Myopsalta septa, 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 : 77-82

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Myopsalta septa

n. sp.

Myopsalta septa n. sp.

( Figs 1N View FIGURE 1 , 21F View FIGURE 21 , 22K, 22L View FIGURE 22 , 28 View FIGURE 28 , 30 View FIGURE 30 , 31 View FIGURE 31 ; Plate 14 View PLATE 14 ) Types. Holotype: ♂ Tannymorel , SEQ, 21.x.2001, L. Popple, J. Moss, 288-0002, QM Reg. No. T 239571 (QM) ; Paratypes: QUEENSLAND: 1♀ Westbrook Creek , 7 km W. of Drayton, 3.xii.2001, J. Moss & L. Popple, 288- 0 0 0 8 (QM); 1♂ same data as previous, 288-0009; 3♂ same data as holotype, 288-0001, 288-0003, 288-0004; 1♂ Willowvale N. of Warwick, 11.xii.2001, L. Popple & J. Moss, 288-0005; 2♂ Leslie Dam via Warwick, 20.xi.2001, L. Popple & J. Moss, 288-0006, 288-0007; 2♂ Drayton, 2.xii.2001, L. Popple & J. Moss, 288-0010, 288-0011; 1♂ Junction of New England and Cunningham Highways, 11.xi.2001, L. Popple & J. Moss, 288-0012; 2♂ 10 km N. of Toowoomba, 28.x.2001, L. Popple & J. Moss, 288-0013, 188-0014; 1♂ 2 km N. of Oakey, 19.x.2003, L. Popple & A. Strange, 288-0015; 1♀ Gore, near Cement Mills, Cunningham Highway via Warwick, 10.xii.2003, L.W. Popple, 188-0016 (LWP); 1♂ Warwick, 1.i.1990, R. Eastwood ( MSM) ; NEW SOUTH WALES: 3♂ 1♀ Delungra , 29°33.20'S 150°49.45'E, 10.xii.2011, N. & D. Emery (DE); 1♂ same data as previous, 288-0017 (LWP). GoogleMaps

Etymology. The Latin word septa (plural, a noun in apposition), meaning paddocks, enclosures, referring to the largely modified habitat that this species occupies (virtually all specimens have been taken from paddocks in agricultural areas).

Description. Male. ( Figs 1N View FIGURE 1 , 21F View FIGURE 21 , 22K, 22L View FIGURE 22 ; Plates 14A, 14B View PLATE 14 ).

Head: Postclypeus predominantly black, pale brown to orange-brown along lateral and ventral margins and with a pale brown area medially in anterior view, extending on to dorsal side and widening posteriorly; supraantennal plates black, pale brown anteriorly and dorso-laterally; genae black; mandibular plates black, covered by silvery pubescence; frons black; vertex black, with a pale brown area extending along epicranial suture from between lateral ocelli to posterior margin; vertex and frons with sparse silvery pubescence; ocelli pale red; compound eyes brown; anteclypeus black, brown to 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 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 black; pronotal collar black, with brown to dark brown dorsolateral posterior margins; metanotum dark brown to black; mesonotum brown; submedian sigilla black; lateral sigilla broad, dark brown to black; lateral edges of mesonotum black; cruciform elevation and wing grooves brown, black medially; posterior quarter of mesonotum with dense fine and sparse long silver pubescence.

Wings: Fore wings hyaline; basal membranes pale orange-brown; pterostigmata brown; 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 brown medially; hyaline over remainder; veins pale brown basally, brown to dark brown on distal half.

Legs: Fore coxae pale brown, with extensive longitudinal dark brown areas on medial anterior and posterior sides; mid and hind coxae pale brown, with dark brown longitudinal markings on all sides; meracantha spikes dark brown, becoming pale brown apically and sometimes laterally, overlapping opercula; fore femora dark brown with pale brown longitudinal areas on outer anterior sides, pale brown apically; mid femora dark brown with pale brown apices; hind femora dark brown, sometimes pale brown basally and apically; fore tibiae dark brown; mid tibiae pale brown with a dark brown band on lower apical half; hind tibiae pale brown; fore tarsi brown to dark brown; mid tarsi pale brown basally, grading to brown apically; hind tarsi pale brown; pretarsi and claws brown.

