Myopsalta melanobasis, Popple, 2017

Popple, Lindsay W., 2017, A revision of the Myopsalta crucifera (Ashton) species group (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadettini) with 14 new species from mainland Australia, Zootaxa 4340 (1), pp. 1-98 : 61-66

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Myopsalta melanobasis

n. sp.

Myopsalta melanobasis n. sp.

( Figs 1J View FIGURE 1 , 17 View FIGURE 17 , 21B View FIGURE 21 , 22C, 22D View FIGURE 22 , 24 View FIGURE 24 , 25 View FIGURE 25 ; Plate 10 View PLATE 10 )

Types. Holotype: ♂ 14.6 km W. of Drillham Creek , 26°38.62'S 149°49.96'E, 16.xi.1998, A. Ewart, Brigalow, QM Reg. No. T 239569 (QM); Paratypes: QUEENSLAND GoogleMaps : 1♂ same data as holotype GoogleMaps ; 1♂ same data as previous, recorded GoogleMaps ; 2♂ Brigalow Township (20 km SE. of Chinchilla ), 26°59.96'S 150°47.88'E, 16.x.1998, Ewart, Brigalow GoogleMaps ; 2♂ 14.9 km W. of Drillham , 26°38.60'S 149°49.99'E, 10.i.2002, A. Ewart, Brigalow GoogleMaps ; 3♂ 1♀ 1 km E. of Brigalow Township , 22.xii.2001, 26°59.94'S 150°47.83' E, A. Ewart, Brigalow (AE) GoogleMaps ; 1♀ same data as previous (QM) GoogleMaps ; 3♂ Queensland, Southwood National Park via Moonie , 5–10.xii.2005, L. Popple & A. Ewart, 27°48'25''S 150°05'15''E, 283-0001 to 283-0003 (LWP) GoogleMaps ; 2♂ AU.QL.INW, approx.. 28 km W. of Injune , 25°47.557'S 148°20.241'E, 476 m, 10.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey GoogleMaps ; 1♂ same data as previous, C. Simon Lab Voucher, legs in ETOH, body pinned, 08.AU.QL.INW.01, specimen recorded GoogleMaps ; 1♂ same data as previous, 08.AU.QL.INW.02, specimen recorded ( MSM). GoogleMaps

Etymology. A Latinised, compound noun (presented in apposition) of the Greek words melanos and basis, which translates to ‘dark base’, referring to the opaque, dark brown base of the clavus. Within the genus Myopsalta , this feature is is shared only with M. platyptera n. sp.

Description. Male. ( Figs 1J View FIGURE 1 , 21B View FIGURE 21 , 22C, 22D View FIGURE 22 ; Plates 10A, 10B View PLATE 10 ).

Head: Postclypeus predominantly black, pale brown to orange-brown along lateral and ventral and along adjacent grooves, with a pale brown marking extending from medial anterior on to dorsal side and widening posteriorly; supra-antennal plates dull brown to dark brown; genae black; mandibular plates black with orangebrown margins, covered by silvery pubescence; frons black; vertex black, with a pale brown area extending along epicranial suture from median ocellus to posterior margin; vertex and frons with sparse silvery pubescence; ocelli pink; compound eyes brown; anteclypeus black, pale brown medially; rostrum brown to dark brown, darker apically, extending to posterior margins of mid coxae; antennae dark brown to black.

Thorax: Pronotum brown; central fascia dull yellow-brown, surrounded with black colouration, which broadens towards anterior and posterior pronotal margins; interior pronotum with irregular dark brown to black patches near paramedian and lateral fissures; lateral margins partly black; pronotal collar black, with brown to dark brown posterior margins; metanotum dark brown to black; mesonotum including submedian and lateral sigilla, black, with brown areas on lateral sides of lateral sigilla and between the submedian and lateral sigilla extending on to arms and lateral sides of cruciform elevation and posterior half of wing grooves; posterior third of mesonotum with dense fine and sparse long silver pubescence.

