|T. saccata male specimen on display at the Australian Museum|
|Thopha saccata range|
Thopha saccata, commonly known as the double drummer, is the largest Australian species of cicada and reputedly the loudest insect in the world. Documented by the Danish zoologist Johan Christian Fabricius in 1803, it was the first described and named cicada native to Australia. Its common name comes from the large dark red-brown sac-like pockets that the adult male has on each side of its abdomen—the "double drums"—that are used to amplify the sound it produces.
The cicadas are a superfamily, the Cicadoidea, of insects in the order Hemiptera. They are in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, along with smaller jumping bugs such as leafhoppers and froghoppers. The superfamily is divided into two families, Tettigarctidae, with two species in Australia, and Cicadidae, with more than 3,000 species described from around the world; many species remain undescribed.
Johan Christian Fabricius was a Danish zoologist, specialising in "Insecta", which at that time included all arthropods: insects, arachnids, crustaceans and others. He was a student of Carl Linnaeus, and is considered one of the most important entomologists of the 18th century, having named nearly 10,000 species of animals, and established the basis for the modern insect classification.
Broad-headed compared with other cicadas, the double drummer is mostly brown with a black pattern across the back of its thorax, and has red-brown and black underparts. The sexes are similar in appearance, though the female lacks the male's tymbals and sac-like covers. Found in sclerophyll forest in Queensland and New South Wales, adult double drummers generally perch high in the branches of large eucalypts. They emerge from the ground where they have spent several years as nymphs from November until March, and live for another four to five weeks. They appear in great numbers in some years, yet are absent in others.
The thorax is the midsection (tagma) of the insect body. It holds the head, legs, wings and abdomen. It is also called mesosoma in other arthropods.
The tymbal is the corrugated exoskeletal structure used to produce sounds in insects. In male cicadas, the tymbals are membranes in the abdomen, responsible for the characteristic sound produced by the insect. In tiger moths, the tymbals are modified regions of the thorax, and produce high-frequency clicks. In lesser wax moths the left and right tymbals emit high frequency pulses that are used as mating calls.
Sclerophyll is a type of vegetation that has hard leaves, short internodes and leaf orientation parallel or oblique to direct sunlight. The word comes from the Greek sklēros (hard) and phyllon (leaf).
Danish naturalist Johan Christian Fabricius described the double drummer as Tettigonia saccata in 1803, : תּוֹף), meaning "drum". They maintained it as native to China. The specific name is derived from the Latin saccus, meaning "sac" or "bag", and more specifically "moneybag".the first description of an Australian cicada. The type locality was inexplicably and incorrectly recorded as China. It was placed in the new genus Thopha by French entomologists Charles Jean-Baptiste Amyot and Jean Guillaume Audinet-Serville in their 1843 work Histoire naturelle des insectes Hemipteres ("Natural History of Hemiptera Insects"). The generic name is derived from thoph (Hebrew
A genus is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.
Thopha is a genus of cicada native to Australia. Five species are recognised, the double drummer, the northern double drummer, the golden drummer, T. emmotti and T. hutchinsoni. Within sessiliba, two subspecies are recognized, the nominotypical form and T. sessiliba clamoris Moulds and Hill.
Charles Jean-Baptiste Amyot was a French lawyer and entomologist especially interested in the Hemiptera.
In 1838, Félix Édouard Guérin-Méneville pointed out that the double drummer is native to Australia and not China.John Obadiah Westwood designated it the type species of the genus in 1843, and it is also the type species for the tribe Thophini. The common name is derived from the male cicada's sac-like tymbal covers ("drums") on either side of its abdomen.
Félix Édouard Guérin-Méneville, also known as F. E. Guerin, was a French entomologist.
In zoological nomenclature, a type species is the species name with which the name of a genus or subgenus is considered to be permanently taxonomically associated, i.e., the species that contains the biological type specimen(s). A similar concept is used for suprageneric groups called a type genus.
In biology, a tribe is a taxonomic rank above genus, but below family and subfamily. It is sometimes subdivided into subtribes. By convention, all taxonomic ranks above genus are capitalized, including both tribe and subtribe.
