Ewartia oldfieldi ( Distant, 1883 ),

Popple, Lindsay W., 2017, A revision of the Ewartia oldfieldi (Distant) species complex (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadettinae) with five new species from eastern and northern Australia, Zootaxa 4263 (3), pp. 401-449: 405-412

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Ewartia oldfieldi ( Distant, 1883 )


Ewartia oldfieldi ( Distant, 1883) 

(Plates 1A, 1B; Figs 1View FIGURE 1, 2View FIGURE 2 A, 3–6, 7A)

Melampsalta oldfieldi Distant, 1883: 191  ; Goding and Froggatt, 1904: 642; Distant, 1906: 175; Ashton, 1914: 353; Burns, 1957: 660.

Cicadetta oldfieldi (Distant)  : Ewart, 1986: 51, Table 1; Moulds, 1990: 163, Plate 16, Figs 10, 10View FIGURE 10 A; Ewart, 1995: 88.

Cicadetta  sp. nr oldfieldi: Popple and Strange, 2002: 17  –18, 24, 29, Figs 1View FIGURE 1 A, 5D, Table 1.

Ewartia oldfieldi (Distant)  : Moulds, 2012: 103; Sanborn, 2014: 589.

Ewartia  nr. oldfieldi Marshall et al. 2016: 10  .

Types. Holotype ♀ ‘New Holland’ (BMNH).

