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December 10, 2017

Four new species of Semia from Vietnam

Filed under: David Emery | Pham Thai | Psithyristriini | Semia | Vietnam | Young June Lee — Dan @ 3:41 pm

Four new species of Semia cicadas living in Vietnam were described in 2017: Semia magna, Semia spiritus, Semia pallida, and Semia albusequi.

Here’s the details on the paper:

Title: Descriptions of four new species of Semia Matsumura (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Psithyristriini) from Vietnam, with a key to the species of Semia
Authors: David Emery, Young June Lee, & Thai Pham.
Year: 2017
Publication: Zootaxa. 4216. 153-166.
Document link: https://biotaxa.org/Zootaxa/article/view/zootaxa.4216.2.2
Abstract:

This paper provides descriptions of four new species of the genus Semia Matsumura, 1917 from Vietnam: Semia magna sp. nov., Semia spiritus sp. nov., Semia pallida sp. nov., and Semia albusequi sp. nov. A key to the 13 species of Semia is provided.

The World Cup Cicada, Chremistica ribhoi

Filed under: Chremistica | India | Periodical | Sudhanya Hajong | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) — Tags: — Dan @ 1:01 am

Update: this cicada has a Leap-Year Brood (2024) as well as a World-Cup Brood (2026)! Both have 4-year year life cycle.

cicada soccer

Chremistica ribhoi Hajong and Yaakop 2013 is a cicada that lives in the Ri-Boi district of India. C. ribhoi is known as the World Cup cicada because it emerges every four years in synch with the World Cup association football (soccer) tournament.

C. ribhoi is known locally as Niangtasar. It only lives in a very small area: Saiden village (25°51’37.1″N 91°51’16.3″E) and Lailad/Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary (25°55’09.7″N 91°46’25.0″E) situated on the northern part of the state of Meghalaya. The cicada can be identified by the presence of two white spots on either side of the anterior abdominal segment.

Researcher Sudhanya Hajong is gearing up to study these cicadas since this is the year they will emerge. Ri-Boi area locals use these cicadas as a food source and fish bait. These cicadas are threatened by deforestation (cutting down forests for agricultural purposes). Sudhanya plans to educate locals about conserving them and protecting their habitat.

Photos of Chremistica ribhoi.

Most of the facts in the post come from the following document: Hajong, S.R. 2013. Mass emergence of a cicada (Homoptera: Cicadidae) and its capture methods and consumption by villagers in ri-bhoi district of Meghalaya. Department of Zoology, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong – 793 022, Meghalaya, India.

Thanks to Chris Simon of The Simon Lab at UCONN for providing the information that made this post possible.

Note: the image in this article is not an accurate depiction of C. ribhoi. 🙂


There’s also a brood of C. ribhoi that emerges during Leap-years.

November 26, 2017

A 3-Year Survey of Oklahoma’s 41 Cicadas

Filed under: Papers and Documents | Robert L. Sanders | United States — Dan @ 10:16 am

Cicada researcher Robert L. Sanders has written a paper documenting a 3-Year survey of Oklahoma cicadas. The paper is appropriately titled “A 3-Year Survey of Oklahoma Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) with New State Records” and was published in Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 89(4):315-337. Access it via this link.

The number of cicadas identified living in Oklahoma has been raised to 41. The previous number, as documented in the works of Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips, was 341.

Here’s the abstract of Robert’s paper:

ABSTRACT: Between September of 2013 and September of 2016 an intermittent survey of the cicada diversity and distribution in Oklahoma was conducted. The results of this survey are presented here as a current updated annotated checklist. Seven species in four genera are newly recorded as resident in Oklahoma: Diceroprocta texana (Davis, 1916), Megatibicen figuratus (Walker, 1858), Neotibicen davisi harnedi (Davis, 1918), Neotibicen linnei (Smith & Grossbeck, 1907), Neotibicen robinsonianus (Davis, 1922), Okanagana viridis Davis, 1918, and Pacarina shoemakeri Sanborn and Heath, 2012. This brings the total number of species inhabiting the state to 41. Discussed are seven additional species possibly occurring in the state and Oklahoma’s cicada diversity.

