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Archived content - Cicada (41 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 (*).

10H-3. Whip cicadas with narrow front wings

Okanagana canadensis (Provancher), * Aspen Cicada

Okanagana canadensis

Adults: Head 6.5-7.5 mm wide; overall length (wings folded) 3-3.6 cm. Meron pointed, shorter than operculum. Upper side black with a narrow orange-yellow line across "collar" between wings and a number of orange-yellow spots behind this on the back; underside black, abdominal segments more or less edged with yellow, with contrasting yellow on thorax and legs with irregular black marks; theca ending in broad, low lobes projecting just past vesica.

The unmarked yellow opercula contrasting with the dark abdomen and the large number of tymbal ribs (10 or more) are distinctive.

Song: A series of rapidly delivered, high-pitched lisps (chee-chee-chee) lasting for a minute or more. Adults sing in July.

Range: East of the Rocky Mountains from Maine to Michigan, northwest to the Northwest Territories at Rabbitskin River (61° 47'N 120° 39'W) and Fort Wrigley (63° 16'N 123° 39'W). These northern records probably represent isolated localities in the Mackenzie River valley and tributary valleys, but a continuous distribution cannot be ruled out due to the inaccessibility of much of the intervening country. Elsewhere in Canada it is common in the mixed coniferous forests of southeastern Canada to Manitoba, and in the aspen parkland and low boreal forest as far west as the Peace River district of British Columbia.

Host: Aspen (Populus tremuloides). In 1922 a single tree on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron had 75 cast nymphal skins around it.

Okanagana rimosa (Say), * Early Cicada

Okanagana rimosa

Adults: Head 6-7 mm wide; overall length (wings folded) 2.8-3.4 cm. Front wings 3 times as long as wide; meron rounded, much shorter than operculum. Upper side black with a narrow orange line across "collar" between wings and a variable number of orange spots on the back; underside variegated throughout with orange and black, or mostly orange, opercula usually marked with black, only unmarked when orange markings are extensive; theca ending in broad, low lobes projecting just past vesica.

Song: A fluting trill, similar to that of long-horned (meadow) grasshoppers, lasting up to a minute, broken into segments lasting up to several seconds, similar to the sound made by a single-jet lawn sprinkler which rotates slowly by means of a spring-loaded clapper: sssss-SPT, ssss-SPT. Adults emerge as early as May 10, and sing to mid-July, whereas meadow grasshoppers are usually heard from late July to fall. This species is considered to be "proto-periodical", being found every year but more commonly for 4 years out of its 9-year life cycle Footnote 1.

Range: Reported to be widespread in North America, but many of these records (particularly the older ones) from southern and western states are probably based on misidentified specimens. Most authentic records are from Pennsylvania to Nebraska, and north to Canada, where it is common in pine woods from Nova Scotia to southern Manitoba. It also has been collected near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Okanagana oregona Davis

Adults: Head 5.5-6.5 mm wide; overall length (wings folded) 2.5-2.8 cm. Meron as long as operculum, pointed; theca ending in rounded, low lobes projecting sideways. Colour pattern as in O. ornata, but orange replaced by tan (except on hind wing bases); underside of male mostly black with legs and edges of abdominal segments streaked with tan; underside of female almost entirely tan; meron same color as opercula.

Song: Unknown.

Range: Mountains of California and coastal Oregon, Idaho and Montana; rare and local in arid parts of the Okanagan Valley and adjacent Kettle Valley of southern British Columbia. A single male was taken at "Chilcotin" in 1923. This locality is not in any gazetteer, but was probably along the Chilcotin River which flows SE to join the Fraser River just south of Williams Lake. There an isolated arid area of the Caribou district may still be found.

See The North America Genera and Picture Guide

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