Other material. QUEENSLAND: 1♂ Queensland, Toowong, Jarvis, 1912, A. cunninghamii  ; 1M Queensland, Rockhampton, H. Brown, 1911  ; 1♂ St Lucia , Brisbane Q., 28.i.1990, T. A. Lambkin; 1 M Barakula 9045, grid ref.: 706716, Barakula S.F. Qld, 9.ii.2000, Watkins, at mv light, elev.: 350 metres  ; 1♂ Watalgan Rg., via Rosedale , 23.x.1971, H. Frauca, 1500', dry sclerophyll, Cicadetta oldfieldi  ; 1M AUSTRALIA QLD, 20km N. of Yeppoon, J. Bugeja, Acacia  , 30.xii.1972  ; 1♂ QLD: Biggenden, Bluff Range , 21.xii.1970, H. Frauca, Euc. woodland (all ANIC)  ; 1♀ Brisbane , 30.iii.1925, H. Hacker  ; 1♀ Brisbane , 20.xi.1911, H. Hacker  ; 1♀ Brisbane , 8.ii.1922 H. Hacker  ; 1♀ Brisbane , 3.ii.1913, H. Hacker  ; 2♂ 1♀ Brisbane , 15.xi.1921, H. Hacker  ; 1♀ Brisbane , 26.xii.1924 H. Hacker  ; 1♂ 1♀ Brisbane , 14.ii.1922, H. Hacker  ; 1♀ Brisbane , 21.xii.1925, H. Hacker  ; 1♂ Capalaba 31.x.1990, C. J. Burwell  ; 5♂ 4♀ SEQ: 25°01’S 151°12’E, Mulgildie Plateau , 320m, 21.xii.1997, Burwell, Evans, Ewart, softwood scrubGoogleMaps  ; 2♂ 1♀ SEQ: 25°12’S 148°59’E, Expedition Range NP., ‘ Amphitheatre’ camp, 18.xii.1997, Burwell, Evans, 560m, open for[est]GoogleMaps  ; 1♂ Acacia Ridge, Brisbane, S.E.Q.  , 19.xii.1972, E. C. Dahms; 1♂ 1♀ Acacia Ridge, Brisbane, S.E.Q.  , 23.xi.1969, E. C. Dahms; 1M ‘ Murralah’, Mt. Emlyn , SSE of Millmerran, Q., 22.xi.1992, T. A. Lambkin, to light, Cicadetta oldfieldi  det. A. Ewart 1997  ; 2♀ Chermside S.E.Q., 19.xi.1995, I. G. Filmer, Hills—on shrub near open forest, 630 hrs, Melampsalta oldfieldi Dist.  ; 2♂ SEQ: 25°17’ Sx 151°55’E, One Tree Hill , 1km E., 14.xii. 1999, 180m, D. & I. Cook, at mv light, barracks clearing, 9007 (all QM)  ; 1♂ 1♀ Beaudesert , 1.i.1971, [A. Ewart]; 1 M Chelmer, 15.x.1971, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♂ Oxley Quarry , i.1979, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♂ 1♀ Labrador , 24.xii.1970, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♀ (damaged) Boolimba Bluff , Carnarvon N.P., 1.xi.1976, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♂ Redland Bay , 2.xi.1975, [A. Ewart]  ; 2♂ Allawah, Mt Crosby , 30.xi.1975, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♂ St. Lucia, 4.xii.1975  ; 1♂ Moogerah Dam , 30.i.1970  ; 1♂ Mt Gravatt University , 2.xi.1975, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♂ 1♀ ‘ Rockwood’, Chinchilla , Acacia, Cypress  pine, 11.ii.1983, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♂ Tarragindi , 21.i.1978, [A. Ewart]  ; 4♂ 3♀ Beerburrum , eucalypts & Hakea  sp., 17.ii.1978, [A. Ewart]  ; 2♂ Beerburrum , eucalypts & Hakea  sp., 17.ii.1978, song recorded [A. Ewart]  ; 1♂ Agnes Waters, Qld , 5.ii.1984, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♂ 2♀ Doolandella, Brisbane , 5.ii.1983, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♀ Doolandella, Brisbane , 13.ii.1983, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♂ Doolandella, Brisbane , ii.1983, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♂ 2♀ Doolandella , 28.xii.1981, [A. Ewart], D. R. photo C5-23, C5-24  ; 1♂ Doolandella, Brisbane , 9.xi.1983, [A. Ewart]  ; 1♂ 1♀ Tingalpa Reservoir, Brisbane, Q., 1989, D. Reeves; 2♂ Maroon Dam, S. Qld, 28.xii.1993, [A. Ewart]; 2♂ Doolandella, S. E. Qld, 18–19.xii.1995, [A. Ewart]; 1♂ Yeronga , Brisbane, Q., 25.xii.1980, D. M. Reeves  ; 1♂ Taringa Qld , 5.xii.1978, in spider web, D. M. Reeves  ; 1♀ Brookfield, Brisbane, Qld , 14.xi.1980, T. H. Cribb  ; 2♂ 1♀ 10km S.W. Emerald, C.Q., Acacias , 14.xii.2000, A. E[wart], I. Rattray, 23°25.39’S 148°05.15’E (all AE)GoogleMaps  ; 1♂ 1km N. of Auburn River NP, SW. of Mundubbera , SEQ, 2.xi.2002, L. Popple, S. Billington, Recorded L. W. Popple, 230- 0001  ; 2♂ 4♀ Carina  Heights , SEQ, 7.xi.1998, L. W. Popple, 230-0009-230-0014  ; 1♂ 1♀ Carina  Heights , SEQ, 30.x.1999, L. W. Popple, 230-0015-230-0016  ; 7♂ Australia, Queensland, Carina  Heights, Brisbane , SEQ, 7– 8.i.2003, L. W. Popple, Recorded L. W. Popple, 230-0017-230-0022, 230-0024  ; 1♂ Australia, Queensland, Carina  Heights, Brisbane , SEQ, 7–8.i.2003, L. W. Popple, 230-0023  ; 1♀ Myall Park , 8km N. Glenmorgan, SEQ, 27– 28.xii.2001, L. Popple, A. Strange (all LWP)  ; 3♂ 1♀, Mt Jim Crow NP, Rockhampton, Qld , 23.i.2010, M. Coombs (all MC)  ; 2♂ Benarkin, Blackbutt , 7.xi.1993, R. Eastwood  ; 1♂ 04.AU.QL.BUN.10, Fitzroy Dev. Rd. 7.4km NW of Bunley Rd, 24°58.33’S 149°30.859’E, 398 m, 3.i.2004, J. Cooley, D. Marshall, K. Hill, M. Moulds, B. Moulds, specimen recordedGoogleMaps  ; 1♂ same data as previous, 04.AU.QL.BUN.12GoogleMaps  ; 1♂ 05.AU.QL.ATR.01, 92km S of Alpha on road to Tambo , 24°18.008’S 146°22.583’E, 580 m, 22.i.2005, D. Marshall, K. Hill, M. Moulds, B. Moulds, specimen recorded ( MSM).GoogleMaps 

Description. Male (Plate 1A, Figs 2View FIGURE 2 A, 3). Head (including eyes) wider than mesonotum; ventral surface mostly olive-brown; postclypeus reddish-brown, dark brown along interior of tranverse grooves; anteclypeus dark brown; rostrum brown anteriorly, becoming dark brown towards apex; dorsal surface olive-brown to ochraceous with a prominent black band extending between the eyes and surrounding the ocelli and vertices; supra-antennal plate tending pale olive-brown, translucent; ocelli pink; with scattered silver pubescence throughout and long silver pubescence behind eyes. Eyes deep red in living specimens, often faded to brown in preserved specimens. Antennae dark brown, paler towards apex.