1 Sanborn Allen F. Phillips, Polly K. (2014). Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico. Diversity 2013, 5, 166-239; doi:10.3390/d5020166

November 5, 2017

A new paper about Kikihia hybridization

Filed under: Chris Simon | Kikihia | New Zealand | Papers and Documents — Dan @ 10:59 am

There’s a new paper from Sarah E. Banker, Elizabeth J. Wade, and Chris Simon titled “The confounding effects of hybridization on phylogenetic estimation in the New Zealand cicada genus Kikihia”.

Here are the highlights:

  • Tested validity of an unexpected “Westlandica” mitochondrial clade with nuclear loci.
  • Phylogenetic signal and pattern differ dramatically among nuclear genes but always weak on South Island.
  • No conflict between nuclear concatenation vs species trees from multiple methods.
  • Three nuclear species trees support major North Island but not South Island mitochondrial clades.

Here’s the citation information:

Sarah E. Banker, Elizabeth J. Wade, Chris Simon, The confounding effects of hybridization on phylogenetic estimation in the New Zealand cicada genus Kikihia, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Volume 116, November 2017, Pages 172-181, ISSN 1055-7903, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2017.08.009.
(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1055790317302348)

New paper: thermal adaptation in North American cicadas

Temperature plays an important part in much of cicada behavior, such as determining when they emerge from the ground, and when they are active above ground.

There’s a new paper out from Allen F.Sanborn, James E.Heath, Maxine S.Heath and Polly K.Phillips titled “Thermal adaptation in North American cicadas”.

Here are the highlights:

  • Thermal responses are related specific environments of North America cicadas.
  • Thermoregulatory strategy can influence thermal responses in sympatric species.
  • Emergence time can influence thermal responses in sympatric species.
  • Subspecies in general do not differ in their thermal responses.
  • Thermal responses within a species do not differ in populations separated by more than 7600 km.

And here’s the citation info (even though I’m not citing anything):


Allen F. Sanborn, James E. Heath, Maxine S. Heath, Polly K. Phillips, Thermal adaptation in North American cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae), In Journal of Thermal Biology, Volume 69, 2017, Pages v-xviii, ISSN 0306-4565, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtherbio.2017.07.011.
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030645651730181X)

November 4, 2017

Fiji 8-year periodical Nanai aka Raiateana knowlesi

Filed under: Fiji | Periodical | Raiateana | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) — Dan @ 1:25 am

Fiji $100 note

This cicada will next emerge in 2025.

Update (11/4/2017): from Facebook, it looks like folks are finding them. Here’s an image.

Update (9/13/2017): the Nanai have begun to emerge! This cicada last emerged in 2009 in Nadroga-Navosa and Serua Provinces, and now again emerge in 2017. People in Fuji will be able to report sightings to nanai-tracker.herokuapp.com.

Notes from Chris Simon:

Early this morning I got the first Reports of the 8-year periodical Nanai emerging in Navosa, Fiji! Some people in that area had them for dinner.

This confirms earlier reports of the eight-year periodicity. There was some uncertainty because the original specimens were dated (1906) a year later than they would be if on the current 8-year schedule.

Duffels and Ewart (1988, The Cicadas of the Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga Islands, their taxonomy and Biogeograohy) noted that “Until recently the present species is only known from three males collected in “Fijii” in 1906 by C. Knowles.” Duffels was not able to describe them when he first saw the specimens because they were missing the male genitalia. After obtaining, “a series of females and two males” from Dick Watling and Andrew Laurie in 1986, Duffels was able to assign it to the genus Raiateana. There is one other species of Raiateana in Fiji, R. kuruduadua (two subspecies in Fiji and one in Samoa) but it is not periodical as far as we know.

You might be familiar with American periodical cicadas (Magicicada) and the World-cup synchronized Chremistica ribhoi of India, but Fiji has a periodical cicada too: the 8-year periodical Nanai cicada aka Raiateana knowlesi.

It also appears on Fiji’s $100 note.

There’s even a local legend about the cicada.

More information:

Thanks to Chris Simon of the University of Connecticut for this information.

More shots of the Fiji $100 note and the folder it comes in:

Fiji $100 note

Fiji $100 note

October 27, 2017

14 new species of grassland, woodland & scrubland Myopsalta cicadas

Filed under: Australia | L. W. Popple | Myopsalta — Dan @ 11:29 pm

Lindsay Popple published a new paper describing 14 new species of grassland, woodland & scrubland Myopsalta cicadas. Download it from Zootaxa.