Opercula ( Fig. 1N View FIGURE 1 ): Broadly rounded; dark brown basally, brown to pale brown over remainder; plates undulating, medial areas weakly depressed.

Timbals ( Fig. 21F 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: Tergites 1 and 2 black; tergite 2 wider along dorsal midline than tergites 3 to 7; tergites 3 to 7 black, with diffuse brown areas on dorso-lateral posterior margins, all with dense short silver pubescence on dorso-lateral sides and with extensive long and short silver pubescence on lateral sides; tergite 8 black, covered in short silver pubescence; intersegmental membranes pale olive-brown to brown; epipleurites black, with sparse silver pubescence; sternite II black laterally, pale brown ventro-laterally, with a dark brown area medially; 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, often with diffuse pale brown to brown areas along lateral margins, sometimes also pale brown over posterior third; sternite VIII pale brown, or entirely dark brown to black in some specimens; anterior sternites visible in lateral view.

Genitalia ( Figs 22K, L View FIGURE 22 ): Pygofer dark brown, becoming brown to pale brown posteriorly; upper lobes in ventral view relatively linear, with terminals directed inwards and dorsally, broadly tapering; basal lobes in ventral and lateral views relatively flat; median lobe of uncus rounded, protruding gradually; claspers in ventral view conspicuous, diverged or closely abutting, with acute apices; pseudoparameres projecting further (ventrally) than endotheca and ventral support; ventral support acute, projecting slightly beyond endotheca; endotheca fleshy.

Female ( Plate 14C View PLATE 14 ): Head, wings and legs match description of male.

Thorax: Pronotum brown; central fascia pale brown, surrounded with black colouration, which broadens towards anterior pronotal margin and to a lesser degree towards posterior pronotal margin; pronotal collar mostly brown to pale brown, tending dark brown to black anteriorly and on margins of lateral angles; metanotum dark brown to black; mesonotum brown to pale brown; submedian sigilla black; lateral sigilla black with sporadic brown intrusions; cruciform elevation and wing grooves pale brown, dark brown medially; posterior quarter of mesonotum with dense fine and sparse long silver pubescence.

Abdomen: Tergite 1 dark brown, pale brown on dorso-lateral sides; tergites 2 to 7 dark brown, with brown areas on dorso-lateral posterior quarters; tergite 8 brown, dark brown on anterior third and medially; tergites 7 and 8 with conspicuous long silver pubescence; auditory capsules black; abdominal segment 9 brown, with dark brown to black dorso-lateral markings, tending pale brown on posterior lateral sides; dorsal beak black, sharply defined; sternite II pale brown, brown to dark brown medially; epipleurites pale brown with dark brown speckling; sternites III to VI pale brown with relatively narrow dark brown areas medially, often broadening posteriorly; sternite VII pale brown; ovipositor sheath extends approximately 3.5 mm beyond apex of abdominal segment 9.

Measurements. N= 15♂ 3♀. Ranges and means (in parentheses), mm; BL: ♂ 12.9–16.0 (14.27); ♀ 16.0–18.8 (17.55). FWL: ♂ 15.0–17.0 (16.09); ♀ 15.6–18.5 (17.35). HW: ♂ 4.0–4.4 (4.13); ♀ 4.3–4.4 (4.35). PW: ♂ 4.0–4.6 (4.22); ♀ 4.5–4.7 (4.57). AW: ♂ 4.3–4.9 (4.61); ♀ 4.1–4.6 (4.48). FWL/W: ♂ 2.65–2.96 (2.76); ♀ 2.70–2.95 (2.80). OL: ♀ 7.8–9.0 (8.55).

