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:
Photo credit: Pacarina by by John Beard in Atascosa County, TX
Listen to its song ((c) Insect Singers):
Sub Family: Cicadinae
Sub Tribe: Guyalnina
Species: Pacarina puella Davis, 1923
And its name has changed since 1914. It used to be known as Pacarina signifera (technically, its a synonym):
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.
- 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.
- Species name information/verification comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).
Why have I lived my whole life seeing the bigger cicadas but never knew these smaller ones existed until my 56th year?
They “fly under the radar”. 🙂
I think I found one of these guys today, or at least that’s what my seek app said. It was smaller than my fingertip!
That’s about the size of them. 🙂