Palapsalta serpens, Owen & Moulds, 2016
Owen, Christopher L. & Moulds, Max S., 2016, Systematics and Phylogeny of the Australian Cicada Genus Pauropsalta Goding and Froggatt, 1904 and Allied Genera (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadettini), Records of the Australian Museum 68 (4), pp. 117-200: 184-186
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Palapsalta serpens n.sp.
Fig. 38 View Figure 38 , Pl. 4
Palapsalta serpens Owen et al., 2015: 261 , nomen nudum.
Types. Holotype male (genitalia prep. PAU332, molecular voucher 04.AU.NTR.WSM.12; GenBank accessions: KM377168, KM377276, KM377497, KM668228), 15 km N of Mataranka , Northern Territory, 14°50.4'S 132°58.4'E, 170 m, 21.i.2004, Cooley, Hill, Marshall, Moulds ( NTM) GoogleMaps . Paratypes — NORTHERN TERRITORY: 1♂, Buchanan Hwy, 10 km W of Stuart Hwy jct, nr Dunmarra , 16°38'S 133°17'E, 26.i.2004, Cooley, Hill, Marshall, Moulds ( AE) GoogleMaps . 1♂, Buchanan Hwy, 10 km W of Stuart Hwy jct, nr Dunmarra , 16°38'S 133°17'E, 26.i.2004, Cooley, Hill, Marshall, Moulds ( AM) GoogleMaps . 1♂, Buchanan Hwy, 10 km W of Stuart Hwy jct, nr Dunmarra , 16°38'S 133°17'E, 26.i.2004, Cooley, Hill, Marshall, Moulds ( LP) GoogleMaps . 8♂♂ (two molecular vouchers 04.AU.NTR.KWW.20 and 04.AU.NTR.KWW.04), 2♀♀, 30 km W of Katherine , 14°40.8'S 132°05.1'E, 163 m, 24.i.2004, Cooley, Hill, Marshall, Moulds GoogleMaps ; 7♂♂ (one molecular voucher 04.AU.NTR.WSM.11), 15 km N of Mataranka , 14°50.4'S 132°58.4'E, 170 m, 21.i.2004, Cooley, Hill, Marshall, Moulds GoogleMaps ; 6♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 331), Edith River, Stuart Hwy , 14°11.073'S 132°01.695'E, 118 m, 21.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey GoogleMaps ; 2♂♂, Arnhem Hwy just W of Mary R., 12°50.073'S 131°56.410'E, 60 m, 20.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M.Humphrey GoogleMaps ; 3♂♂, Elsey Cemetery , S of Mataranka, 15°04.852'S 133°07.355'E, 2.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds GoogleMaps ; 2♂♂ (one molecular voucher 08.AU.NT.KJC.01), jct Kakadu and Stuart Hwys, 13°48.899'S 131°49.845'E, 209 m, 19.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey GoogleMaps ; 1♂, c. 35 km SW of Katherine , 14°42.804'S 132°03.747'E, 103 m, 22.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey GoogleMaps ; 1♂, approx. 40 km SW of Katherine , 14°53.8'S 131°53.6'E, 25.i.2004, Cooley, Hill, Marshall, Moulds GoogleMaps ; 2♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 330 and molecular voucher 08.AU.NT.KAM.03), Kambolgie Ck , Kakadu N.P., 13°30.284'S 132°23.513'E, 108 m, 20.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey GoogleMaps ; 6♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 333), Kakadu Hwy, 20 km, N of Gunlom Falls rd, Kakadu N.P., 13°23.459'S 132°16.161'E, ii.2008, Hill, Marshall, Moulds, Owen & Humphrey GoogleMaps ; 1♂, 36.4 km W of Roper Bar , 14°44.751'S 134°14.420'E, 55 m, 3.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds GoogleMaps ; 1♂, 115 km SSE of Mataranka , 15°51.663'S 133°24.285'E, 195 m, 1.ii.2006, Hill, Marshall, Moulds GoogleMaps ; 6♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 334), Buchanan Hwy, 10 km W of Stuart Hwy jct, nr Dunmarra , 16°38'S 133°17'E, 26.i.2004, Cooley, Hill, Marshall, Moulds ( MSM) GoogleMaps . 1♂ (molecular voucher 08.AU.NT.KAM.01), Kambolgie Ck , Kakadu N.P., 13°30.284'S 132°23.513'E, 108 m, 20.ii.2008, K. Hill, D. Marshall, M. Moulds, C. Owen, M. Humphrey ( NTM) GoogleMaps .
Distribution ( Fig. 38 View Figure 38 ). Top End of the Northern Territory where it is known from an area bordered by the Arnhem Highway in the north, Dunmarra in the south, the Katherine district to the west, and east almost to Roper Bar. It is usually a common species during January and February but population densities never seem to be high.
Habitat. Open woodland where adults prefer the higher branches of eucalypts.
Male (Pl. 4). Head as wide as or a little narrower than lateral angles of pronotum; dominantly black. Vertex with muddy yellow spot at posterior midline. Postclypeus black with brown markings; usually a reddish brown spot on midline around most anterior portion; lateral margins brown; transverse ridges and central groove distinct. Anteclypeus jet black. Rostrum black, occasionally tending brown proximally, reaching to or just beyond apices of mid coxae. Antennae black. Supra-antennal plates black, edged reddish brown to varying degrees.
