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January 20, 2013

Cicadidae of Turkey

Filed under: Turkey — Dan @ 1:38 pm

I found an interesting document on Archive.org called Centre for Entomological Studies Ankara, Cesa News Nr. 55 (January 30, 2010) by authors Muhabbet Kemal and Ahmet Omer Kocak.

This document describes several cicadas native to the Republic of Turkey, including Tibicina serhadensis, a cicada adapted to colder, mountainous, subapline-apline regions. T. serhadensis is a hairy cicada with white wings, and orange appendages — it is quite a remarkable insect.

The document contains many full color photos.

Orange-speckled green cicada (Lembeja sp nov)

Filed under: Identify | Indonesia | News — Dan @ 11:45 am

A pretty green speckled cicada from North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

If you can identify the species, let us know.

January 19, 2013

The “Butterfly Cicadas”

Filed under: Ambragaeana | Becquartina | Gaeana — Dan @ 6:39 pm

The cicadas belonging to the tribe Gaeanini (Ambragaeana sp., Gaeana sp., and Becquartina sp.)1 are among the world’s most beautiful cicadas. These cicadas have broad, multicolored wings. Their wings beat slowly rather than vibrate quickly, allowing them to flutter like butterflies. Michel Boulard calls them “Butterfly Cicadas” 2. Watch the video of a Gaeana festiva in flight:

Behold the beautiful “Butterfly Cicadas”:

Ambragaeana ambra

ambragaeana ambra photo by Michel Chantraine
photo by Michel Chantraine.

Distinguishing features: Brown forewings with white/cream colored spots. Black hind wings with white/cream colored spots/markings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Gaeana cheni

Gaeana cheni
photo by Michel Chantraine.

Distinguishing features: Black/Brown forewings with chartreuse/yellow spots. Black and mint-green hind wings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Callogaeana festiva

Callogaeana festiva festiva (orange)
Orange form of Gaeana festiva

Callogaeana festiva
White form of Callogaeana festiva

Callogaeana festiva festiva
Orange & White form of Gaeana festiva

A photo of a living C. festiva.

Distinguishing features: Gaeana festiva come in an amazing variety of color variations. Colors include orange, yellow, white and pale green; fore and hind wings are often different colors as well. G. festiva, as Michel Boulard speculates, might be a periodical cicada, as it emerges in very large numbers 2. They might he proto-periodical as well.

Habitat: India, Southeast Asia3

Gaeana hageni

A photo of a Gaeana hageni specimen.

Distinguishing features: Chartreuse-green forewings. White hind wings. No spots (unlike most Gaeana).

Habitat: Malayan Archipelago3

Gaeana maculata

Video of a Gaeana maculata:

Gaeana cheni

A photo of a living G. cheni.

Distinguishing features: Black wings and body with yellow spots. (Maculata means spotted.)

Habitat: India, China3

Gaeana sulphurea

Mating Gaeana sulphurea from Bhutan taken by Jeff Blincow
Mating Gaeana sulphurea from Bhutan taken by Jeff Blincow

A photo of a Gaeana sulphurea specimen.

Distinguishing features: Black and yellow wings & body.

Habitat: India3, Bhutan

Becquartina electa

Becquartina electa by Michel Chantraine
Photo by Michel Chantraine.

Distinguishing features: Dark brown forewings with striking yellow lines forming a triangle-like shape. Dark brown and yellow hind wings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Becquartina versicolor

Becquartina versicolor Boulard, 2005
Photo by Michel Chantraine.

Distinguishing features: Dark brown forewings with red veins and striking yellow lines, sort of in the shape of the number 7. Black hind wings with white markings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Note: there are

References:

  1. Sanborn, Allen F., Phillips, Polly K. and Sites, Robert W. The Cicadas of Thailand (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). p 1.
  2. Boulard, Michel. 2007. The Cicadas of Thailand, General and Particular Characteristics, Volume 1. p 66,72, Plate 30.
  3. Distant, W.L. 1892. A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae. The Order of the Trustees of the Indian Museum of Calcutta. p 104-108.

