Pauropsalta similis, 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: 163-165

publication ID 10.3853/j.2201-4349.68.2016.1598

persistent identifier

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scientific name

Pauropsalta similis


Pauropsalta similis   n.sp.

Fig. 28 View Figure 28 , Pl. 3

Pauropsalta similis Owen et al., 2015: 263   , nomen nudum.

Types. Holotype male (molecular voucher 06.AU.WA.HCS.01, song recorded), Halls Creek , 18°13.605'S 127°40.031'E, 416 m, 6.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds ( WAM) GoogleMaps   . Paratypes — WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1♂, 1♀, Wyndham , 15°28.933'S 128°06.801'E, 23 m, 23.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey ( AE) GoogleMaps   . 1♂, 1♀, Wyndham , 15°28.933'S 128°06.801'E, 23 m, 23.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey ( AM) GoogleMaps   . 1♂, 1♀, Wyndham , 15°28.933'S 128°06.801'E, 23 m, 23.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M.Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey ( DE) GoogleMaps   . 1♂, 1♀, Wyndham , 15°28.933'S 128°06.801'E, 23 m, 23.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey ( LP) GoogleMaps   . 1♂ (molecular voucher 06.AU.WA.HCS.01, song recorded), Halls Creek , 18°13.605'S 127°40.031'E GoogleMaps   , 416 m, 6.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds; 1♂, 3♀♀, Broome, Hamersley St , 17°57.884'S 122°14.420'E GoogleMaps   , 11 m, 8.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds; 1♂, roadhouse c. 34 km E of Broome, 9.ii.2006, 53 m, 17°51.030'S 122°30.059'E, Hill, Marshall, Moulds; 1♂, Lennard R., Gibb River Rd, 17°23.525'S 124°45.304'E, 21.i.2010, Hill, Marshall, Moulds; 1♂, 2♀♀, Barnett River xing on Gibb River Road GoogleMaps   , 433 m, 16°42.589'S 125°56.143'E, 20.xi.2011, K. Hill, D. Marshall; 15♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 200), 3♀♀, Fitzroy River Crossing, Derby-Broome road, 30.x.1978, 2.xi.1978, 3.xi.1978, M.S. & B.J. Moulds; 2♂♂, Fitzroy Crossing , 18°11.957'S 125°34.075'E GoogleMaps   , 121 m, 6.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds; 4♂♂, 3♀♀, Fitzroy Crossing , 1.i.1986, M.S. & B.J. Moulds; 1♂, Mary R   ., 109 km W of Halls Creek , 6.ii. 2006, 286 m, 18°43.622'S 126°52.210'E, Hill, Marshall, Moulds; 6♂♂, 1♀, Mary R GoogleMaps   ., 109 km W of Halls Creek , 24 i.   2010, 286 m, 18°43.622'S 126°52.210'E, K. Hill & D. Marshall; 8♂♂ (one genitalia prep.PAU 29), 3♀♀, Halls Creek , 18°13.605'S 127°40.031'E GoogleMaps   , 416 m, 8.ii.1977, 2.i.1986, 6.ii.2006, M.S. & B.J. Moulds and Hill, Marshall, Moulds; 5♂♂, Calico Ck   , 150 km ENE of Halls Creek, 18°08'34"S 128°43'02"E, 11.i.2001, M.S. & B.J. Moulds; 1♂, Ord River x-ing GoogleMaps   , N of Halls Creek, 2.i.1986, M.S. & B.J.Moulds; 1♂, Dunham R, c   . 33 km S of Victoria Hwy on Great Northern Hwy, 16°08.082'S 128°22.896'E, 24.ii.2008, Hill, Marshall, Moulds, Owen & Humphrey; 1♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 27), Dunham River GoogleMaps   , 100 km S of Wyndham, 7.ii.1977, M.S. & B.J Moulds; 6♂♂ (one molecular voucher 08.AU.WA.WYN.02), 5♀♀, Wyndham , 15°28.933'S 128°06.801'E GoogleMaps   , 23 m, 23.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey; 2♂♂, 1♀, Doon Doon Stn. [16°18'S 128°14'E], Carr Boyd Ra, 4.i.1987, E.A. Henty; 3 male, 4♀♀, Kununurra , 19.i.1986, 22.i.1986, 4.ii.1986, 7.ii.1986, 18.ii.1986, 1.xii.1986, 28.i.1987, E.A. Henty; 1♂ GoogleMaps   , 39 km NW of Kununurra on   Victoria Hwy, at Middle Ck , 15°50.913'S 128°25.626'E, 23.ii.2008, Hill, Marshall, Moulds, Owen, & Humphrey ( MSM) GoogleMaps   . 1♂, Drysdale R. at Kalumburu rd crossing ( MV)   . 1♂, 1♀, Wyndham , 15°28.933'S 128°06.801'E, 23 m, 23.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M.Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey ( NTM) GoogleMaps   . 1♂, Broome, 12.i.2008, L. Halling; 1♂, 1♀, Wyndham , 15°28.933'S 128°06.801'E GoogleMaps   , 23 m, 23.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey ( WAM)   . NORTHERN TERRITORY: 1♂ (molecular voucher 08.AU. NT.KEE.01, song recorded), Butler Ck xing, 4 km E of WA border on   Victoria Hwy, 15°59.547'S 129°01.994'E, 23.ii.2008, Hill, Marshall, Moulds, Owen & Humphrey; 4♂♂, 3♀♀, Keep River x-ing GoogleMaps   , Victoria Hwy, 7.i.1986, M.S. & B.J. Moulds; 2♂♂ (two molecular vouchers 08.AU. NT.TSE.03 and song recorded, 08.AU.NT.TSE.04 and song recorded; GenBank accessions: KM377211, KM377331, KM377462, KM668254)   , 9 km E of Top Springs , 16°35.487'S 131°51.728'E, 195 m, 17.ii.2008, Hill, Marshall, Moulds, Owen, Humphrey; 1♂, Armstrong R GoogleMaps   ., E of Top Springs, 16°42'S 132°05'E, 24.xii.1991, M.S. & B.J. Moulds; 3♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 329 and molecular voucher 04.AU.NT.DUM.11; two genitalia preps. JH 34, JH 35), Dunmarra , 16°40.9'S 133°24.7'E, 26.i.2004, Cooley, Hill, Marshall, Moulds ( MSM) GoogleMaps   .

