Palapsalta palaga, Owen & Moulds, 2016
Owen, Christopher L. & Moulds, Max S., 2016, Systematics and Phylogeny of the Australian Cicada Genus Pauropsalta Goding and Froggatt, 1904 and Allied Genera (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadettini), Records of the Australian Museum 68 (4), pp. 117-200: 182-184
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Palapsalta palaga n.sp.
Fig. 37 View Figure 37 , Pl. 1
Palapsalta palaga Owen et al., 2015: 263 , nomen nudum.
Types. Holotype male, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, Queensland , 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( AM) . Paratypes —NORTHERN TERRITORY: 2♂♂ (one molecular voucher 07.AU.NT.TIL.01, genitalia prep. PAU 523; one molecular voucher 07.AU.NT.TIL.02; GenBank accessions: KM377226, KM377253, KM377467, KM668344), Napperby Ck, Tilmouth Well on Tanami Rd, 22°48.667'S 132°35.730'E, 30.i.2007, K. Hill, D. Marshall GoogleMaps ; 1♂ (molecular voucher 10.AU.NT.PLG.01), Edwards Ck , 45 km E of Stuart Hwy on Plenty Hwy, 22°58.263'S 134°00.705'E, 5.ii. 2010, 680 m, K. Hill, D. Marshall ( AM) GoogleMaps . 16♂♂, 30♀♀, Tilmouth Well , Napperby Creek, 22°48'40"S 132°35'40"E, 13–14.i.2001, M.S. & B.J. Moulds GoogleMaps ; 6♂♂, Napperby Ck , Tilmouth Well on Tanami Rd, 22°48.667'S 132°35.730'E, 30.i.2007, K. Hill, D. Marshall ( MSM) GoogleMaps . QUEENSLAND: 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( AE) . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( AJE) . 1♂ (molecular voucher 04.QLD.GFM.05), approx. 15 km N of Mt Isa, Barkly Hwy , 20°34'S 139°29'E, 17.i.2004, Cooley, Hill, Marshall, Moulds GoogleMaps ; 1♂ (molecular voucher 08.AU.QL.MTI.01), Mt Isa , Edna Medley Park, 20°42.540'S 139°30.131'E, 347 m, 15.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Cowan, M. Humphrey GoogleMaps ; 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( AM) . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( ANIC) . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( DE) . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( GAD) . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( JO) . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( LP) . 3♂♂, Mt Isa , Edna Medley Park, 20°42.540'S 139°30.131'E, 347 m, 15.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Cowan, M. Humphrey GoogleMaps ; 1♂, Butchers Creek , 20 km W of Cloncurry, 21.i.1977, M.S. & B.J. Moulds ; 198♂♂ (two genitalia preps PAU 21, PAU 102), 186♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ; 3♀♀, Slaty Ck , S of Cloncurry, 20°53'19"S 140°20'45"E, 6.i.2001, M.S. & B.J. Moulds GoogleMaps ; 35♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 20), 21♀♀, Routh Ck , 21 km E of Georgetown, 4.i.1990, M.S. & B.J. Moulds ; 16♂♂, 12♀♀, Routh Ck. , E of Georgetown, 18°17.442'S 143°42.802'E, 450 m, 4.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M.Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey ( MSM) GoogleMaps . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( MV) . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( NHM) . 8♂♂, Napperby Ck , Tilmouth Well on Tanami Rd, 22°48.667'S 132°35.730'E, 30.i.2007, K. Hill, D. Marshall GoogleMaps ; 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( NTM) . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( PH) . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( QM) . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( SAM) . 4♂♂, 4♀♀, Dugalt R. x-ing, 75 km N of Cloncurry, 17.xii.1991, M.S & B.J. Moulds ( WAM) .
Distribution ( Fig. 37 View Figure 37 ). Northern Territory where there are records from Tilmouth Well (some 160 km northwest of Alice Springs) and Edwards Creek (on the Plenty Highway), and in Queensland where it is widespread around Mount Isa and Cloncurry and at Routh Creek (21 km east of Georgetown). There are records from mid December to early February but adults probably occur over a much wider time frame. At times it can be exceptionally abundant.
Habitat. Eucalypts growing along creek margins.
Male (Pl. 1). Head wider than lateral margins of pronotal collar but as wide as or narrower than lateral angles; dominantly black with orange spot at posterior midline. Eyes of live specimens cherry red. Postclypeus orange with broad black fascia along midline; transverse ridges and central groove distinct. Anteclypeus jet black. Rostrum orange brown tending black distally, reaching to or just beyond apices of mid coxae. Antennae orange brown to black, sometimes tending orange distally. Supra-antennal plates orange becoming black or dark brown towards eyes.
Thorax. Pronotum black with orange markings; anterior margin edged orange to varying degrees; fascia along midline orange, extending from head to pronotal collar, widest near head and pronotal collar; usually a black spot on midline adjacent to pronotal collar; pronotal collar orange with lateral margin not, or barely, ampliate. Mesonotum orange with black markings; lateral and submedian sigilla black or tending so; usually black or brown between anterior arms of cruciform elevation often incorporating scutal depressions that are always highlighted black; midline often marked black or brown; cruciform elevation dominantly orange. Metanotum partly black at hind wing bases, remainder orange.