The adult double drummer is the largest Australian species of cicada, the male and female averaging 4.75 and 5.12 cm (1.87 and 2.02 in) long respectively. The thorax is 2 cm (0.79 in) in diameter, its sides distended when compared with the thorax of other Australian cicadas. The forewings are 5–6.6 cm (2.0–2.6 in) long. The largest collected specimen has a wingspan of 15.1 cm (5.9 in), while the average is 13.3 cm (5.2 in). The average mass is 4.0 g (0.14 oz). The sexes have similar markings, but males have large dark red-brown sac-like structures on each side of their abdomens. These cover the tymbals—specialised structures composed of vertical ribs and a tymbal plate, which is buckled to produce the cicada's song. The head is much broader than that of other cicadas, and is broader than the pronotum behind it. The head, antennae and postclypeus are black, with a narrow broken pale brown transverse band across the vertex just behind the ocelli. The eyes are black in young adult cicadas upon emerging, but turn brown with black pseudopupils at the posterior edge of the eye. The ocelli are deep red. The proboscis is 1.26 cm (0.50 in) in length—very long compared with other Australian cicada species. The thorax is brown, becoming paler in older individuals. The pronotum is rusty brown with black anterior borders, while the mesonotum is a little paler with prominent black markings, with paired cone-shaped spots with bases towards the front on either side of a median stripe; lateral to these spots are a pair of markings resembling a "7" on the right hand side of the mesonotum and its reverse on the left. The abdomen is black between the tymbal covers and red-brown and black more posteriorly. The underparts of the double drummer are red-brown and black, and covered in fine silvery velvety hairs. The female's ovipositor is very long, measuring 1.76 cm (0.69 in). The wings are vitreous (transparent) with light brown veins. They have an array of cuticular nanostructures—conical protuberances with a spacing and height of about 200 nm, tipped with a spherical cap with a radius of curvature of around 25–45 nm—on the transparent panes of their wings. These act as anti-wetting and anti-reflective surfaces. The legs are dark brown and have grey velvety hairs.
Insect wings are adult outgrowths of the insect exoskeleton that enable insects to fly. They are found on the second and third thoracic segments, and the two pairs are often referred to as the forewings and hindwings, respectively, though a few insects lack hindwings, even rudiments. The wings are strengthened by a number of longitudinal veins, which often have cross-connections that form closed "cells" in the membrane. The patterns resulting from the fusion and cross-connection of the wing veins are often diagnostic for different evolutionary lineages and can be used for identification to the family or even genus level in many orders of insects.
The prothorax is the foremost of the three segments in the thorax of an insect, and bears the first pair of legs. Its principal sclerites are the pronotum (dorsal), the prosternum (ventral), and the propleuron (lateral) on each side. The prothorax never bears wings in extant insects, though some fossil groups possessed wing-like projections. All adult insects possess legs on the prothorax, though in a few groups the forelegs are greatly reduced. In many groups of insects, the pronotum is reduced in size, but in a few it is hypertrophied, such as in all beetles (Coleoptera), in which the pronotum is expanded to form the entire dorsal surface of the thorax, and most treehoppers, in which the pronotum is expanded into often fantastic shapes that enhance their camouflage or mimicry. Similarly, in the Tetrigidae, the pronotum is extended backward to cover the flight wings, supplanting the function of the tegmina.
Antennae, sometimes referred to as "feelers", are paired appendages used for sensing in arthropods.
There is little variation in colour over its range, though occasional females are darker overall than average, with markings less prominent or absent. sessiliba ); the latter has a white band on the abdomen, while the former has black markings on the leading edge (costa) of the forewing extending past the basal cell.The double drummer is larger and darker overall than the northern double drummer ( T.
Thopha sessiliba, commonly known as the northern double drummer, is an Australian cicada native to Queensland, the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia. Adults perch almost exclusively on ghost gums.
The Comstock–Needham system is a naming system for insect wing veins, devised by John Comstock and George Needham in 1898. It was an important step in showing the homology of all insect wings. This system was based on Needham's pretracheation theory that was later discredited by Frederic Charles Fraser in 1938.