Thorax. Pronotum dominantly black with red or dull yellow markings; anterior margin sometimes partly edged pale yellow or brown to varying degrees; fascia along midline red or dull yellow, usually extending from near head almost to pronotal collar; occasionally a dull yellow or reddish brown marking dorsally abutting pronotal collar, and sometimes merging with fascia along midline; pronotal collar red or pale yellow; lateral margin not, or barely, ampliate. Mesonotum primarily black with red markings; a reddish brown marking on either side of midline from, or near, anterior arms or the cruciform elevation to, or almost to, pronotum between lateral and submedian sigilla, this marking projecting inwards to varying degrees around its mid length and sometimes meeting and sometimes thereafter extending anteriorly along midline; occasionally a reddish brown blotch between anterior arms of cruciform elevation; lower lateral area sometimes edged red; scutal depressions occasionally highlighted as black dots surrounded by reddish brown; cruciform elevation dominantly reddish brown, anterior arms usually black subapically, occasionally a black fascia along midline. Metanotum black at hind wing base, remainder reddish brown to pale brown.
Legs. Fore legs black with a reddish brown fascia to varying degrees along anterior and sometimes exterior length of femora; femora with spines black, sometimes brown distally; pretarsal claws brown with black apices. Mid and hind legs black tending dark brown; coxae with proximal margin edged pale reddish brown. Meracanthus black, sometimes muddy yellow along distal margin.
Wings. Hyaline. Fore wing with stems of veins M and CuA completely fused as one before meeting basal cell; venation reddish brown tending brown distally, costa (C) yellowish brown to reddish brown, radius + subcosta (R+Sc) always reddish brown; basal membrane grey to black. Hind wing with 6 apical cells; venation brown except for pale yellowish brown 2A and 3A; plaga muddy white to grey to pale brown; an inconspicuous black infuscation on wing margin at distal end of vein 2A.
Opercula. For the most part not reaching distal margin of tympanal cavity; widely separated; slightly concave below meracanthus; a low rounded swelling on epimeron 3; usually entirely black but sometimes muddy yellow along distal margin.
Timbals with four long ribs spanning the width of timbal membrane and one much shorter anterior rib terminating level with upper end of adjacent intercalary rib.
Abdomen. Tending triangular in cross section with epipleurites reflexed inwards from junction with tergites. Tergites black with brown and pale yellow markings; tergite 1 entirely black; tergite 2 black with posterior margin usually edged pale yellow; tergites 3–6 black with posterior margins pale yellow plus a substantial portion of lateral area of tergites 3 and 4 pale yellow or light brown; tergites 7–8 black with posterior margins edged pale yellow and pinkish red to varying degrees, the red most notable on 7. Sternite I brownish black with distal margin pale yellow; sternite II black; sternites III–V mostly pale yellow with brownish black on and around midline to varying degrees; sternite VI black with distal margin pale yellow; sternite VII black; sternite VIII black tending muddy yellow.
Genitalia ( Fig. 38 View Figure 38 ). Pygofer upper lobe large, in lateral view slightly longer than wide, terminally asymmetrically dilated, slightly more concave along the margin closest to the basal lobe, not hook-like. Basal pygofer lobe undeveloped, flap-like. Secondary basal lobe plate-like, in lateral view clearly projecting and triangular. Median lobe of uncus short, wider than long with a rounded apex. Claspers clawlike, short, not concave below, apices pointed and diverging outwards distally. Aedeagus with pseudoparameres just a little shorter than endotheca, slender, flattened, parallel, in dorsal view diverging as separate structures at about three quarters length of endotheca, in lateral view lying immediately adjacent to endotheca, apices not diverging. Endotheca slightly curved downwards, parallel sided, circular in cross-section, apex sloping backwards dorsally, ventrally a long, lightly sclerotized projection resembling a forked snake tongue.
Female (Pl. 4). Similar to male. Mesonotum usually with a brown streak along lateral sides. Abdominal segment 9 orange brown with a brown subdorsal fascia on each side of midline extending from the anterior margin but not reaching posterior margin, a black spot on each lateral side; caudal beak long and spine-like. Ovipositor sheath long, extending some 1.5–2.0 mm beyond apex of abdomen; dark brown to black.
Measurements. Range and mean (in mm) for 10♂♂ and 2♀♀; includes smallest and largest of available specimens. Length of body: male 13.0–15.5 (14.0); female 14.9–15.4 (15.2). Length of fore wing: male 15.7–18.3 (17.1); female 17.4–17.5 (17.5). Width of fore wing: male 5.9–6.8 (6.2); female 6.1–6.4 (6.3). Ratio length/width of fore wing: male 2.7–2.9 (2.8); female 2.7–2.9 (2.8). Width of head (including eyes): male 4.3–5.2 (4.7); female 4.7–4.8 (4.8). Width of pronotum (across lateral angles): male 4.2–5.2 (4.7); female 4.6–4.7 (4.7).
Distinguished from most species of Pauropsalta and allied genera (i.e. those species with a hind wing infuscation at the distal end of vein 2A) in having fore wing veins M and CuA completely fused as one on meeting the basal cell (view under magnification) and hind wings with 6 apical cells (in both wings). Males (and females to lesser degree) are unique in having a large dull yellow to light brown patch on the anterior lateral abdomen. Nearly all specimens have the costal vein (C) dull yellow and the radial/subcostal vein (R+Sc) contrasting red; however, this feature can also be found in specimens of some other species.
The male genitalia are unique in having the endotheca terminating with a long, lightly sclerotized projection resembling a forked snake tongue.
Etymology. From the Latin serpens meaning snake and referring to the lightly sclerotized projection resembling the forked tongue of a snake at the end of the male endotheca.
Song ( Fig. 38 View Figure 38 ). The song consists of a series of clicks preceding an echeme. The clicks usually range from 25–30. The echeme is generally c. 2 s in length. Phrases occur at a rate of c. 0.4 phrases per second. The frequency of the song ranges from 6–22 kHz.
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