January 15, 2013

NikeID Cicada-Themed Sneakers

Filed under: Pop Culture — Dan @ 9:32 pm

My NikeID cicada-themed sneakers arrived. Here’s what they look like:

The Magicicada:

nikeid box

nikeid

nikeid

The chloromera:

chloromera

Tibicen or Lyristes

Filed under: Europe (Continent) | Lyristes | Tibicen — Dan @ 8:50 pm

A Tibicen by any other name would still sound as sweet…

I always wondered why Lyristes plebejus is also called Tibicen plebejus.

It seems that there is a dispute as to whether the genus Tibicen should actually be called Lyristes. A petition was made (back in the 1980s) to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, to change Tibicen to Lyristes. I learned this from the wonderful new book, The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of North America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath (order it). I checked the ICZN website, and the petition appears to fallen off their docket of open cases. I also noticed that on European and Japanese websites, they use Lyristes.

I personally hope the genus name doesn’t change for North American species — I would have to make a lot of changes on this website. Going through the name change from Tibicen chloromera to Tibicen chloromerus to Tibicen tibcen, was bad enough.

The root of the word Tibicen is flute player, and the root of the word Lyristes is lyre — both referring to musical instruments. (Frankly I think most Tibicen sound like power tools — I don’t know Latin for Black & Decker).

BTW, this is a Lyristes plebejus (from Spain):
Lyristes plebejus photo by Iván Jesús Torresano García
Photo by Iván Jesús Torresano García.

And this is a Lyristes flammatus (from Japan):
A. flammatus
Photo by Osamu Hikino

And some day, this might be a Lyristes auletes (from North Carolina):
Neotibicen auletes found in Winston-Salem, NC by Erin Dickinson. 2011.
Photo by Erin.

January 5, 2013

These are Not Cicada Insects!

Filed under: Anatomy | FAQs | Identify — Dan @ 4:07 am

I made this page for two reasons: 1) to point out insects and other animals that people commonly confuse with cicadas, and 2) list people, places and things named "cicada" that clearly are not cicadas.

By the way, if you’re looking for places to Identify insects that are not cicadas, try Bug Guide and What’s that Bug.

Order Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids)

Are cicadas locusts? No, but people call them locusts, and have since the 1600’s.

Grasshoppers, Crickets and Katydids are often confused with cicadas because they are relatively large, singing insects. There are many differences between cicadas and Orthopterans, but the easiest way to tell them apart is Orthopterans have huge hind legs.

The Songs of Insects has song samples of grasshoppers, katydids, crickets and cicadas — listen and compare.

Learn more about insects belonging to the Order Orthoptera.

Grasshoppers / Locusts

True locusts are grasshoppers and definitely not cicadas.

Locust:

Locust

17-year cicada:

17-year cicada

People call periodical Magicicada cicadas "locusts" because they emerge in massive numbers like true locusts. Unlike true locusts — which will chew, eat and destroy virtually all vegetation they come across — most cicadas only cause damage to weaker tree branches when they lay their eggs. When true locusts come to town, your family might starve and die (because the locusts ate all your food). When cicadas come to town, your maple tree gets a few branches of brown leaves. Big difference.

Learn more about Grasshoppers on BugGuide.

Katydids

Katydids get confused with cicadas for both the way they look and for the sounds they make. Some key differences: katydids usually have wings that look like green leaves, long antennae, and large hind legs for jumping. Most of the time you year an insect at night, it’s either a cricket or a katydid.

Amblycorypha oblongifolia,-side_2012-07-26-17.10.53-ZS-PMax
Photo by USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory.

Learn more about Katydids on BugGuide.

Learn about North American Katydids on orthsoc.org

Crickets

Crickets don’t look like cicadas, but they do make sounds. Most of the time you year an insect at night, it’s either a cricket or a katydid.

Velarifictorus micado,-side_2012-07-09-18.36.02-ZS-PMax
Photo by USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory.

Learn more about crickets on BugGuide.

Learn about North American Crickets on orthsoc.org

Sphinx Moths

Sphinx Moths are confused for cicadas because, at a glance, they have a similar shape. Learn more about Sphinx moths.

Hawk or Sphinx Moth
Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Midwest Region

Other members of the Suborder Auchenorrhyncha

Planthoppers (Infraorder Fulgoromorpha), Froghoppers (Infraorder Cicadomorpha > Superfamily Cercopoidea), and Cicadelloidea (Infraorder Cicadomorpha > Superfamily Membracoidea ) are often mistaken for cicadas (Infraorder Cicadomorpha > Superfamily Cicadoidea) because they share the same Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order and Suborder — and they look a lot alike. The big difference is cicadas sing, while other members of Auchenorrhyncha do not sing.