Male cicadas make a noise to attract females, which has been described as "the sound of summer". dB if there are large numbers of double drummers at close range. Monotonous and dronelike, the song is said to resemble high-pitched bagpipes. The sound of the buckling of the tymbal plate then resonates in an adjacent hollow chamber in the abdomen, as well as in the exterior air-filled sacs, which act as Helmholtz resonators.The song of the double drummer is extremely loud—reportedly the loudest sound of any insect —and can reach an earsplitting volume in excess of 120
Singing can cease and restart suddenly, either rarely or frequently, and often ends abruptly. kHz and 6.0–7.5 kHz 4–6 times a second. In the other phase, the song is interrupted by breaks of increasing frequency resulting in a staccato sound. These breaks can be mistaken for silence as the difference in volume is so great, though the song actually continues at a much lower volume. During this staccato phase, which lasts for several seconds, the frequency remains around 5.75–6.5 kHz. The frequency of the song is a high harmonic of the pulse repetition frequency, which makes for a particularly ringing sound. Double drummers congregate in groups to amplify their calls, which likely drives off potential bird predators. Male double drummers also emit a distress call—a sharp fragmented irregular noise—upon being seized by a predator.The song has been described as "Tar-ran-tar-rar-tar-ran-tar-rar", and consists of a series of pulses emitted at a rate of 240–250 a second. The tymbal covers are much larger than other species and also make the call louder and send it in a particular direction. There are two distinct phases of song, which the double drummer switches between at irregular intervals. One phase is a continuous call that can last for several minutes; during this period the frequency varies between 5.5–6.2
The narrow spindle-shaped eggs are laid in a series of slits cut by the mother's ovipositor in branches or twigs, usually of eucalypts.On average about twelve eggs are laid in each slit, for a total of several hundred. These cuts can cause significant damage to the bark of tender trees. The eggs all hatch around 70 days later—usually within a day or two of one another—but take longer in cold or dry conditions. The larvae then fall to the ground and burrow into the soil. Though the timing of the double drummer's life cycle is unknown, nymphs of cicadas in general then spend from four to six years underground. Unusual for Australian cicadas, double drummers emerge during the daytime. Emerging en masse generally, nymphs are covered in mud. This mud remains on their exuviae, which emerging cicadas leave at the bases or in burnt out hollows of eucalypts. Within a forest, successive broods may emerge in different locations each year. The cicada's body and wings desiccate and harden once free of the exuvia.
The adult lifespan of the double drummer is about four or five weeks.During this time, they mate and reproduce, and feed exclusively on sap of living trees, sucking it out through specialised mouthparts. Female cicadas die after laying their eggs.
The double drummer has a disjunct distribution, found from northern tropical Queensland, near Shiptons Flat and Cooktown south to Ingham and Sarina, and then from Gympie in southeastern Queensland to Moruya in southern New South Wales.It is found in areas of higher elevation in the northern segment of its range, as the climate there is similar to that in southeast Queensland. Walter Wilson Froggatt and Robert John Tillyard erroneously included South Australia in its distribution.
Adults are present from November to early March, prolific in some years and absent in others. They are found in dry sclerophyll forest, preferring to alight and feed on large eucalypts 20 cm (7.9 in) and sparse foliage concentrated at a height between 10 and 25 m (33 and 82 ft), particularly rough-barked species, apples ( Angophora ) and Tristania . Associated trees include the grey box ( Eucalyptus moluccana ), snappy gum ( E. racemosa ) and narrow-leaved apple ( Angophora bakeri ) in a study at three sites in western Sydney. At Hawks Nest in coastal swampy sclerophyll woodland, adults were observed mainly on swamp mahogany ( Eucalyptus robusta ) and sometimes blackbutt ( E. pilularis ), as well as Allocasuarina littoralis and introduced pine ( Pinus radiata ). Nymphs feed primarily on the roots of eucalypts.with diameters over
The double drummer has not adapted well to city life; distribution of the species in cities is limited to natural stands of large trees.
In hotter weather, double drummers perch on the upper branches of trees, while on overcast or rainy days, they may be found lower down on trunks near the ground. 2.5 m/s (8.2 ft/s), with a similarly moderate maximum speed of 4.0 m/s (13 ft/s), and are exceptionally adept at landing. The double drummer has been known to fly out to sea, effectively on a one-way trip as their bodies have later been found washed up on beaches. A swarm of double drummers were reported 8 km (5.0 mi) off the coast of Sussex Inlet in January 1979, in and around the boat of a local fisherman.Double drummers on tree trunks are skittish, and can fly off en masse if disturbed. Relative to other Australian cicadas they have excellent perception, fly at a moderate cruising speed of
As the adult cicadas emerge in the daytime, large numbers are consumed by birds. 100 m (330 ft). They are then shoved into the hunter's burrow, where the helpless cicada is placed on a shelf in an often extensive "catacomb", to form food-stock for the wasp grub growing from the eggs deposited within.Thopha cicadas have also been found in the stomachs of foxes. The double drummer is one of the large cicada species preyed on by the cicada killer wasp (Exeirus lateritius), which stings and paralyses cicadas high in the trees. Their victims drop to the ground where the cicada-hunter mounts and carries them, pushing with its hind legs, sometimes over a distance of
Schoolchildren climb trees to collect live cicadas and keep them as pets in shoeboxes. However, they cannot easily be kept for longer than a day or two, given that they need flowing sap for food.Live adults brought into classrooms by their captors would startle the class with their piercing sound. Poems dedicated to the double drummer appeared in the Catholic Press in 1933 and 1936, describing bird predation and its life cycle to children.