Wings: Fore wings hyaline; basal membranes pale orange; pterostigmata reddish-brown; proximal tenth of clavi and distal third of basal cells opaque, dark brown, hyaline over remainder; veins, including costal vein, pale brown to brown, darker distally. Hind wing plagas white at base, this colour extending along jugal folds and terminating before apices, pale grey-brown medially; hyaline over remainder; veins pale brown basally, brown to dark brown on distal half.

Legs: Fore coxae dark brown with pale brown edges; mid coxae brown with dark brown to black edges, joints pinkish-brown, pale brown apically; hind coxae pale brown, with dark brown longitudinal markings on all sides; meracantha spikes pale brown, dark brown at base, overlapping opercula; fore femora dark brown with pale brown longitudinal areas on anterior and outer sides, pale brown apically; mid femora brown with dark brown to black longitudinal markings on anterior and posterior sides, pale brown apices; hind femora brown, sometimes pale brown basally and apically; fore tibiae dark brown; mid tibiae brown, each with two pale brown bands, one above base, another near apex; hind tibiae pale brown with a single brown band centrally; fore tarsi pale brown to brown; mid and hind tarsi pale brown; pretarsi and claws brown.

Opercula ( Fig. 1J View FIGURE 1 ): Broadly rounded; dark brown to black over basal half, brown over remainder; plates undulating, medial areas weakly depressed.

Timbals ( Fig. 21B View FIGURE 21 ): Anterior rib 5 abbreviated; rib 4 also abbreviated, with a prominent isolated remnant extension ventrally; ribs 1 and 2 joined ventrally and fused dorsally to basal spur; anterior termination of basal spur fused with ribs 3–4, with rib 5 unattached; prominent intercalary short ribs in medial areas between ribs 1 and 2, 2 and 3, and 3 and 4 (three in total).

Abdomen: Tergite 1 dark brown to black; tergite 2 wider along dorsal midline than tergites 3 to 7, black with brown markings dorso-laterally on posterior half; tergites 3 to 8 black, or dark brown in palest specimens, with broad brown areas on dorso-lateral posterior margins, all with dense short golden pubescence on medial areas, silver pubescence on dorso-lateral sides and with extensive long and short silver pubescence on lateral sides; epipleurites mixed brown and dark brown, with orange-brown to pinkish-brown infusions in some specimens, sparse silver pubescence; sternite II black, brown to pale brown ventro-laterally; sternites III to VI pale brown laterally, with dark brown areas medially, which broaden slightly posteriorly, gradually increasing in size distally in each successive sternite; sternite VII dark brown; sternite VIII dark brown; anterior sternites visible in lateral view.

Genitalia ( Figs 22C, D View FIGURE 22 ): Pygofer dark brown anteriorly, becoming brown to pale brown posteriorly; upper lobes in ventral view enclosing uncus, with terminals directed dorsally, broadly tapering; basal lobes in ventral and lateral views gradually curved, slightly expressed; median lobe of uncus rounded, relatively narrow; claspers in ventral view conspicuous, weakly diverged, with acute apices; pseudoparameres projecting further (ventrally) than endotheca and ventral support; ventral support acute, projecting slightly beyond endotheca; endotheca fleshy.

Female ( Plate 10C View PLATE 10 ): Wings match description of male.

Head: Postclypeus predominantly pale brown, dorsal side with black anterior-lateral edges; transverse grooves black; supra-antennal plates brown; genae brown to pale brown; mandibular plates dark brown to black, covered by silvery pubescence; frons black; vertex brown to pale brown with areas of dark brown to black colouration, especially surrounding the ocelli; vertex and frons with sparse silvery pubescence; ocelli pink; compound eyes brown; anteclypeus pale brown, black laterally; rostrum brown, dark brown apically, extending to posterior margins of mid coxae; antennae dark brown.

Thorax: Pronotum brown to pale brown, median lateral areas with a diffuse network of dark brown markings; central fascia pale brown, surrounded with dark brown colouration; pronotal collar mostly brown to pale brown, tending dark brown to black anteriorly and on margins of lateral angles; metanotum brown; mesonotum brown to pale brown; submedian and lateral sigilla dark brown; cruciform elevation and wing grooves pale brown; posterior quarter of mesonotum with dense fine and sparse long silver pubescence.