Leafhopper, U, top, Patuxant, MD_2012-10-09-11.40.20 ZS PMax
Plant-Hopper,-side_2012-07-06-19.25.23-ZS-PMax
Photos by USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory.

Learn more about the other members of the Suborder Auchenorrhyncha.

June Bugs

NO, cicadas are not June Bugs. Many people confuse June Bug larvae for cicada larvae.

Beetle Larve Grubs

“I dug up a white grub in my backyard. Is it a cicada?”

Maybe. Just about every insect goes through a larval phase, and they pretty much all look alike to the novice. Unlike beetle larvae, cicada larvae or nymphs are not long-bodied like grubs. Long larvae = beetle larvae.

An example of a young cicada nymph unearthed from the ground. Note how its body is white, but it doesn’t have the Cheetos/worm-like body of a beetle grub:
Elias nymph

Frogs

Frog calls are often mistaken for cicada song, particularly at night.

Birds

Bird calls can be mistaken for cicada song. Some birds that can mimic sounds, such as Lyrebirds, Mockingbirds, and Psittaciformes (Parrots) could conceivably mimic cicada sounds.

The HORSE

No one would confuse a horse with a cicada (visually and audibly speaking), but there was a famous horse named cicada.

People, Places and Things Named Cicada

These are people (in the form of Bands), places and things named cicada. They often show up on Flickr, Twitter, eBay or Amazon, when I’m searching for cicada insects. It is awesome that people name stuff after cicadas (but it can be annoying when you’re searching for cicada insects, and other stuff shows up).

Bands

There are many bands with "cicada" in their name. These show up a lot on eBay and Twitter. Here is a partial list:

There are many albums named Cicada as well, such as Cicada by Cat Scientist. That one comes up a lot in ebay.

Places

These places show up on twitter, and when I search for cicada photos on Flickr.

Things

Here’s a list of other things that often show up in eBay, Twitter and Amazon.

  • BattleTech BattleMech Cicada is a toy.
  • Cicada is a company that makes dental equipment.
  • Cicada Magazine is a magazine for children.
  • The Cicada is a multi tool.
  • PageFlip Cicada is a wireless Bluetooth pedal designed to meet the needs of musicians and people with disabilities who struggle with the challenge and inconvenience of page turning.


December 30, 2012

Tosena Cicadas

Filed under: Oriental Cicadidae | Tosena | Tosenini | W. L. Distant — Dan @ 9:56 am

Tosena is a genus of cicadas that can be found in the Indo-Malaya ecozone, which includes the Indian subcontinent, Southeastern Asia and southern China. Tosena cicadas have colorful wings, which rival the beauty of butterfly wings. Tosena are easily obtainable online from stores that sell insects, or ebay. The Tosena genus was first identified by Charles Jean-Baptiste Amyot & Jean Guillaume Audinet-Serville in 1843.

From A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae by W. L. Distant:

Tosena is one of the most conspicuous genera of the Cicadidae, and its species are all included in this fauna. The north-eastern districts of Continental India are its head-quarters, for here are focused some of the largest and handsomest of its species ; it is also well represented in Burma, and from thence its distribution is extended throughout the Malay Peninsula to the south, and apparently northward as far as some portions of China. In the Malayan Archipelago it is not uncommon in Sumatra, Java, and Borneo, and as I have seen representatives from Amboyna, it probably exists in other intervening islands, of which, however, we have at present no precise information.

Different types of Tosena:

Tosena albata:

Tosena albata
Photo by Michel Chantraine.

Photos of live T. albata.

Distinguishing features: Mustard colored pronotal collar, orange abdomen with a series of two black circular spots, and dark brown wings with one white stripe on each fore wing.

Habitat: Southeast Asia.

Tosena depicta:

Tosena depicta
Illustration from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae by W. L. Distant.

Photos of living T. depicta.

Distinguishing features: A vibrant green pronotal collar; an orange abdomen with a series of black markings; wings are dark brown to black, with the one white stripe on each fore wing, and a white anal lobe on each hind wing.

Phantastic songs of the S.E. Asian cicadas! website has an MP3 of a T. depicta singing.

Habitat: Southeast Asia.

