Pauropsalta contigua, 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: 145-147

publication ID 10.3853/j.2201-4349.68.2016.1598

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scientific name

Pauropsalta contigua


Pauropsalta contigua   n.sp.

Fig. 18 View Figure 18 , Pl. 3

Pauropsalta contigua Owen et al., 2015: 260   , nomen nudum.

Types. Holotype male (genitalia prep. PAU 266, molecular voucher 07.AU.SA.MRA.01; GenBank accessions: KM377189, KM377288, KM377426, KM377551, KM668286), Agnes Ck, Stuart Hwy, c. 75 km S of SA/NT border, 26°38.308'S 133°16.713'E, 1.ii.2007, K. Hill & D. Marshall ( SAM) GoogleMaps   . Paratypes — WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1♂, 25 km E of Sandstone , 17.i.1989, M.S. & B.J. Moulds ( AE)   . 1♂, Cue, [erroneously labelled as a cotype of Cicadetta bellatrix   ]; 1♂ (genitalia prep. PAU326, molecular voucher 09.AU.MUE.01), 7.7 km E of Mundrabilla , 31°49.164'S 128°18.356'E; 6.ii.2009, 17 m, K. Hill & D. Marshall GoogleMaps   ; 1♂ (molecular voucher 06.AU.WA.NUE.01), 13.2 km E of Cocklebiddy , 32°00.692'S 126°14.208'E, 72 m, 21.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds GoogleMaps   ; 2♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU338), 24 km WSW of Madura , 31°55.778'S 126°46.737'E, 98 m, 21.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds GoogleMaps   ; 1♂ (genitalia prep. PAU 206, molecular voucher 03.AU.WAU.LKD.04), Lake Douglas, nr Kalgoorlie   , Western Australia, 377 m, 30°50'S 121°23'E, 15.i.2003, Moulds, Hill, Marshall & Vanderpool ( AM) GoogleMaps   . 1♂, 25 km E of Sandstone , 17.i.1989, M.S. & B.J. Moulds ( LP)   . 1♂, 25 km E of Sandstone , 17.i.1989, M.S. & B.J. Moulds   ; 1♂ (genitalia prep. PAU 373), 29 km S of Menzies , 9.ii.2006, M. Hanlon & M. Powell   ; 2♂♂ (genitalia preps. PAU 467 & PAU 468), 1♀, 12 km SW of Kalgoorlie , 13.i.1989, M.S. & B.S. Moulds   ; 1♂ (genitalia prep. PAU 371), Kalgoorlie , 15.i.1989, A.J. Graham   ; 1♂, Newman Rock , 50 km W Balladonia motel, 32°06'S 123°10'E, 18.i.1986, G. & A. Daniels GoogleMaps   ; 1♂, Madura roadhouse, 31°54'S 127°01'E, 15.xii.1995, M.S. & B.J. Moulds & K.A. Kopestonsky GoogleMaps   ; 1♂ (genitalia prep. PAU273), 40 km W of Caiguna, Nullarbor Plain , 6.xii.1978, M.S. & B.J. Moulds   ; 2♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 474), Madura , 26.xii.1990, M.S. & B.J. Moulds ( MSM)   . 1♂ (genitalia prep. PAU 229), Balladonia roadhouse, 32°21.285'S 123°37.069'E, 177 m, 20.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds GoogleMaps   ; 1♂, 7.7 km E of Mundrabilla , 31°49.164'S 128°18.356'E; 6.ii.2009, 17 m, K. Hill & D. Marshall ( WAM) GoogleMaps   . SOUTH AUSTRALIA: 1♂ s (one molecular voucher 07.AU.SA.MRA.02), Agnes Ck, Stuart Hwy , c. 75 km S of SA/NT border, 26°38.308'S 133°16.713'E, 1.ii.2007, K. Hill & D. Marshall ( AM) GoogleMaps   . 1♂ (genitalia prep. 357), Border Village , nr WA/SA border, 25.i.1989, M.S. & B.J. Moulds   ; 1♂ (genitalia prep.PAU 364), 183 km W Nullarbor roadhouse, 31°40'S 129°01'E, 23.i.1987, G.& A. Daniels ( MSM) GoogleMaps   . 1♂, Agnes Ck, Stuart Hwy , c. 75 km S of SA/NT border, 26°38.308'S 133°16.713'E, 1.ii.2007, K. Hill & D. Marshall GoogleMaps   ; 1♂ (genitalia prep. PAU 325), 0.5 km SE of Minnipa , 32°51.932'S 135°9.696'E, 5.ii. 2009, 143 m, K. Hill & D. Marshall ( SAM) GoogleMaps   .