Morphological distinguishing features. Myopsalta septa n. sp. can be distinguished from M. atrata , M. binotata , M. coolahensis , M. gordoni n. sp., M. lactea , M. libritor , M. waterhousei and M. xerograsidia n. sp. by the colour of the basal membranes of the fore wings, which is pale brown or pale orange rather than white to pale grey. It can be separated from the closely similar M. melanobasis n. sp. and M. platyptera n. sp. following examination of the fore wing basal cells, which are entirely hyaline rather than partially opaque. Males and females can be separated from M. albiventris n. sp. and M. wollomombii by the colouration of the sternites, which is predominantly brown to dark brown centrally (cf. almost entirely pale brown). They can be distinguished from M. chrysopedia n. sp., M. majurae n. sp. and M. riverina n. sp. by having a head width <4.6 mm. Males can be distinguished from M. bassiana n. sp., M. mackinlayi , M. leona n. sp., M. longicauda n. sp., M. parvula n. sp. and M. umbra n. sp. by the colouration of sternite VII, which is brown to dark brown bordered with pale brown on the lateral and sometimes ventral margins, rather entirely dark brown to black. In south-east Queensland, M. septa n. sp. can be distinguished from the closely similar M. crucifera by the colour of the dorso-lateral sides of the tergites, which is black rather than brown. In parts of northern Queensland males of a darker form of M. crucifera may appear indistinguishable from M. septa n. sp.; however the latter species does not occur in northern Queensland. Females of M. septa n. sp. can be distinguished from M. bassiana n. sp., M. crucifera , M. leona n. sp., M. mackinlayi , M. longicauda n. sp., M. parvula n. sp. and M. umbra n. sp. by the length of the ovipositor sheath, which extends approximately 3.5 mm beyond the apex of abdominal segment 9; this length being slightly greater than the length of abdominal segment 9 (each of these other species has a shorter ovipositor length with the exception of M. longicauda n. sp.). Notably, females of M. majurae n. sp. and M. riverina n. sp. are not yet available for comparison.

Distribution, habitat and behaviour ( Fig. 28 View FIGURE 28 ). Myopsalta septa has a restricted distribution in central eastern Australia within the area bounded approximately by Jandowae, Murphy’s Creek, Killarney in south-east Queensland and Delungra in northern New South Wales. Populations occur in open grassland and grassy paddocks where the adults are typically found on grass or low timber. Adults have been found from October to December. Males sing actively during warm sunny conditions, or more tentatively during cool and/or windy weather.

Calling song ( Figs 30 View FIGURE 30 , 31 View FIGURE 31 ). The calling song of M. septa has a reeling or sweeping quality. This is due to the presence of slightly varying arrangements of syllable sequences, echemes and silent gaps. Close examination of song structure reveals that there are two subphrase types: a single echeme subphrase and a double echeme subphrase. These appear to interchange freely (and often unpredictably) during song production. The single echeme subphrases each comprise a sequence of 4–>10 syllables (syllables 0.01 s duration, gaps <0.01– 0.08 s duration, decreasing successively; total duration of 0.09– 0.43 s), followed by a long echeme (0.24– 0.39 s) and a long gap (0.15– 0.53 s duration) (all statistics, n = 19 recordings). Within each single echeme subphrase, the amplitude increased markedly during production of the echeme to a multiple of up to 3x the amplitude of the preceding syllable sequence. The double echeme subphrase commences in the same way as the single echeme subphrase except that following the long echeme there is a second, longer and higher amplitude, syllable sequence (with gaps between syllables initially 0.005– 0.015 s duration, extending up to 0.03– 0.07 s duration in mid sequence, then decreasing again towards the end of the sequence; 0.6– 1.1 s total duration), followed by another echeme (0.25– 0.43 s duration) and a long gap (typically 0.14– 0.24 s duration). It is suspected that females would respond with a wing-flick signal to a calling male during the long gaps; however it is not known whether they respond at the end of each single echeme subphrase or each double echeme subphrase, or both.

This species calls during the day in warm, sunny conditions. The calling song maintains an even frequency distribution throughout, with a high amplitude plateau betwen 9.8 and 14.7 kHz and a dominant frequency of 10.5– 13.0 kHz.


Marine Science Museum, Tokai Univ.