Pauropsalta confinis, 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: 141-143

publication ID 10.3853/j.2201-4349.68.2016.1598

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Pauropsalta confinis


Pauropsalta confinis   n.sp.

Fig. 16 View Figure 16 , Pl. 2

Pauropsalta sp.   “sandstone”, Marshall & Hill, 2009:4, fig. 6H. Pauropsalta confinis Owen et al., 2015: 260   , nomen nudum.

Types. Holotype male (genitalia prep.PAU212,molecular voucher 06.AU. WA.WSS.06; GenBank accessions: KM377206, KM377332, KM377504, KM377546, KM668345), 30.5 km W of Sandstone , Western Australia, 28°00.692'S 118°59.922'E, 570 m, 17.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds ( WAM) GoogleMaps   . Paratypes — WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1♂, 1♀, 29 km S of Menzies , 9.ii.2006, M.Hanlon & M. Powell ( AE)   . 1♀, 29 km S of Menzies , 9.ii.2006, M. Hanlon & M. Powell ( LP)   . 2♂♂ (1 molecular voucher 06.AU. WA.WSS.06), 30.5 km W of Sandstone , 28°00.692'S 118°59.922'E, 570 m, 17.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds GoogleMaps   ; 1♂ (genitalia prep. PAU 289), 26 km S of Menzies , 9.ii.2006, M. Hanlon & M. Powell   ; 1♂ (genitalia prep. PAU 375), 36.4 km N of Bullfinch , 12.i.2002, P. Hutchinson   ; 1♂, 2♀♀, 29 km S of Menzies , 9.ii.2006, M. Hanlon & M. Powell   ; 2♀♀, 23 km S of Menzies , 10.ii.2006, M. Hanlon & M. Powell   ; 1♂, 55 km S of Menzies , 9.ii.2006, M. Hanlon & M. Powell ( MSM)   . 1♂ (genitalia prep. PAU 324), 30.5 km W of Sandstone , 28°00.692'S 118°59.922'E, 570 m, 17.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds ( WAM) GoogleMaps   .

Distribution ( Fig. 16 View Figure 16 ). Western Australia where it is known from an area north of the wheat belt in the drier southern third of the State, north to near Sandstone, west to 57 km inland from Mullewa, east as far as the Menzies district and south to near Bullfinch. All known localities are areas receiving approximately 200–400 mm average annual rainfall. There are records between mid January and mid February only but emergence of adults is probably associated with periods of high rainfall during the hotter months of the year.

Habitat. Adults inhabit mallee and other eucalypts where they perch on the trunks and branches.


Male (Pl. 2). 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 muddy yellow or pale reddish brown; transverse ridges and central groove distinct. Anteclypeus jet black. Rostrum black, occasionally tending brown proximally, reaching to or beyond apices of mid coxae, but usually to base of hind coxae. Antennae black tending white distally. Supra-antennal plates black, sometimes partly edged dull yellow or reddish brown along anterior margin.

Thorax. Pronotum black, usually with reddish brown and pale yellow markings; center of pronotum 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 or dark brown 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; often a narrow reddish brown fascia on midline variable in length between individuals; usually a reddish brown marking on either side from, or near, anterior arms or the 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 becoming confluent with marking along midline; sometimes a reddish brown blotch between anterior arms of cruciform elevation; lower lateral area usually with a reddish brown streak; scutal depressions occasionally visible as black dots surrounded by reddish brown; cruciform elevation yellow to muddy yellow, anterior arms with distal ends black, sometimes 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 a brown to yellowish brown fascia to varying degrees along anterior length of femora, sometimes a brownish fascia along lateral exterior of femora; femora with spines black to dark brown; pretarsal claws black to dark brown. Mid and hind legs mostly black or brown tending dark brown; coxa with proximal margin edged pale reddish brown; reddish brown along anterior length of femora; tibiae and tarsi brown tending yellowish 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 slightly curving inwards near arculus; minor 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; black tending dull yellow on distal half.

Timbals with four long ribs spanning the width of timbal membrane and one much shorter anterior rib terminating before 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 and greatly reduced, not visible at dorsal midline; 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 to yellow to varying degrees, sometimes with reddish brown to yellow spot adjacent to posterior margin and sometimes an elongate mark of similar colour laterally; tergite 8 black with reddish brown and/or yellow posterior margin, widest around midline. Sternite I black; sternites II–VII black with posterior margin yellow to varying degrees, widest at lateral extremities; sternite VIII black tending yellowish brown distally.

Genitalia ( Fig. 16 View Figure 16 ). Pygofer upper lobe wide and long, in lateral view gradually tapering to a broad rounded apex. Basal pygofer lobe small, rounded; a rounded flap-like lobe above basal pygofer lobe. Median lobe of uncus wider than long with a rounded apex. Claspers claw-like, but very flattened, apices turned outwards and rather short and conical. Aedeagus with pseudoparameres as long as or a little longer than endotheca, slender, flattened in cross section, lying arched high above endotheca in lateral view, in dorsal view tending parallel to each other but distally slightly diverging, their apices constricted and almost spine-like in shape. Endotheca gently curved upwards in lateral view, circular in cross-section, apex square-cut or nearly so with a rim bearing minute spines.

Female (Pl. 2). Similar to male. Tergites VIII black with posterior half reddish brown and yellow.Abdominal segment 9 black with a black fascia on each side of midline extending from the anterior margin but not reaching posterior margin. Ovipositor sheath long, extending some 2.0 mm beyond apex of abdomen; dark brown to black.

Measurements. Range and mean (in mm) for 7♂♂ and 1♀; includes smallest and largest of available specimens. Length of body: male 15.2–18.0 (16.6); female 19.8. Length of fore wing: male 19.4–22.6 (20.6); female 22.4. Width of fore wing: male 6.4–7.7 (6.9); female 7.5. Ratio length/width of fore wing: male 2.9–3.1 (3.0); female 3.0. Width of head (including eyes): male 5.1–6.3 (5.5); female 5.7. Width of pronotum (across lateral angles): male 5.3–6.5 (5.8); female 6.2.

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 those species of small black cicadas with M and CuA abutted Pau. confinis   differs from all in having the dorsal portion of tergite 1 concealed, whereas it is clearly visible in the other species.

The male genitalia are unique in having the endotheca curved upwards and the following combination of characters: a large and broad upper pygofer lobe that gradually tapers to a blunt point, an endotheca lacking a ventral support and with its apex square-cut and edged in minute spine-like projections, and a pair of pseudoparameres that arch high above the endotheca in lateral view.

Etymology. From the Latin confinis   meaning neighboring, adjoining, 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. 16 View Figure 16 ). The song is composed of long series of continuous pulses and echemes. The pulses usually last for less than 0.25 s to greater than 2 s. Echemes range in size from 2 s to less than 1 s. The song ranges from 0–24 kHz.


Western Australian Museum


Laboratory of Palaeontology


Marine Science Museum, Tokai Univ.














Pauropsalta confinis

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

Pauropsalta sp.

Owen, C & Marshall, K 2015: 260