Distribution ( Fig. 18 View Figure 18 ). Arid areas of Western Australia and South Australia receiving between approximately 200–250 mm average annual rainfall. In Western Australia there are records from between Cue and Madura, and across the southern margin of the Nullarbor Plain along the Eyre Highway. In South Australia there are just three widespread records, in the far southwest near Border Village, in the far north at Agnes Creek some 75 km south of the Northern Territory border on the Stuart Highway, and from Minnipa on the Eyre Peninsula. There are records for December, January and February but adults may well occur in other months.

Habitat. Adults inhabit eucalypt trees where they prefer the trunks and larger branches.


Male (Pl. 3). Head wider than lateral margins of pronotal collar; dominantly black with muddy yellow spot at posterior midline. Postclypeus jet black with pale yellow or pale reddish brown markings; a muddy yellow or pale reddish brown mark on midline around most anterior portion; lateral margins, and sometimes distal margins, muddy yellow or pale reddish brown; transverse ridges and central groove distinct; sometimes central groove reddish brown. Anteclypeus jet black. Rostrum black, occasionally tending brown proximally, reaching to or just beyond apices of mid coxae. Antennae black, sometimes white distally. Supraantennal plates black, sometimes edged reddish brown along anterior margin.

Thorax. Pronotum black, usually with reddish brown and pale yellow markings; center of pronotum usually with reddish brown patches; fascia along midline pale yellow, usually extending from near head towards or almost to pronotal collar; sometimes a transverse muddy yellow marking dorsally abutting and/or on anterior margin of pronotal collar; pronotal collar between lateral angles black with posterior margin edged muddy yellow or reddish brown; lateral margin of pronotal collar not, or barely, ampliate. Mesonotum primarily black with reddish brown markings; usually a reddish brown marking on either side from, or near, anterior arms of cruciform elevation to, or almost to, pronotum between lateral and submedian sigilla, this marking projecting inwards to varying degrees around its mid length and sometimes meeting and sometimes thereafter extending anteriorly along midline; sometimes a reddish brown blotch between anterior arms of cruciform elevation; scutal depressions occasionally visible as black dots surrounded by reddish brown; cruciform elevation black and reddish brown, sometimes partly muddy yellow; anterior arms usually reddish brown with distal ends black, posterior arms usually black, often a black fascia down midline. Metanotum black at hind wing base, remainder reddish brown or muddy yellow, sometimes black near dorsal midline.

Legs. Fore legs mostly black but with one, sometimes two, reddish brown fascia to varying degrees along anterior length of femora, sometimes a brownish fascia along lateral exterior of femora; femora with spines black tending dark brown; pretarsal claws black with pale yellow apices. Mid and hind legs mostly black or brown tending dark brown; coxae with proximal margin edged pale reddish brown; reddish brown along anterior length of femora; tibiae and tarsi brown tending dark brown. Meracanthus black with outer lateral margin and apex pale yellow.

Wings. Hyaline. Fore wing with fused stem of veins M and CuA not complete, the veins abutted rather than fused as one; venation brown; costa curving inward near arculus; infuscation distally on clavus; basal membrane grey to black. Hind wing with 5 apical cells; venation brown except for pale yellowish brown 2A and 3A; plaga muddy white to grey to pale brown; black infuscation on wing margin at distal end of vein 2A.

Opercula. For the most part reaching to or almost to distal margin of tympanal cavity; widely separated; flat other than a low rounded swelling of epimeron 3; usually muddy yellow with swelling black, sometimes all black or black with distal margin muddy yellow.

Timbals with four long ribs spanning the width of timbal membrane and one much shorter anterior rib terminating level with lower end of adjacent intercalary rib.

