Myopsalta coolahensis, Emery & Emery & Popple, 2015

Emery, Nathan J., Emery, David L. & Popple, Lindsay W., 2015, Redescription of Myopsalta atrata (Goding and Froggatt) and Description of Two New Species of Myopsalta Moulds (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) from Central Western New South Wales, Records of the Australian Museum 67 (6), pp. 185-199 : 192-195

publication ID 10.3853/j.2201-4349.67.2015.1646


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scientific name

Myopsalta coolahensis


Myopsalta coolahensis sp.nov.

Figs. 2B View Figure 2 , 6–8 View Figure 6 View Figure 7 View Figure 8

Type material. Holotype: ♂, 22 km S Coolah , [ Australia] NSW, 31 ° 56'25"S 149 ° 52'18"E, 503 m, 14.xi.[20]13, N. & D. Emery ( AM K447934 ) GoogleMaps . Paratypes: 2♂♂, 1♀, 22 km S Coolah , NSW, 31 ° 56'25"S 149 ° 52'18"E, 503 m, 13.xi.[20]13, N. & D. Emery GoogleMaps ; 8♂♂, same location, 14.xi.[20]13, N. & D. Emery GoogleMaps ; 4♂♂, 16♀♀, same location, 14.xi.[20]14, N. & D. Emery (recorded) GoogleMaps ; 1♂, same location, 14.xii.[20]14, C. & D. Emery GoogleMaps ; 2♂♂, same location, 16.ii.[20]15, N. & D. Emery GoogleMaps ; 7♂♂, 5 km E Coolah , NSW, 31 ° 47'17"S 149 ° 46'27"E, 521 m, 14.xi.[20]13, N. & D.Emery GoogleMaps ; 2♂♂, Black Stump Rd. , 15 km SW Coolah, NSW, 31 ° 57'17"S 149 ° 38'38"E, 420 m, 14.xi.[20]14, N. & D. Emery (all DE) GoogleMaps ; 2♂♂, 22 km S Coolah , NSW, 31 ° 56'25"S 149 ° 52'18"E, 503 m, 13.xi.[20]13, N. & D. Emery GoogleMaps ; 1♂, 2♀♀, 22 km S Coolah , NSW, 503 m, 31°56'25"S 149°52'18"E, N. & D. Emery (all LWP) GoogleMaps ; 1♀, 22 km S Coolah , NSW, 31 ° 56'25"S 149 ° 52'18"E, 503 m, 13.xi.[20]13, N. & D. Emery ( AM K447935 ) GoogleMaps .

Etymology. The name is based on the locality where this species has been found—the Coolah region of New South Wales.

Description. Male ( Figs 2B View Figure 2 , 6 View Figure 6 A–B). Head including outer margins of eyes slightly wider than mesonotum; largely black, with ochraceous triangular marking anterior to ocelli, apex directed anteriorly over postclypeus, ocelli pink to clear; postclypeus black centrally sometimes with central narrow longitudinal ochraceous line extending ventrally along medial surface, black transverse grooves, lateral margins ochraceous; anteclypeus shiny black; rostrum black, with length almost reaching anterior edge of posterior coxae; eyes black; antennae black, supra-antennal plates black.

Thorax mainly black. Pronotum black; pronotal collar shiny black with lateral margins rounded, wider than mesonotum. Mesonotum black; cruciform elevation black, lateral posterior margin variably ochraceous; metanotum black, lighter along dorsal ridge.

Legs with coxae striped black and ochraceous longitudinally, with black lateral fascia; femora also variably striped black and ochraceous longitudinally, fore leg spines black, erect; fore tibia black, mid and hind tibiae ochraceous; spines on hind legs translucent to brown; tarsi ochraceous becoming black at claws; claws black.

Wings with fore wing costal veins ochraceous with black anterior margins, becoming black distally from the node; basal membranes white; forewings veins M and CuA fused before meeting basal cell, vein 2A+3A black, other veins black at base, becoming ochraceous posteriorly; hind wing plaga white, mottled black centrally, becoming clear posteriorly, anal cell 2 variably mottled black anteriorly, becoming clear posteriorly, with six apical cells.

Opercula prominent, spatulate, anterior half black, ochraceous over remainder and rounded posteriorly, almost meeting at base. Meracanthus small, black at base with edges and tip ochraceous, pointed, not overlapping opercula.

Timbals ( Fig. 2B View Figure 2 ) with five distinct long ribs; long ribs 1–3 brown to black dorsally, much paler ventrally and becoming identical in colour to surrounding grey membrane, spanning entire height of timbal; long rib 4 brown, discontinuous, with an isolated ventral section; long rib 5 brown, comparatively shorter; long ribs 1–3 fused dorsally along basal spur; timbal dome translucent, extending over half width of timbal; apodeme pit oval-shaped, grey and conspicuous.