Distribution ( Fig. 28 View Figure 28 ). Broome and the Kimberley region of Western Australia and the Northern Territory from the Keep River area (near the WA border) to Dunmarra. From the Kimberley region there are records from the Lennard and Barnett Rivers on the Gibb River road, from along the Kalumburu road in the central mountains, and along much of the length of the Great Northern Highway skirting the inland perimeter of the region. Records from Northern Territory are limited to the Victoria Highway near the Western Australian border (Keep River area), near Top Springs and Dunmarra. Adults have been taken from late October to late February but the species almost certainly occurs in other months, especially during the later months of the wet season.

Habitat. Usually on the upper branches or trunks of eucalypts growing along rivers, watercourses or in wellwatered gardens.


Male (Pl. 3). In two main colour forms, usually with body dominantly orange or light yellow, but sometimes in intermediate hues of orange yellow.

Head a little narrower than lateral angles of pronotal collar; dominantly black. Postclypeus black and light yellow or orange, the most anterior part usually glossy, either light yellow or orange; lateral and posterior margins edged dull yellow; black centrally; transverse ridges distinct, central groove weak. Anteclypeus black. Rostrum brown, with a black apex; reaching to or just beyond apices of hind coxae. Antennae either light yellow or orange. Supra-antennal plates yellow or orange, usually glossy.

Thorax. Pronotum light yellow to orange with black markings; a pale orange to dull yellow fascia along midline not reaching pronotal collar; pronotal collar between lateral angles dominantly light brown or orange, the lateral margin not ampliate, partly black extending to lateral angles. Mesonotum light brown to orange with black markings that are usually dominant; submedian and lateral sigilla entirely or partially jet black; a jet black fascia along midline often occupying entire space between anterior arms of cruciform elevation (but sometimes reduced to reveal the pair of black scutal depressions), thereafter abruptly narrowing and usually merging with black submedian sigilla; lower ridge of wing groove muddy yellow or dull orange; cruciform elevation dull yellow to orange. Metanotum glossy black at hind wing base, remainder dull yellow to orange.

Legs. Fore legs mostly brown or dark brown; femora dull yellow at distal ends and a blurred dull yellow to brown dorsal fascia; usually tending black around femoral spines. Mid and hind legs tending yellow or orange brown rather than brown; tibiae dull yellow to orange brown; tarsi either dull yellow or orange brown. Pretarsal claws brown on proximal third or so, otherwise black. Meracanthus with black proximal margin and either orange or yellow apically.