Here are the particulars:

Volume: Zootaxa 4340 (1): 001—098; 2017.
Title: A revision of the Myopsalta crucifera (Ashton) species group (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadettini) with 14 new species from mainland Australia
Author: LINDSAY W. POPPLE

Abstract:

The genus Myopsalta Moulds is distributed throughout much of Australia. Previous studies have associated several undescribed species with the Myopsalta crucifera (Ashton) species complex. The present study informally divides the cicadas in the genus Myopsalta into two species groups. It provides a revision of the M. crucifera species group, which includes redescriptions of M. crucifera s. str. and M. mackinlayi (Distant). The identity of the latter species is further refined and attributed to material formerly presented under the name Myopsalta atrata (Goding & Froggatt). In addition to the redescriptions, 14 new species belonging to the M. crucifera species group are described, including M. albiventris n. sp., M. bassiana n. sp., M. chrysopedia n. sp., M. gordoni n. sp., M. leona n. sp., M. longicauda n. sp., M. majurae n. sp., M. melanobasis n. sp., M. parvula n. sp., M. platyptera n. sp., M. riverina n. sp., M. septa n. sp., M. umbra n. sp. and M. xerograsidia n. sp. A key to species in the genus Myopsalta is provided. Standard morphological descriptions and descriptions of calling songs unique to each species are included along with a discussion on different song types in the M. crucifera species group.

And the announcement from Twitter:

Visit Lindsay’s cicada website.

October 21, 2017

An old news story about Prizes for Locusts or Cicadas

Filed under: Folklore — Dan @ 4:37 pm

Once again I was grinding through the Library of Congress website, and I came across another Cicada story. This story, from the July 21, 1921 edition of the Okolona (Mississippi) Messenger, is a request from the entomologist of the “Agricultural, College, Mississippi” (Agricultural College in Mississippi) for cicadas. Send cicadas to the college and get a prize. Sounds awesome.

The terms cicadas and locusts seem to be used interchangeably, which is common for these old newspaper articles. If you read “locusts” they mean cicadas, in this article at least.

Note that this is from 1921. Don’t send them cicadas today.

Prizes for Locusts or Cicadas

To receive the prizes offer the cicadas or locust must be collected in Mississippi during 1921. They must be mailed to the Entomologist, Agricultural, College, Mississippi, with the name and address of the collector written on the package and a letter must state where and when the locusts were collected. Always give the county.

Prizes for each county 1. For the cicadas from each country in Mississippi 20 cents each for the first ten specimens; 10 cents each for the next 20 specimens; and 5 cents each for the next 40 specimens. We will try to award these prizes promptly upon receipt of the cicadas each day during the summer.

State Prizes; 2. For the largest number of cicadas send in by any one person during the year 1921 $5.00; for the second largest number $3.00; and for the third largest number $2.00. The locusts or cicada should be mailed in as soon as possible after they are collected. Careful record will be kept of all specimens and these prizes will be awarded next fall.

Special Prizes: 3. For a cicada that proves to be a new species, that is not previously know to entomologist, $5.00 for the first specimen; $3.00 for the second and $1.00 each for the next five specimens.

4. For any species of cicada not previously recorded from Mississippi $3.00 for the first specimen; $2.00 for the second, and $1.00 each for the next five specimens.

5. For specimens of the rare small green cicada Okanagana Niridis, $1.00 each for the first ten specimens. The species will most likely be collected in Bolivar, Sunflower, Washington and other Delta Counties during June and July, but may possibly be collected in the other sections of the state during other months.

Okanagana Niridis is actually Okanagana viridis. The meaning of viridis is the color green. Here is a photo.

6. For specimens of Tibicen Linnei $1.00 each for the first ten specimens. This species will most likely be collected in the northern part of the state.

Tibicen Linnei is now known as Neotibicen linnei.

7. For any Periodical Cicada, or 1-year locust collected in Mississippi during 1921, $1.00 each for the first ten specimens. Brood No. 20 of the Periodical Cicada that occurs during May and June of 1921 had been recorded from Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia, but has never in the past been reported from Mississippi.