Legs. Fore legs orange; coxae usually with a short black streak along anterior proximal area; femora with spines orange tending brown distally; pretarsal claws tipped black. Mid and hind legs orange; coxae with proximal margin edged brown. Meracanthus orange.
Wings. Hyaline. Fore wing with fused stem of veins M and CuA completely fused as one before meeting basal cell; venation yellow tending brown distally; basal membrane orange. Hind wing with 6 apical cells; venation brown except for pale yellowish brown 2A, 3A, and CuA; plaga muddy white to pale brown; inconspicuous black infuscation on wing margin at distal end of vein 2A.
Opercula. For the most part reaching distal margin of tympanal cavity; widely separated; a low rounded swelling of epimeron 3 and concave below meracanthus; orange, sometimes brown on epimeron 3 swelling.
Timbals. Grey to muddy white in colour; four long ribs spanning the width of timbal membrane and one shorter anterior rib terminating level with upper end of adjacent intercalary rib.
Abdomen. Tending triangular in cross section with epipleurites reflexed inwards from junction with tergites. Tergites orange with brown markings; tergite 1 orange, sometimes partly brown; tergites 2–7 orange with brown on and around midline to varying degrees; tergite 8 black with posterior margin orange brown. Sternite I–VI orange; sternite VII brownish black with orange along anterior margin; sternite VIII brownish black basally, thereafter orange brown.
Genitalia ( Fig. 37 View Figure 37 ). Pygofer upper lobe large; in lateral view slightly longer than wide, terminally asymmetrically dilated but not hooked, only slightly more concave along the margin closest to the basal lobe. Basal pygofer lobe undeveloped, flap-like. Secondary basal lobe plate-like, in lateral view clearly projecting and subtriangular, in ventral view flattened laterally and spike-like. Median lobe of uncus wider than long with a rounded apex, duck-bill shape. Claspers claw-like, of medium width in dorsal view, apices pointed and turned outwards. Aedeagus with pseudoparameres shorter than theca, slender, slightly flattened in cross section, lying immediately above theca in lateral view, in dorsal view parallel to each other and not distally curved. Theca nearly straight, parallel sided, circular in cross-section, distally increasing in diameter; apically sloping forward with a spike-like projection at each lateroventral corner.
Female (Pl. 1). Similar to male.Abdominal segment 9 orange brown with a brown subdorsal fascia on each side of midline extending from the anterior margin to, or near to, posterior margin, sometimes joining posteriorly and extending to caudal beak; a black spot on each lateral side. Ovipositor sheath long, extending some 3.0– 3.5 mm beyond apex of abdomen; dark brown to black.
Measurements. Range and mean (in mm) for 10♂♂ and 10♀♀; includes smallest and largest of available specimens. Length of body: male 14.7–18.8 (17.4); female 17.6–23.8 (21.9). Length of fore wing: male 18.1–22.5 (20.8); female 20.3–23.9 (22.8). Width of fore wing: male 6.1–7.9 (7.2); female 6.6–8.8 (7.9). Ratio length/width of fore wing: male 2.8–3.0 (2.9); female 2.7–3.1 (2.9). Width of head (including eyes): male 4.7–6.0 (5.5); female 5.4–6.6 (6.0). Width of pronotum (across lateral angles): male 4.4–6.3 (5.5); female 5.0–6.7 (6.1).
Care should be taken not to confuse this species with Palapsalta vitellina or Pal. eyrei . Fresh specimens of Pal. palaga differ in having cherry red eyes instead of black or grey eyes. Males of Pal. palaga differ from those of Pal. eyrei (apart from being usually larger) in having a much larger operculum that in part extends clearly beyond the margin of the tympanal cavity while that of Pal. eyrei does not reach or barely reaches the distal margin. Males of Pal. palaga nearly always differ from Pal. vitellina in having no or minimal black or grey on the dorsal surface of abdominal segment 1 while Pal. vitellina has this area substantially or entirely black or grey; it is necessary to compare the male genitalia of doubtful specimens. Females are easily distinguished from both Pal. vitellina and Pal. eyrei by the length of the ovipositor sheath; that of Pal. palaga is very long, the projection beyond the apex of abdominal segment 9 about equal to the distance between the eyes, unlike that of Pal. vitellina and Pal. eyrei which projects far less than the distance between the eyes.
Etymology. From the Latin palaga , meaning ingot of gold, referring to the dominant yellow colour of this species.
Song ( Fig. 37 View Figure 37 ). The song introduction includes a series of echemes followed by a series of click and an echeme for each phrase. Generally, the introduction lasts for at least 6 seconds with c. 2 echemes per second. In each phrase, usually 6–9 clicks precede an echeme. Each echeme usually lasts <0.5 s and is followed by a shorter echeme. Phrases are c. 1 s in length and occur at a rate of c. 0.9 per second. The song frequency ranges from 4–24 kHz with the dominant frequency between 6 kHz and 16 kHz.
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