Legs: Fore coxae brown; mid and hind coxae pale brown each with a dark brown marking anteriorly; meracantha spikes pale brown; fore femora pale brown with dark brown longitudinal areas on anterior and outer sides; mid and hind femora pale brown with brown longitudinal markings on anterior and posterior sides; fore tibiae brown; mid and hind tibiae pale brown; tarsi pale brown; pretarsi and claws brown.

Abdomen: Tergite 1 brown to pale brown; tergites 2 to 8 brown, with dark brown central markings extending along anterior dorso-lateral margins; tergites 7 and 8 with conspicuous long silver pubescence; auditory capsules black; abdominal segment 9 brown, pale brown medially, with dark brown to black dorso-lateral markings; dorsal beak black, sharply defined; sternite II pale brown; epipleurites brown to pale brown; sternites III to VI pale brown with relatively narrow dark brown to black areas medially, often broadening posteriorly; sternite VII pale brown; ovipositor sheath extends approximately 1.0 mm beyond apex of abdominal segment 9.

Measurements. N= 13♂ 2♀. Ranges and means (in parentheses), mm; BL: ♂ 13.6–15.2 (14.2); ♀ 14.9–15.6 (15.3). FWL: ♂ 14.9–17.2 (16.2); ♀ 17.0–17.8 (17.4). HW: ♂ 4.2–4.7 (4.5); ♀ 4.5–4.6 (4.6). PW: ♂ 4.1–4.9 (4.5); ♀ 4.8–4.9 (4.9). AW: ♂ 4.3–5.1 (4.9); ♀ 4.6–4.8 (4.7). FWL/W: ♂ 2.52–2.81 (2.70); ♀ 2.69–2.76 (2.73). OL: ♀ 5.0–5.7 (5.4).

Morphological distinguishing features. Myopsalta melanobasis n. sp. can be distinguished from all other species in the genus Myopsalta , apart from M. coolahensis , M. libritor , M. platyptera n. sp. and some individuals of M. parvula n. sp. by the appearance of the bases of the fore wing clavi, which are partially opaque dark brown rather than entirely hyaline. It can be distinguished from M. coolahensis and M. libritor by the colour of the basal membranes of the fore wings, which is orange rather than white. It can be separated from M. parvula n. sp. by having a fore wing length> 14.8 mm and also by the partly brown (as opposed to completely black) colouration of the tergites. It can be distinguished from M. leona n. sp. by the appearance eof the distal corner of the fore wing basal cell (adjacent to the costa and radial cell), which is partly translucent brown to dark brown and not entirely hyaline. It is almost identical in appearance to M. platyptera n. sp. and indeed the females are indistinguishable.

However the males can be separated by the colouration of the lateral sides of tergite 8, which is dark brown to black, especially on the anterior half (c.f. diffusely brown in M. platyptera n. sp.).

Distribution, habitat and behaviour ( Fig. 17 View FIGURE 17 ). Myopsalta melanobasis n. sp. is known only from south-east Queensland in the area bordered by Drillham in the west, near Taroom in the north, Southwood National Park in the south and the township of Brigalow in the east. Populations occur perhaps exclusively in association with Brigalow ( Acacia harpophylla ), which grows in dark, cracking clay soils. Adults have been found from October to January. Males sing in bursts during warm sunny conditions. They typically sit on twigs and thin branches amongst foliage.

Calling song ( Figs 24 View FIGURE 24 , 25 View FIGURE 25 ). When calling, males produce a rapid and fairly constant emission of short macrosyllables (0.012– 0.021 s duration), evenly spaced by gaps (0.027– 0.041 s duration), giving an overall rate of repetition of 18–24 macrosyllables per second. Close examination of the calling song reveals that the bursts of macrosyllables are occasionally interrupted by a longer gap of 0.05– 0.11 s duration. It is postulated that the female would respond with a wing-flick during the longest examples of these gaps, which are typically preceded by a single isolated macrosyllable (e.g. Fig. 25f View FIGURE 25 ).

This species calls during the day and it is not known whether it also sings at dusk. The calling song maintains an even frequency distribution throughout, with a high amplitude plateau of 9.6–15.1 kHz and a dominant frequency of approximately 11.2–13.9 kHz.


Marine Science Museum, Tokai Univ.