Abdomen. Tending triangular in cross section with epipleurites reflexed inwards from junction with tergites. Tergites black with reddish brown to yellow markings. Tergite 1 black; tergite 2 black with posterior margin narrowly edged reddish brown to muddy yellow, sometimes with a reddish brown to muddy yellow spot adjacent to posterior margin on dorsal midline; tergites 3–7 black with posterior margin narrowly edged reddish brown and/ or yellow to varying degrees; tergite 8 black with yellow posterior margin, widest around midline. Sternite I black; sternites II–VII black with lateral margins yellow to varying degrees; sternite VIII black tending yellowish brown distally.

Genitalia ( Fig. 18 View Figure 18 ). Pygofer upper lobe wide and long, in lateral view tapering to a broad rounded apex. Basal pygofer lobe well developed, much longer than wide; secondary basal lobe small, in lateral view greatly reduced. Median lobe of uncus wider than long with a rounded apex. Claspers claw-like, but tilted sideways towards center of pygofer, apices turned outwards, concave below. Aedeagus with pseudoparameres longer than endotheca, slender, flattened in cross section, arched high above endotheca in lateral view, in dorsal view more or less parallel to each other but distally curved outwards, their apices diverging approximately 30°; endotheca gently curved, parallel sided, circular in crosssection, apex in lateral view rounded, crested dorsally, in dorsal view triangularly recessed.

Female (Pl. 3). Similar to male.Abdominal segment 9 black or a mixture of black and dark brown with margins dull pale muddy yellow near caudal beak and distal margin to varying extent. Ovipositor sheath extending approximately 1.5 mm beyond apex of abdomen; black.

Measurements. Range and mean (in mm) for 10♂♂ and 2♀♀; includes smallest and largest of available specimens. Length of body: male 12.0–16.0 (14.4); female 16.1–17.4 (16.8). Length of fore wing: male 16.6–19.6 (18.0); female 18.7–20.5 (19.6). Width of fore wing: male 5.9–6.8 (6.3); female 6.4–7.6 (7.0). Ratio length/width of fore wing: male 2.7–3.0 (2.9); female 2.7–2.9 (2.8). Width of head (including eyes): male 4.2–5.1 (4.8); female 4.7–4.9 (4.8). Width of pronotum (across lateral angles): male 4.6–5.5 (5.2); female 5.1–5.2 (5.15).

Distinguishing features

Distinguished from most small black cicadas by having the stems of fore wing veins M and CuA closely abutted on reaching the basal cell rather than fused as one (view under low magnification).

Amongst small black cicadas with fore wing veins M and CuA abutted, Pau. contigua   differs from Pau. infuscata   in having 5 apical cells in the hind wing whereas Pau. infuscata   has 6 (in both hind wings). Males of Pau. contigua   differ from Pau. confinis   in having the dorsal portion of abdominal segment 1 exposed rather than hidden. To separate males of Pau. contigua   from those individuals of Pau. accola   having the stems of fore wing veins M and CuA abutted, examination of the male aedeagus is necessary; the pseudoparameres of Pau. contigua   rise very high above the endotheca while those of Pau. accola   are either adjacent to the endotheca. However, any specimens with a fore wing length of 19.4 mm or below are most likely to be Pau. contigua   as no specimens of Pau. accola   are known to have a fore wing that short. Females of Pau. confinis   and Pau. accola   are indistinguishable from those of Pau. contigua   .

The male genitalia are unique in having the following combination of characters: a large and broad upper pygofer lobe that gradually tapers to a rounded point, a pair of pseudoparameres that arch high above the endotheca in lateral view, and an endotheca lacking a ventral support and with its apex bi-lobed.

Etymology. From the Latin contigua   meaning lying near, neighboring, and referring to the closely abutted but independent stems of veins M and CuA of the fore wing, an unusual feature amongst small black cicadas where the stems of these veins are usually fused as one.

Song ( Fig. 18 View Figure 18 ). The song is composed of a series of echemes and clicks. The echemes are short and nearly 3 occur every 0.4 s. Echemes are c. 0.07 s long. Following each echeme is a click, however, two clicks can occur. The song occurs between 6 kHz and 20 kHz with the dominant frequency between 8 kHz and 14 kHz.


South African Museum


Australian Museum


Laboratory of Palaeontology


Marine Science Museum, Tokai Univ.


Western Australian Museum














Pauropsalta contigua

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

Pauropsalta contigua

Owen, C & Marshall, K 2015: 260