Tosena fasciata

Tosena fasciata by Álvaro Lisón Gómez
Tosena fasciata by Álvaro Lisón Gómez Creative Commons License.

Photo of a live T. fasciata.

Distinguishing features: A pale orange pronotal collar; brown wings with one white stripe on each fore wing; an orange abdomen with one black spot; the the anal lobe of the hind wing appears lighter in color than the rest of the hind wing.

Habitat: Southeast Asia.

Tosena mearesiana

No photos.

Distinguishing features: See A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae by W. L. Distant

Habitat: India.

Tosena melanoptera

Photos of a live T. melanoptera.

Distinguishing features: Red eyes; white pronotal collar; pale brown stripe on dark brown fore wings.

Habitat: India & Southeast Asia.

Tosena monitvaga

No photos.

Distinguishing features: See A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae by W. L. Distant

Habitat: India.

Sources to learn more about Tosena cicadas:

  • The Book Cicadas of Thailand: General and Particular Characteristics. Volume 1 by Michel Boulard. This book mentions Tosena, in particular, many times, and in general it does an excellent job of discussing the anatomy, behavior and habitat of cicadas found in Thailand.
  • A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae by W. L. Distant. (1889, Published by the Order of the Trustees of the Indian Museum of Calcutta).
  • Rhynchota: Heteroptera-Homopetera ( Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma ) by W. L. Distant (1906)
  • The Cicadas of India Facebook page

December 25, 2012

Ceramic Singing Cicadas from France

Filed under: France | Pop Culture | Video — Dan @ 10:44 pm

I received a pair of ceramic singing cicadas for Christmas. Here’s a video of what they look and sound like. They are made in France and were obtained from a restaurant in Westfield, NJ called Chez Catherine.

Cicadas are called cigale in France.

Here’s the cicada Keychain mentioned in the video.

December 15, 2012

Magicicada Sneakers

Filed under: Pop Culture — Dan @ 3:37 pm

NIKEiD lets you create unique sneaker designs. Considering that 2013 will bring the emergence of Brood II, I need some sneakers that show my affinity for periodical cicadas.

NikeiD Sneakers

They’re black, dark grey, orange and red, just like Magicicadas. The soles are orange. Unfortunately they do not sing like cicadas do.

December 9, 2012

Two new cicada publications worth reading

Filed under: Allen F. Sanborn | Canada | United States — Dan @ 1:46 pm

Two relatively new cicada publications that should be worth reading:

1) Avian Predation Pressure as a Potential Driver of Periodical Cicada Cycle Length by Walter D. Koenig and Andrew M. Liebhold, The American Naturalist. This is a newly electronically published paper about what drives the long, prime-numbered lifecycle of Magicicada periodical cicadas.

Abstract:

The extraordinarily long life cycles, synchronous emergences at 13- or 17-year intervals, and complex geographic distribution of periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) in eastern North America are a long-standing evolutionary enigma. Although a variety of factors, including satiation of aboveground predators and avoidance of interbrood hybridization, have been hypothesized to shape the evolution of this system, no empirical support for these mechanisms has previously been reported, beyond the observation that bird predation can extirpate small, experimentally mistimed emergences. Here we show that periodical cicada emergences appear to set populations of potential avian predators on numerical trajectories that result in significantly lower potential predation pressure during the subsequent emergence. This result provides new support for the importance of predators in shaping periodical cicada life history, offers an ecological rationale for why emergences are synchronized at the observed multiyear intervals, and may explain some of the developmental plasticity observed in these unique insects.

Order it from JSTOR.

2) The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of N. America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath. 227 pages.

A comprehensive review of the North Amerian cicada fauna that provides information on synonymies, type localities, and type material. There are 170 species and 21 subspecies found in continental N. America north of Mexico. The book has 211 figures with each species photographed in color.

Buy it from the Entomological Society of America website. I’ve already ordered mine.

I can’t wait for Sanborn’s book on Central and South America (hopefully, that will arrive within the next few years).

Update:

I’ve received Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath’s book. It’s focus is on identifying all species of cicada fauna in North America, north of Mexico, as the title says. It also identifies species that were reported to exist in this location, but do not. The book provides maps and common attributes of each genus of cicada, and then for each species it provides photos of the holotype (and the location of the holotype), as well as a history of its taxonomy.

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