Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A new species of Cicada from Sichuan Province, China.

Cicadas (Cicadoidea) are large members of the True Bug order (Hemiptera) related to Leafhoppers and Spittlebugs. Male Cicadas produce a loud song, similar to that of Crickets, when seeking a mate, though this song is produced in a quite different way, by vibrating special membranes on the Insect's abdomen rather than by rubbing limbs or wings together. Nevertheless this habit, combined with the large size of Cicadas, has led to them being referred to colloquially as Crickets or Locusts in many parts of the world. Cicadas have an unusual life cycle, living out most of their lives as a burrowing juvenile, then emerging on mass as adults to reproduce after a period of time specific to the species; one North American species only emerging at seventeen year intervals.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 13 January 2013, Xu Wang of the Key Laboratory of Plant Protection Resources and Pest Management at Northwest A&F University, Masami Hayashi of the Department of Biology at Saitama University and Cong Wei, also of the Key Laboratory of Plant Protection Resources and Pest Management, describe a new species of Cicada from Sichuan Province, China.

The new species is placed in the genus Hyalessa, and given the specific name batangensis, after Bantang County in Sichuan, where the species was discovered. Hyalessa batangensis is described from two male specimens, the female is unknown, as are any details of its reproductive cycle. The two specimens are 26.6 and 31.8 mm long, they are black, with golden brown markings.

Hyalessa batangensis, male specimen in dorsal view. Wang et al. (2014).


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