cover the cicada’s tympanum (tympanum are a cicada’s ear drums).

June 7, 2009

Huechys sanguinea

Filed under: Huechys — Dan @ 6:52 am

Huechys sanguinea, originally uploaded by =spurdog=.

An amazing red-orange cicada. Most of the body and wings turn black when it’s done drying out, but it is just as amazing.

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