Cicadas of the genus Neotibicen are large-bodied insects of the family Cicadidae that appear in summer or early fall in eastern North America. Common names include cicada, harvestfly, jar fly, and the misnomer locust. Until recently, these species were all in the genus Tibicen, which was redefined in the twenty-first century to include only a few European species, while species from the Western United States and Mexico are now placed in a separate genus, Hadoa. In addition, several former Neotibicen species have been moved to the genus Megatibicen.
The Cicadinae are a subfamily of cicadas, containing the translucent cicadas. They are robust cicadas and many have gaudy colors, but they generally lack the butterfly-like opaque wing markings found in many species of the related Tibiceninae.
Psaltoda moerens, commonly known as the redeye, is an Australian species of cicada. It is distributed through the south-east of Australia, from southern Queensland to South Australia, as well as Tasmania. Populations can vary greatly between years; one year they may be present in large numbers and the next they may be entirely absent. They feed primarily on eucalyptus but also on Angophora trees. As they feed on tree sap they expel small droplets of clear waste fluid. When numbers are high, this can form a constant stream.
Cyclochila australasiae, commonly known as the green grocer, is a species of cicada and one of Australia's most familiar insects. It is distributed through coastal regions of southeastern Australia. It is one of the loudest insects in the world.
Aleeta curvicosta is a species of cicada, one of Australia's most familiar insects. Native to the continent's eastern coastline, it was described in 1834 by Ernst Friedrich Germar. As of 2014 the floury baker is the only described species in the genus Aleeta.
Psaltoda plaga is a species of cicada native to eastern Australia, from Maryborough in central Queensland to Bega in southern New South Wales. Adult cicadas appear over the summer and inhabit forested areas near bodies of water. The predominantly black form from the Sydney and Central Coast regions is commonly known as the black prince, while the term silver knight is used for the species as a whole.
Arunta perulata is a large cicada native to Australia. It is also known as the white drummer cicada. The name floury baker was previously applied to this species, but that name is now specific to Aleeta curvicosta.
Henicopsaltria eydouxii, commonly known as the razor grinder, is a large species of cicada native to eastern Australia. Predominantly brown in colour, it is found in dry and wet sclerophyll forest in December and January and is quite common in Brisbane.
Thopha colorata, commonly known as the golden drummer, is an Australian cicada native to Central Australia. Adult cicadas alight exclusively on river red gums. The nymph is 18–20 millimetres (0.71–0.79 in) long and is a dull brown colour.
Macrotristria angularis, commonly known as the cherrynose, is an Australian cicada native to eastern Australia, where it is found in sclerophyll forests.
The Platypleurini are a tribe of cicadas from the Afrotropical and Oriental regions There are at least 30 genera and 240 described species in Platypleurini.
Neotibicen dealbatus, commonly called Plains cicada, is a species of annual cicada in the genus Neotibicen. Dealbatus is Latin for 'whitewashed'.
Macrotristria sylvara is an Australian species of cicada in the family Cicadidae, commonly known as the northern cherrynose or green cherrynose. It is distributed from the Torres Strait down the Queensland coast to about Ingham. Its habitat includes coastal bushland, open forest and parks. Adults appear from December until March, and have green markings on the face, thorax and forewing costal vein, with yellow and brown on the thorax and abdomen. The wingspan ranges from 48 to 62 mm.
Thophini is a tribe of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in Australia. There are at least two genera and about nine described species in Thophini.
Tettigomyiini is a tribe of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in Africa and Madagascar. There are about 8 genera and at least 60 described species in Tettigomyiini.
Dundubia vaginata is the type species in its genus, sometimes called the jade-green cicada in the tribe Dundubiini.
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