Erempsalta hermannsburgensis ( Distant, 1907 )

Moulds, Max & Marshall, David C., 2022, New genera and new species of Western Australian cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae), Zootaxa 5174 (5), pp. 451-507 : 494-497

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Erempsalta hermannsburgensis ( Distant, 1907 )


Erempsalta hermannsburgensis ( Distant, 1907)

( Figs 8 View FIGURES 8–14 , 19 View FIGURES 15–20 , 51–53 View FIGURES 51–52 View FIGURE 53 )

Synonymy. Species D (near Cicadetta hermannsburgensis ) Ewart & Popple (2001): 63; Figs 6D View FIGURES 1–7 [not C, error, L. Popple pers comm.], 9B.

Types. One syntype female, labelled as follows: (1) handwritten ‘ Melampsalta / hermansburgensis / type Dist.’; (2) printed ‘Hermansburg. / N.T., S. Australia. / H.J.Hillier. / 1907—233.’; (3) handwritten ‘15’; (4) printed, circular with a red border ‘Type’; (5) printed with a QR image and ‘NHMUK010392425’. Six male syntypes and another female syntype, conspecific with the syntype female labelled type, each with a single printed label different in format from the above mentioned female ‘type’, that reads ‘Hermansburg / Central Australia / H.J.Hillier / 1907-233’ All in NHMUK, examined from photographs. Note that when Distant (1907) described the species he spelt hermannsburgensis with one ‘n’, and the syntypes are similarly labelled. However, the locality is spelt with a double ‘n’ and following Article 32.5.1 of the Code the spelling should be corrected ( Moulds 2012: 103) .

The original description implies that only the female was described and measurements were given only for the female sex. That Distant had more than one female is suggested in the original description by including a range of 17–18 mm for the female body length. There is only one other female bearing similar locality data, and with an identical registration number 1907-233, in NHMUK, although the format of its printed label is different from that on the female labelled as type, suggesting it was labelled at a different time. In addition to the second female there are six males in NHMUK each with a printed label identical in format and data to that on the second female. If the second female is to be accepted as a syntype then it seems logical to accept these six males also as syntypes. Whether all these specimens are syntypes or not is debatable, but in the absence of evidence to the contrary we accept them as syntypes. Regardless, we base our identification on the species solely on the female labelled as the type.

