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October 2, 2018

Pacarina puella Davis, 1923

Filed under: Genera Insectorum | Mexico | Pacarina | United States | William T. Davis — Tags: — Dan @ 11:51 am

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 photos by John Beard taken in Texas
Pacarina puella photos by John Beard taken in Texas

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

Listen to its song ((c) Insect Singers):

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Sub Family: Cicadinae
Tribe: Fidicinini
Sub Tribe: Guyalnina
Genus: 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.


  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).


  1. Scribner says:

    I just found one today in Austin Tx! So wild I’ve never seen one! Didn’t even know they existed!

    1. Dan says:

      They’re very tiny, so easy to overlook.

  2. Noah says:

    Found one here in Bologna Italy! Thought it was one of our normal cicadas but with a genetic defect!! Crazy to know it’s a whole new species I’ve never seen before 🙂

    1. Dan says:

      Does the cicada look like one of these?

  3. John W. Briggs says:

    I think we have an outbreak of them now in Magdalena, New Mexico.

  4. David says:

    Why have I lived my whole life seeing the bigger cicadas but never knew these smaller ones existed until my 56th year?

    1. Dan says:

      They “fly under the radar”. 🙂

  5. Merideth Well says:

    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!

    1. Dan says:

      That’s about the size of them. 🙂

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