PLATE 1. A: Ewartia oldfieldi (Distant)  male; B: E. oldfieldi  female; C: E. roberti  n. sp. holotype male; D: E. roberti  n. sp. female; E: E. lapidosa  n. sp. holotype male; F: E. lapidosa  n. sp. female. Scale bars = 5 mm.

Thorax with scattered silver short pubescence. Pronotum olive-green, sometimes fading to pale brown in preserved specimens; a prominent, reddish-brown midline extending from back of head, with anterior margin as broad as distance between inner margins of eyes, this midline narrowing medially to a width slightly greater than the divide between lateral ocelli, then gradually broadening posteriorly until reaching margin of pronotal collar; pronotal collar mostly green to olive-green, reddish-brown medially. Mesonotum green to pale brown; midline broad, reddish-brown, with lateral edges distinctly yellow to pale brown; submedian sigilla brown to dark brown; lateral sigilla olive-brown, indistinct; cruciform elevation reddish-brown to dark brown; wing grooves and metanotum pale olive-brown to orange-brown, with silver long pubescence.

Legs with coxae and femora green, olive-brown or pale brown; tibiae olive-brown to pale brown; tarsi pale brown becoming darker brown towards apex of claws.

Wings with fore wing costal veins green to pale brown; pterostigma pale brown to reddish-brown; basal membranes orange; veins CuA, CuP and M green to pale brown; other veins brown to dark brown; veins CuA and M fused posterior to apex of basal cell; with eight apical cells. Hind wing veins pale brown or green, becoming darker on the posterior side of the apical cells; plaga surrounded by pale brown coloration anteriorly, otherwise transparent; with six apical cells.

Opercula broadly rounded, pale green to pale orange-brown, with plates relatively flat.

Timbals with five long ribs; short (intercalary) ribs present between all long ribs. Long ribs 1–3 and sometimes 4 attached to basal spur. Long rib 5 comparatively shorter. All ribs sclerotised, pale brown and of low contrast against timbal membrane.

Abdomen. Tergites olive-green to pale brown; darker midline coloration> 1 mm wide, brown to dark brown, bordered by pale brown or yellow. Sternites olive green to pale brown or orange-brown, depending on state of preservation of the specimen.

Genitalia. Pygofer, including dorsal beak, olive-green to brown; upper lobes prominent, with apices graduating to a broad point; basal lobes comparatively subtle, with apices rounded. Uncus pale brown, in lateral view extended and “duck bill”-like; lobes in ventral view small, medial lobe small, ovoid; claspers prominent with posterior section dark and outwardly curved, with apices blunt to broadly rounded ventrally and blunt laterally. Aedeagus with pseudoparameres extending well beyond theca; endotheca fleshy; ventral support not extending to the same extent as endotheca.

Female (Plate 1B). Markings and coloration identical to male. Abdominal segment 9 green to olive, with a brown midline; ovipositor sheath extends 2.0– 2.5 mm beyond the apex of abdominal segment 9.

Measurements. N= 14♂ 6♀. Means and ranges (in parentheses), mm; BL: ♂ 17.4 (15.8–18.3), ♀ 22.9 (21.6– 24.0); FWL: ♂ 22.4 (20.1–24.1), ♀ 24.8 (24.1–26.1); FWW: ♂ 7.6 (6.8–8.3), ♀ 8.2 (7.6–8.7); HW: ♂ 6.2 (5.7– 6.5), ♀ 6.7 (6.4–7.0); PW: ♂ 5.3 (4.8–5.5), ♀ 5.7 (5.4–6.0); AW: ♂ 5.4 (4.9–5.7), ♀ 5.7 (5.4–5.9).

Distinguishing features. Ewartia oldfieldi  has a conspicuous, broad, brown stripe medially along the dorsum, which extends from the proximal edge of the pronotum posteriorly to the apex of the abdomen. This feature distinguishes it readily from E. brevis  , E. carina  n. sp. and E. cuensis  . The stripe is also present in E. etesia  n. sp., E. lapidosa  n. sp., E. roberti  n. sp. and E. thamna  n. sp.; however, in E. thamna  n. sp. it is not present on the pronotum. In E. oldfieldi  , the stripe is conspicuously broader at the anterior margin of the pronotum than the distance between the lateral margins of the lateral ocelli. This distinguishes it from E. roberti  n. sp., which has a stripe is narrower than the distance between the inner margins of the lateral ocelli (compare Figs 2View FIGURE 2 A, 2B). Another useful feature in the shape of the stripe of E. oldfieldi  is that it broadens posteriorly until it reaches the margin of the pronotum ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 A). This distinguishes it from E. lapidosa  n. sp., in which the stripe narrows distinctly before meeting the posterior margin of the pronotum ( Figs 2View FIGURE 2 C, 2D). The shape of the stripe in E. etesia  n. sp. is closely similar to E. oldfieldi  . However, E. oldfieldi  can be distinguished by its broader head width, which is ± 5.9 mm (cf. ź 5.8 mm in E. etesia  n. sp.). In addition, E. oldfieldi  also has a unique female ovipositor length within the genus (extending 2.0– 2.5 mm beyond the apex of abdominal segment 9). In all other species apart from E. etesia  n. sp., the ovipositor extends <1 mm. In E. etesia  n. sp., it extends approximately 3 mm.