Wings. Hyaline. Fore wing with fused stem of veins M and CuA not complete, the veins abutted rather than fused as one; venation pale yellow proximally tending brown distally; without infuscations; basal membrane either orange or yellow. Hind wing normally with 5 apical cells (rarely 6 or 4 and then only in one wing); venation brown except for pale yellow 2A and 3A; plaga white; with or without a small infuscation around junction of vein 2A and wing margin.

Opercula. Small, not tightly closing tympanal cavities; more or less flat except for low rounded swelling of epimeron 3; either orange or yellow with a black suffusion on swelling of epimeron 3.

Timbals with the ribs not heavily sclerotized; four long ribs spanning the width of timbal membrane and one much shorter anterior rib terminating before lower end of adjacent intercalary rib.

Abdomen. Tending triangular in cross section with epipleurites reflexed inwards from junction with tergites; either black and orange, or black and yellow. Tergite 1 mostly black; tergite 2 mostly black, posterior margin around midline either orange or yellow; tergite 3 mostly black, midline and posterior margin either orange or yellow; tergites 4–6 either orange or yellow; tergites 7–8 dominantly black, tergite 8 with either orange or yellow posterior margin. Sternite I either orange or yellow; sternite II either dull orange or dull yellow, sometimes with small suffusion of black at lateral extremities; sternites III–VIII either orange or yellow, sometimes with darker posterior margin.

Genitalia ( Fig. 28 View Figure 28 ). Pygofer upper lobe long, in lateral view tending slender, tapering to a narrow rounded apex, the distal third or so slightly tilted ventrally. Basal pygofer lobe small, in lateral view with its margin almost straight, apically rounded in ventral view, tending flat. Secondary basal lobe broadly rounded. Median lobe of uncus bi-lobed, with apices rounded. Claspers claw-like, concave below. Aedeagus with pseudoparameres about as long as endotheca, slender, flattened in cross section with distal portion gradually tapering to a point, more or less aligned with endotheca in lateral view, parallel to each other in dorsal view but distally curved outwards, the apices turned slightly backwards; endotheca nearly parallel sided, circular in cross section, apical portion bisected and U-shaped in dorsal view, the sides forming a pair of lateral lobes, these lobes in lateral view with their apices truncate, angled backwards, the corners rounded, the distal margin outlined with minute spines.

Female (Pl. 3). Similar to male. Abdominal segments dull orange or brown with orange posterior margins; tergites 7 and 8 sometimes partly black. Abdominal segment 9 pale yellowish orange to orange, nearly always with a black subdorsal fascia either side terminating with a rounded apex well before distal end of segment. Ovipositor sheath long, extending some 1.0– 1.5 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 13.8–19.0 (16.6); female 16.0–20.0 (18.2). Length of fore wing: male 18.6–24.6 (21.5); female 20.7–25.0 (22.2). Width of fore wing: male 5.2–6.3 (5.8); female 5.4–6.1 (5.8). Ratio length/width of fore wing: male 3.3–4.0 (3.7); female 3.5–4.0 (3.8). Width of head (including eyes): male 4.9–6.3 (5.5); female 5.3–6.3 (5.8). Width of pronotum (across lateral angles): male 5.2–7.1 (6.0); female 5.7–6.7 (6.2).

Distinguishing features

Pauropsalta similis   is identical to Pauropsalta extrema   in size, colour and markings. Males can be separated from Pau. extrema   by the pair of truncated lobes at the apex of the endotheca that do not extend laterally beyond the line of the endotheca. In contrast, the distal end of the endotheca of Pau. extrema   bears wing-like flanges that extend laterally beyond the shaft of the endotheca. Females are indistinguishable morphologically and can only be associated with a species by locality.

Etymology. From the Latin similis   meaning like or resembling and referring to the close similarity of this species with P. extrema   .

Song ( Fig. 28 View Figure 28 ). The song includes a series of phrases that include an echeme followed by a click. Each echeme is usually <1 s in length. Each phrase occurs at a rate of c. 1 phrase per second. The song frequency ranges from 2–20 kHz with the dominant frequency between 6 kHz and 12 kHz.


Western Australian Museum


Australian Museum


Laboratory of Palaeontology


Marine Science Museum, Tokai Univ.


University of Montana Museum


Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences














Pauropsalta similis

Owen, Christopher L. & Moulds, Max S. 2016

Pauropsalta similis

Owen, C & Marshall, K 2015: 263