Abdomen with tergites 1 to 6 black, tergite 1 shorter than other tergites, with distinct grey u-shaped marking on lateral edge, directed posteriorly; tergite 2 black; tergites 3–7 black, posterior margins grey laterally, tergite 8 black, posterior and lateral areas ochraceous. Sternite I black, pale brown laterally; sternite II black with lateral posterior margin mottled pale brown; Sternite III pale brown with variable central black marking; sternites IV–VIII pale brown to lurid; sternite IX pale brown with white pubescence, extending beyond dorsal beak.

Genitalia ( Fig. 7 View Figure 7 ). Pygofer black dorsally, ochraceous laterally, dorsal beak black, anal styles yellowish, extended beyond dorsal beak; upper lobe of pygofer extended as far as dorsal beak, with apex acute, rounded at tip; basal lobe more produced than upper lobe, very rounded. Uncus ochraceous; in lateral view beak-like and stumpy; in ventral view tapered at lateral termination; claspers with apices gradually tapering laterally to an acute termination. Aedeagus with pseudoparameres extending well beyond theca; endotheca sclerotized, extending beyond ventral support, apex fairly blunt.

Female ( Fig. 6 View Figure 6 C–D).

Head, thorax and dorsal abdomen similar to male. Abdominal segment 9 black, lateral areas ochraceous with black spot, dorsal beak black with posterior edges ochraceous. Sternite I pale, sternite II pale, black centrally with lateral areas ochraceous, sternites III–VII ochraceous, sternite VIII ochraceous with prominent lateral black spot, white pubescence. Abdominal segment 9 ochraceous with central diffuse ovoid darker coloration parallel to ovipositor. Ovipositor brown at base, becoming black at tip, extending 1.5 mm past body.

Measurements (in mm; range with mean in parentheses: 12 males, 12 females). Body length: male 12.0–14.2 (13.3); female (incl. ovipositor) 14.0–15.2 (14.7). Fore wing length: male 14.3–16.3 (15.4); female 15.1–16.8 (15.7). Forewing width; male 5.8–6.9 (6.4); female 5.4–6.1 (5.8). Head width: male 4.5–5.0 (4.8); female 4.5–5.0 (4.7). Pronotum width: male 3.9–4.9 (4.8); female 4.0–4.6 (4.3). Abdomen width: male 5.4–6.6 (6.2); female 4.4–5.5 (5.0).

Distinguishing features. Myopsalta coolahensis sp.nov. can be distinguished from M. binotata (Goding & Froggatt) , M. lactea (Distant) and M. waterhousei (Distant) by its lack of forewing infuscations. Its black dorsal coloration distinguishes it from M. crucifera (Ashton) and M. mackinlayi (Distant) , which are both predominantly brown. Female specimens of M. coolahensis do not possess the orange to orange-brown sternite coloration of M. atrata , instead they are pale brown. Specimens of M. coolahensis sp.nov. can be distinguished from M. libritor sp.nov. by the absence of central black markings on sternites, present in the latter species. M. coolahensis can be distinguished from specimens of M. wollomombii by two main features: it possesses (1) a head width> 4.5 mm, and (2) a ventral thorax that is extensively blackened; M. wollomombi has a head width <4.3 mm and the ventral thorax is pale brown ( Coombs, 1995).

Calling song ( Fig. 8 View Figure 8 ). The call of this species features two components, an initial buzzing component and a repetitive buzzing component ( Fig. 8 View Figure 8 ). The initial buzzing component comprising a series of syllables (each being 4 milliseconds (ms) duration, three pulses; all statistics based on n = 1 recording), followed by a series of macrosyllables (each being 18–24 ms duration). This component ends with a final longer macrosyllable ranging between 34 and 40 ms duration. A period of silence between 75 and 78 ms duration occurs between multiple callings of this initial buzzing component. The duration of this component ranges between 1,280 and 1,500 ms.

The repetitive buzzing component comprises an echeme that ranges between 340 and 375 ms duration. This is followed by a (macro)syllable sequence ranging between 650 and 670 ms duration (comprising between 24 and 26 macrosyllables, each 19 to 21 ms duration, n = 1). A period of silence between 13 and 20 ms duration separates each of the macrosyllables.

The single recording indicates a highest amplitude frequency plateau between 9 and 11 kHz, and a dominant frequency of 10 kHz ( Fig. 8 View Figure 8 ). Some components of the song extend down to around 7.5 kHz.

Distribution, habitat and behaviour. Known only from three populations around Coolah, NSW ( Fig. 5 View Figure 5 ). The populations were located amongst roadside plants and grass <1 m in height and in adjacent paddocks, usually around half-way up the stalks. They were found to particularly favour wild oat grass ( Avena fatua ). All locations were flat, low-lying areas within 500 m of watercourses, particularly close to the Talbragar and Coolaburragundy rivers. These areas may provide more reliable food sources than surrounding areas, as the cicadas were not found on similar vegetation on local slopes and hills. Males were observed to become more wary with increasing temperature unless a female was present; they typically fly <5 m. This species ceases calling when wind gusts exceed 15 kmh.


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