1 Jul 2018

Arabian Cicada - Tanoumah

Whilst in Tanoumah in June I photographed what I believe to be an Arabian cicada Platypleurini arabica on a metal light-post. Insects were calling all around but are extremely well camouflaged and therefore difficult to see. Luckily Arnold Uy who was with me found the insect after a little searching. The adult Arabian cicada emerges during the summer months, from April to August, when the males produce a loud, monotonous call to attract females. These calls are produced by a pair of thin membranes within the abdomen, which are vibrated to produce a rapid train of pulses or clicks. The adult Arabian cicada feeds on various tree species, using the specialised mouthparts to pierce the trunk and suck up the sap. A common sight on trees and bushes in summer months, the Arabian cicada is also well known throughout its range for the loud, continuous ‘singing’ of the males. This relatively large, up to 26mm, robust insect has a brown body with lighter bars of colour at the base of the wings, which are transparent, with dark veins. Like other cicadas, the Arabian cicada has sucking mouthparts, and the rostrum (the projecting part at the front of the snout) originates from the underside of the rear of the head, rather than from the front as in ‘true’ bugs (suborder Heteroptera). The antennae of cicadas are very short and end in a bristle, and the membranous forewings are held in a tent-like position over the body extending past the end of the abdomen. The first two segments of the abdomen are modified for sound production. Often heard chirping in the warm part of the day, but if danger arises they will stop chirping immediately.
Arabian cicada - Platypleurini arabica

Arabian cicada - Platypleurini arabica

Arabian cicada - Platypleurini arabica

No comments:

Post a Comment