Archived content - Cicada (43 of 46)

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C. A Fascinating Fauna (Continued)

Cicada species occurring in more than one region of the world are marked with an asterisk (*).

10I. * Grass Cicadas (Cicadetta)

Description of this image follows.

Cicadetta calliope

Grass Cicadas (Cicadetta): small cicadas less than 2 cm long, with head 3.5-4 mm wide, narrower than thorax but with eyes prominent (thorax has no flanges before wing bases); front femur with 3 prominent spines; body but not wings barred with black; front wings with very long apical cells; opercula widely separated, male opercula rounded, as in Neocicada, with tymbals plainly visible just above their sides, those of female as in Okanagana: short and transverse, not extending beyond pointed leg process (meron); male terminal segment open, uncus complex, with two curved hooks below tongue-like central process; theca short, tubular. All the species are grass feeders.

Description of this image follows.

Drawing showing the male terminal segment (theca) of Cicadetta

Cicadetta (Melampsalta) calliope (Walker), * Small Prairie Cicada

Cicadetta (Melampsalta) calliope

Adults: Head 3.5-4 mm wide; overall length (wings folded) 1.7-1.9 cm. Brown barred with black on head and thorax between wings; opercula rounded, only slightly more angled at tips, 1.5 mm long; theca straight, cleft at tip, exposing tiny, tubular vesica.

Song: A soft buzz in May that can only be heard within a distance of a meter. Specimens are most easily collected by sweeping grass, working upwind as adults cannot fly well against the wind.

Range: Gulf Coast states, from Texas to Florida, rarer northwards to Iowa, Ohio and New Jersey.

Cicadetta (Melampsalta) kansa (Davis)

Adults: Head 4-4.5 mm wide; otherwise similar to C. calliope, but pale green, veins inconspicuous, usually with only 4 or 5 apical cells in the hind wing. A similar green cicada (C. floridensis), with 6 apical cells in the hind wing, as in C. calliope, may prove to be a hybrid between these two species.

Song: Song similar to that of C. calliope. Footnote 1

Range: Texas north to Kansas, and here recorded from South Dakota for the first time.

See The North American Genera and Picture Guide.

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