Distribution and habitat. Ewartia oldfieldi  occurs coastally in the southern half of Queensland from Yeppoon south to the New South Wales border and inland to between Alpha and Tambo in central Queensland, and near Goondiwindi in southern Queensland ( Fig. 4View FIGURE 4). Specimens in the ANIC from Annan River, Cooktown and Cairns are, in my opinion, labelled erroneously. Adults of this species are often encountered in association with black wattles (especially Acacia leiocalyx  and to some extent A. concurrens  ; Mimosaceae  ) and sometimes other Acacia  spp. with large phyllodes that grow in sandy loam soils, often within open forest or woodland habitats. Singing males sometimes also sit on nearby vegetation, such as eucalypts ( Myrtaceae  ) and Hakea  spp. Adults are present from September to April, being most common from October to January.

This species overlaps in geographical distribution with E. roberti  n. sp. and E. lapidosa  n. sp., and sometimes occurs in sympatry with each of these taxa.

Calling song. The complex calling song mode of E. oldfieldi  ( Figs 1View FIGURE 1, 5View FIGURE 5) contains repeated, short subphrases (0.807– 1.393 s duration; all statistics n = 28). Each subphrase is composed of a syllable sequence (0.410– 1.076 s duration) in which the gaps between syllables (initially 0.040– 0.082 s duration) sequentially reduce until the syllables (each 8–11 ms duration) coalesce into an echeme (0.114– 0.446 s duration), which is then followed by a short gap (0.063– 0.104 s duration). The subphrase then either concludes or proceeds into the accentuation, which contains either 1–2 macrosyllables (each comprising 2–4 syllables), each followed by a gap (0.063– 0.144 s), or a short syllable sequence (2–3, or rarely 1, syllable(s), 0.117– 0.351 s duration, gaps 0.053– 0.117 s duration), which are then followed by a macrosyllable (typically 2 syllables) and another gap (0.062– 0.126 s duration). This calling song mode is typically produced at intervals throughout the day.

The simple calling song mode of this species ( Fig. 6View FIGURE 6) contains monotonously repeated phrases (0.761– 1.014 s duration). Each phrase is composed of 1–3 macrosyllables (each comprising 4–8 syllables, 0.063– 0.108 s duration), each separated by a gap of 0.016– 0.064 s, which are then followed by an echeme (0.490– 0.822 s duration) and another gap (0.057– 0.071 s duration). This calling song mode predominates at dusk and is also occasionally produced during the day.

Both song modes produce identical frequency spectra, with a highest amplitude frequency plateau typically between 9.5 and 13.5 kHz and a dominant frequency between 10.4 and 11.9 kHz (mean=11.2, n =20; e.g. Fig. 7View FIGURE 7 A).

The structure of the calling song of E. oldfieldi  is quite consistent across its distribution. The only remarkable potential variant is illustrated in the complex calling song structure recorded at Blackdown Tableland ( Fig. 5View FIGURE 5 F). In this recording, the syllables in the syllable sequence in each subphrase have been replaced by macrosyllables (each comprising 2–6 syllables). The recording does, however, contain only a limited sample of the complex song mode and it is possible that the unusual structure may partly be an artefact of the calling song still being in the process of transitioning from the simple mode (which predominates) into the complex mode.


Australian National Insect Collection


Marine Science Museum, Tokai Univ.














Ewartia oldfieldi ( Distant, 1883 )

Popple, Lindsay W. 2017


Marshall 2016: 10

Ewartia oldfieldi

Sanborn 2014: 589
Moulds 2012: 103


Popple 2002: 17

Cicadetta oldfieldi

Ewart 1995: 88
Moulds 1990: 163
Ewart 1986: 51

Melampsalta oldfieldi

Burns 1957: 660
Ashton 1914: 353
Distant 1906: 175
Goding 1904: 642
Distant 1883: 191