Other material examined: WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1 male, 19 km S of Menzies , 29.i.1992, T.M.S. Hanlon ; 1 male, AU.WA.CBE, 58.5 km E of Cocklebiddy, 31°57.283’S 126°41.811’E, 105 m, 6.ii.2009, K. Hill, D. Marshall ( MSM). GoogleMaps NORTHERN TERRITORY: 8 males, 56 km S by E of Alice Springs , 24°11’S 134°01’E, 3.x.1978, Upton & Barrett GoogleMaps ; 3 males, 23°32’S 133°38’E, 30 km NW by W of Alice Springs , 7.x.1978, Upton & Barrett GoogleMaps ; 2 males, 62 mi NNW of Alice Springs , 12.ii.1966, Britton, Upton & McInnes ; 6 males, 30 mi N of Alice Springs , 13.i.1958, N. Forde ( ANIC). 2 males, AU.NT.PLD, 59 km E of Stuart Hwy on Plenty Hwy, NE of Alice Springs , 22°57.723’S 134°07.683’E, 31.i.2007, K. Hill, D. Marshall GoogleMaps ; 3 males, AU.NT.YNC, 39 km NW of Yuendumu on Tanami Rd, 22°09.805’S 131°28.010’E, 30.i.2007, K. Hill, D. Marshall GoogleMaps ; 1 male, AU.NT.TWS, 27 km SE of Tilmouth Well on Tanami Rd, 23°01.534’S 132°42.152’E, 30.i.2007, K. Hill, D. Marshall GoogleMaps ; 4 males (1 genitalia prep. ERE 2; 1 Simon Lab. voucher 10.AU.NT. HMW.01), SW edge of Hermannsburg, 23°56.953’S 132°46.827’E, 569 m, 29.i.2010, Hill, Marshall , Moulds GoogleMaps ; 1 male, AU.NT. ULF, 3 km S of Ayers Rock, 531 m, 25°22.385’S 131°02.278’E, 1.ii.2010, Hill, Marshall , Moulds GoogleMaps ; 2 males, AU.NT. TAP, Tanami Road, 3.5 km S of Tilmouth Well, 22°50.412’S 132°36.967’E, 28.i.2010, Hill, Marshall , Moulds GoogleMaps ; 1 male (DNA voucher 2), Plenty Hwy , ~ 45km E of Marshall River, 22°43.603’S 136°28.586’E, 6.ii.2010, Hill, Marshall ( UCONN). GoogleMaps 1 female, AU.NT.NJD, 17 km E of Glen Helen Resort, W of Alice Springs, 23°44.924’S 132°54.157’E, 30.i.2010, Hill, Marshall , Moulds GoogleMaps ; 2 males, AU.NT.YNF, Tanami Road, 13 km NW of Tilmouth Well, 22°45.275’S 132°29.394’E, 27.i,2010, Hill, Marshall , Moulds GoogleMaps ; 1 female, AU.NT. NAP, ~ 126 km N of Alice Springs on Stuart Hwy, 22°42.46’S 133°22.707’E, 4.ii.2010, Hill, Marshall , Moulds GoogleMaps ; 2 males, AU.NT.PNE, 11 km NE of Stuart Hwy on Plenty Hwy , 23°2.364’S 133°43.702’E, 691 m, 26.i.2015, D. Marshall ( MSM). GoogleMaps QUEENSLAND: 1 male (genitalia prep. ERE 1; Simon Lab. voucher 09.AU. QL. NBE.03), 1.7 km NNE of Noonbah Hsd, 24°5.88’S 143°11.44’E, 180 m, 1.ii.2009, K. Hill & D. Marshall GoogleMaps ; 10 males, 1 female, Noonbah Stn, 24°07’S 143°11’E, 13.i.1999, M.S. & B.J. Moulds GoogleMaps ; 8 males, 4 females, “Hickleton” Stn , SW of Longreach, 23°59’19”S 143°03’17”E 15.iii.2003, A.J. Emmott, R.& V. Ballard GoogleMaps ; 1 male, Lochern N.P., nr Noonbar Stn , ix.2005, H. Ctoss & A.J. Emmott ; 1 male, AU.QL. SSD, 68 km N of Windorah, 24°56.688’S 142°51.096’E, 147 m, 1.ii.2009, K. Hill & D. Marshall GoogleMaps ; 6 males, Charleville , 1.xi.1996, 20.ii.1996, Colin Dollery ; 1 male, Currawynia, N.P., 29.x.1998, C. Dollery ( MSM). NEW SOUTH WALES: 2 males, 11 km S of Mount Hope , 33°56’34”S 145°52’49”E, 20.xi.2010, L.W. Popple, D. Emery (DE). GoogleMaps 1 male, 11 km S of Mount Hope , 33°56’34”S 145°52’49”E, 20.xi.2010, L.W. Popple, D. Emery ( LP). GoogleMaps 1 male (DNA voucher 09.AU. NS. TIB.01), Caravan park on S. side of Tibooburra, 29°26.185’S 142°0.501’E, 3.ii.2009, Hill, Marshall ( UCONN). GoogleMaps SOUTH AUSTRALIA: 2 males, 1 female, Birdsville Track , E of Clifton Hills, 27°00’16”S 139°18’08”E, 15.i.2007, L. Popple, J. Hereward ( LP). GoogleMaps 2 males, AU. SA. WOH, 60 km NW of Glandambo, on Stuart Hwy , 30°33.395’S 135°22.227’E, 2.ii.2007, K. Hill, D. Marshall GoogleMaps ; 2 males, 20 km SSW of Arno Bay, Eyre Pen. 21.xi.1985, M.S. & B.J. Moulds ( MSM).

Distribution and habitat ( Figs 19b View FIGURES 15–20 , 51 View FIGURES 51–52 ). Widely distributed through arid and semi-arid regions mostly in the central part of the continent. There are only two records from Western Australia, 19 km south of Menzies (T.M.S. Hanlon) and 58.5 km east of Cocklebiddy. It is a far more common species in the Northern Territory where it extends south from 39 km north-west of Yuendumu on the Tanami Road to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and in the east to 45 km east of the Marshall River on the Plenty Highway. The type locality, Hermannsburg, (as inferred by the species’ name) is some 120 km WSW of Alice Springs. From South Australia there are records from the Birdsville Track some 130 km south of Birdsville (L. Popple & J. Hereward), 60 km north-west of Glandambo, and near Arno Bay on the Eyre Peninsula. Queensland records are mostly from or near Noonbah Station (some 160 km south-west of Longreach), and from Charleville (C. Dollery) and 68 km north of Windorah. There are just two records from New South Wales, Tibooburra in the far north-west of the State and near Mount Hope (L. Popple & D. Emery). Adults have been recorded from early October to mid March but emergence is closely associated with the occurrence of good rainfall. The species inhabits arid to semi-arid shrubland.

