Talcopsaltriini, Moulds, 2008

Moulds, M. S., 2008, Talcopsaltriini, a New Tribe for a New Genus and Species of Australian Cicada (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae), Records of the Australian Museum 60 (3), pp. 207-214 : 207-208

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https://doi.org/ 10.3853/j.0067-1975.60.2008.1496

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new tribe

Tribe Talcopsaltriini new tribe

In a recent paper (Moulds, 2005) I reviewed the tribes of Australian cicadas and provided keys to their identities. Using the key to the subfamily Cicadinae from that paper, the new tribe described here comes out as Platypleurini . It indeed has a number of attributes in common with the Platypleurini as follows: vertical compression of the body; pronotal collar moderately broad and even in width between the lateral angles; postclypeus broad in dorsal view giving the head a blunt appearance (although not in Koma Distant , and to a lesser degree in Sadaka Distant ); male abdomen stout, in length less than head and thorax together; male abdominal tergites 2 and 3 wider along their midlines than tergites 4–7; epimeral lobe reaching to operculum; primary spine of the fore femur prostrate; male genitalia with aedeagus tubular, simple.

There are, however, six notable differences that separate the new tribe from the Platypleurini : fore wing precostal area is not dilated; pronotal collar lateral margin is not dilated horizontally; male pygofer with a well developed distal shoulder; male uncus completely lacking of clasper development on either side of base of median lobe ( Platypleurini show low swellings at the median lobe base); male timbal cover substantially reduced so that less than half the timbal cavity is covered ( Platypleurini have the timbal covers reaching the metathorax); and reduction of the timbal cover is entirely lateral whereas in those platypleurine genera with reduced timbal covers ( Afzeliada Boulard , Brevisiana Boulard , Ioba Distant , Kongota Distant , Platypleura Amyot & Serville , Pycna Amyot & Serville , Sadaka Distant , Ugada Distant and possibly a few others not examined) there is a vertical contraction of the timbal cover from the top of the timbal cavity and any lateral reduction is minimal. These differences suggest either a different origin for Talcopsaltria n.gen. from that of the Platypleurini , or a sister group relationship within the Platypleurini to all other platypleurine genera. The latter difference, that is timbal covers that reach to the top of the timbal cavity in Talcopsaltria , is considered particularly significant in showing that Talcopsaltria has a different origin [see discussion of timbal cover development in Moulds (2005: 413)] and I believe shows a distinction distant enough from the Platypleurini to warrant separate tribal status.

Within the Australian fauna there are similarities also with the Thophini and Cryptotympanini . While both have well developed timbal covers that close the timbal cavity, the Thophini have highly modified swollen timbal covers and associated abdominal modification while the Cryptotympanini have a significantly different thecal shape where the theca recurves basally through 180°or more. Australian Cicadinae tribes with minimal timbal cover development (covering less than half the timbal cavity) are the Jassopsaltriini , Burbungini and Tamasini . Unlike Talcopsaltria all three of these tribes have timbal covers that do not reach the top of the timbal cavity. Further, the Jassopsaltriini and Burbungini have the base of the theca shaped similarly to that of the Cryptotympanini and an epimeral lobe not reaching the operculum while the Tamasini have differences that include a very different basal plate where the basal part of the basal plate is directed upwards and is nearly parallel with the thecal shaft.

There are no New Guinean or Indonesian cicadas with timbal covers that reach half way or less across the timbal cavity.

Type genus: Talcopsaltria n.gen. (type species Talcopsaltria olivei n.sp.)

Included genera: Talcopsaltria n.gen.


Head with distance between supra-antennal plate and eye much greater than length of antennal plate. Postclypeus rounded in transverse cross-section; postclypeal ridges lacking transverse grooves towards distal ends. Fore wing pterostigma present; costa parallel-sided to node; veins C and R+Sc close together; vein RA1 aligned closely with subcosta (Sc) for its length. Hind wing with anal lobe broad and vein 3A curved at distal end, long, separated from wing margin. Meracanthus gradually tapering to a point, triangular or nearly so. Abdomen with epipleurites reflexed to ventral surface, epipleurites not kinked inwardly in a V-shape. Timbals extended below wing bases. Timbal covers flat, clearly not reaching metathorax, not reduced dorsally or ventrally so that the upper margin originates from the very top of timbal cavity and the lower margin extends from near auditory capsule. Male pygofer with upper lobe absent; distal shoulder well developed, lobe-like; pygofer basal lobe moderately developed. Uncus undivided and dominated by large median lobe that is digitate or basically tubular. Claspers entirely undeveloped, absent. Aedeagus with ventral rib completely fused with basal plate; theca with shaft gently curved more or less in an arc; pseudoparameres absent.

Distinguishing characters

Separated from other tribes by a combination of the following two characters: distance between supra-antennal plate and eye much greater than length of supra-antennal plate; hind wing 1st cubital cell at distal end shorter than that of 2nd cubital cell. Males are easily distinguished by a combination of the following two characters: a short abdomen that is less than the length of head and thorax together; small timbal covers that cover half or less of the timbal cavity and protrude forwards from the very top of the timbal cavity.