This paragraph is the most interesting. They probably mean 1-year stragglers from Brood XIX. (First, I think they mean 13-year or 17-year cicada, not 1-year locust. A 13-Year cicada collected in 1921 would belong to Brood XX (20), which doesn’t exist, and I don’t think it did at the time (I’ll check, may have gone extinct). A 17-year cicada that emerged in 1921 would belong to Brood XII (12) which also does/did not exist. There aren’t any stragglers (4 year) that line up as well. There are four broods that emerge in GA, NC & VA: II which would have emerged in 1928; X which would have emerged in 1919; XIV which would have emerged in 1923; and XIX which would have emerged in 1920 and definitely is also in Mississippi.)

Here’s a chunk of the article:

Prizes

Cicada soap and snacks

Filed under: Eating Cicadas | Folklore — Dan @ 8:54 am

I came across an article from 1876 in the Bossier Banner titled Edible Insects (The Bossier Banner., June 22, 1876. (Bellevue, Bossier Parish, La.)). The article covers many types of insects but has at least five paragraphs devoted to cicadas. The article uses the term “locust” interchangeably with “cicada”, and the author does seem to know the difference (see the last paragraph).

The most interesting bit of information is that people might have used cicadas to make soap and cakes.

I believe, in this paragraph, locust may refer to the grasshopper locust, but it could be cicadas as well:

Among the folk-lore of the Khoikhoi you may find this legend: “Faraway in the North-land dwells the great master-conjurer, who, when he wishes to confer a benefit on his people, rolls away a stone from the mouth of a certain deep pit and from it issues a host of winged messengers who soar away to the southward and there surrender themselves as a food to the hungry Africans.” These messengers are the famous locusts of which it is recorded that John the Baptist ate, and which are to-day sold by the cart-load in the cities of Morocco.

The “locust” in this paragraph is very likely cicadas, because of the use of the words “harmless” and “celebrated for its song”:

With how much affection the Romans spoke of the locust! “A little, harmless creature,” says one historian, “celebrated for its song from most ancient times.”

No reference to “locust” was made — definitely cicadas:

The same song was so dear to the Greeks, “because it seemed to give life to the solitude of our shady groves and academic walks, and conveys to our minds the idea of a perfectly happy being,” that they kept the insect in cages, and gave it pet names, as, “The Nightingale of the Nymphs,” “Sweet Prophet of Summer,” “The Love of the Muses.” Then, after all this lavishing of affection, they are it!

Could be either cicadas or grasshopper locusts:

Aristotle, with the smack of the lips, says of the female locusts, caught before the depositing of their eggs, and fried in sweet oil: “Quo tempore gustu suavissimo sunt”— “at which time they are very sweet.”

Sounds like it could be either:

Another naturalist says when the cicadae first leaves the earth they are plump and oily, and used in the making soap. Bread is also made of them, and in Africa a kind of sweet cake. This is probably what Shakespeare refers to when Iago, plotting against the Moor, says, in his wrath: “The food that to him now is as luscious as locusts shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida” — the bitter apple of Crete.

This paragraph makes me think the author knows the difference between cicadas and grasshoppers:

These little, dew-sucking locusts are not to be confused with the strong-jawed grasshoppers, the Heupferde, or “hay-horses,” as Germans call them, and as Martin Luther translated the word from the Hebrew text, for, though used as food, it is the grasshopper that commits such depredations on the foliage.

Read/see the article on the Library of Congress website.

October 8, 2017

Cicada Fungi Research

Filed under: Massospora | Matt Kasson — Dan @ 5:37 pm

Magicicada septendecim with Massosporan fungus found at the Edison Memorial Tower Park in Edison NJ
A “Salt-Shaker of Death”. (Deadly for the cicada, not humans.)

Many types of fungi will eat cicadas, but one type — the Massospora — specifically infests and destroys cicada genitalia. Specifically, Massospora cicadina attacks Magicicada cicadas, and Massospora levispora attacks Okanagana rimosa. According to the website MycoBank Database, there’s at least 19 species of Massospora. By the names of some, you can guess which cicada it infects; Massospora diceroproctae likely infects Diceroprocta cicadas.

It’s not certain, but there are sure to be many more species of Massospora fungi — if not one for each species, perhaps approximately one for each genus. Considering that Massospora infects cicadas all around the world, it’s fair to assume that Massospora has been infecting cicadas for many millions of years.

At West Virginia University, Matt Kasson & his team are studying Massospora, and are looking for samples of cicadas with these infections. Matt regularly Tweets photos and finding such as this one of spores from a Platypedia cicada:

If you have some samples of such cicadas and are willing to part with them, let Matt know.

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