Adult description. Male ( Figs 8 View FIGURES 8–14 , 19a View FIGURES 15–20 , 52 View FIGURES 51–52 ). Green, sometimes tending partly yellow or light brownish on discoloured dried specimens. Head, including postclypeus and anteclypeus, green; antennae yellowish except for partly green scape; eyes of live adults light pink; rostrum greenish yellow with black stylets, reaching bases of hind coxae. Thorax green, the mesonotum with submedian and lateral sigilla with hints of pale orange. Forewing venation green, without infuscations; basal sclerites and basal membrane pale orange. Hindwing venation green, without infuscations; plaga white. Legs green with pale orange knees at the junction of femur and tibia; tarsi light brown. Opercula green. Abdomen green with a narrow dull pale orange edge along posterior margin of sternite II. Timbals with cavity broadly rounded along posterior margin; with three long ribs spanning the the timbal membrane and joined at their dorsal ends.

Male genitalia ( Figs 52a–b View FIGURES 51–52 ). Pygofer green; basal lobes well developed but in lateral view mostly hidden; upper lobes broad, in lateral view slightly upturned, apex broadly rounded; dorsal beak very wide and confluent with pygofer margin. Claspers in lateral view gently curved, bluntly pointed, with a narrow overhanging rim along upper margin, in ventral view slender, tapering to a sharply pointed apex, slightly diverging with their apices not widely separated. Aedeagus trifid, the pseudoparameres short (less than length of thecal shaft), pointed, gently diverging in dorsal view; ventral support of medium length (less than half length of pseudoparameres). Basal plate in dorsal view broadly rounded across distal margin with broadly rounded ‘ears’.

Female. Similar to male. Sternite VIII deeply incised in a V shape. Abdominal segment 9 short, in dorsal view its length shorter than its width; green becoming pale orange ventrally. Ovipositor sheath distally pale orange, projecting a little beyond dorsal beak no more than 0.3 mm.

Measurements. Range and mean (in mm) for 10 males, 7 females (includes smallest and largest available specimens). Length of body (including head): male 14.0–17.1 (15.3); female (including ovipositor) 14.8–17.2 (16.3). Length of forewing: male 17.6–20.2 (18.9); female 17.7–21.1 (20.0). Width of head (including eyes): male 4.4–5.2 (4.7); female 4.6–5.2 (4.95). Width of pronotum (across lateral angles): male 5.3–6.4 (5.9); female 5.4–6.7 (6.2).

Distinguishing features. Erempsalta hermannsburgensis could be confused with Calipsalta viridans sp. n. as both are green, without wing infuscations, and inhabit an arid regions of Australia. Erempsalta hermannsburgensis is perhaps best separated by its rostrum that reaches the bases of hind coxae (only to mid length of mid coxae in C. viridans ). Forewing veins M and CuA are always fused on joining the apex of the basal cell in E. hermannsburgensis but often unfused or abutted in C. viridans . Males have a shorter abdomen, its length similar to that of the head plus thorax (clearly longer in C. viridans ). The male genitalia clearly differ from C. viridans (and all Calipsalta species) in having the inner margins of the claspers diverging, the pseudoparameres unusually short (less than half the length of the thecal shaft), and the ventral support very short.

Song ( Figs 53a–g View FIGURE 53 ). Recordings were examined from a location near the type locality of Hermannsburg (NT. HMW) and the following paratype sites: QL.SSD, NS.TIB, NT.TAP, NT.PLR, NT.ULF, SA.WOH, WA.CBE.

The main calling song consists of phrases lasting approximately 2–5 s. Phrases are often concatenated but can be produced singly. Each phrase contains around 5–10 closely spaced long echemes (0.2– 0.5s) that are preceded and followed by sets of much shorter echemes (ca. 0.02 s) that vary in number and duration. The echemes consist of short syllables produced at about 5/s, or the syllables may be coalesced to form a continuous series of pulses. The underlying pulse rate varies from ca. 500–900/s depending on the degree of coalescence. In dusk conditions, males sometimes produce a continuous song containing long series of regularly repeated long echemes. Most song energy is found within the range 10–15 kHz, with a peak intensity at about 11–13 kHz. There is little to no frequency modulation.

Males inhabit leafy shrubs ( Fig 19 View FIGURES 15–20 ), sometimes perching within a few centimetres of the ground. Males call with head facing downwards (K. Hill, pers. comm.).


Natural History Museum, London


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics


Marine Science Museum, Tokai Univ.


Australian National Insect Collection


Université Laval


University of Connecticut Biodiversity Research Collections


Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica (formerly National Academy of Peiping)


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium


Sammlung Simon des Stattlichen Museum fur Mineralogie und Geologie Dresden


Laboratory of Palaeontology


Museum national d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratiore de Paleontologie


Southwestern Oklahoma State University













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