Pauropsalta conflua, 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: 143-145

publication ID 10.3853/j.2201-4349.68.2016.1598

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scientific name

Pauropsalta conflua


Pauropsalta conflua   n.sp.

Fig. 17 View Figure 17 , Pl. 2

Pauropsalta conflua Owen et al., 2015: 260   , nomen nudum.

Types. Holotype male (genitalia prep. PAU 264, molecular voucher 03.AU.WAU.NMR.02), 88 km N of Mt. Ragged , Western Australia, 162 m, 33°23'S 123°24'E, 13.i.2003, Moulds, Hill, Marshall & Vanderpool; ( WAM) GoogleMaps   . Paratypes — WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1♂, Madura [roadhouse], [31°54'S 127°01'E], 26.xii.1990, M.S. & B.J. Moulds GoogleMaps   ; 1♀, 8 km E Salmon Gums , 32°58'S 121°42'E, 5.i.1987, G. & A. Daniels ( AE) GoogleMaps   . 1♀ (molecular voucher 03.AU.WAU.RAT.05), Ravensthorpe , 209 m, 33°35'S 120°04'E, 10.i.2003, Moulds, Marshall, Hill & Vanderpool GoogleMaps   ; 1♂ (molecular voucher 03.AU.WAU.LKD.07), near Lake Douglas , 16.i.2003, Moulds, Marshall, Hill & Vanderpool ( AM)   . 1♂, 19 km S of Forrestania , x-rds, 5.xii.2003, P. Hutchinson ( JO)   . 1♂ Madura [roadhouse], [31°54'S 127°01'E], 27.xi.1985, M.S. & B.J. Moulds GoogleMaps   ; 1♀, Newmanns Rocks , 50 km W of Balladonia Motel, 32°06'S 123°10'E, 30.xii.1986, G. & A. Daniels ( LP) GoogleMaps   . 3♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 284), 1♀, Moir’s Rock , 42 km NNW Salmon Gums, 32°39'S 121°25'E, 2.i.1987, G. & A. Daniels GoogleMaps   ; 1♂, 2♀♀, 8 km E Salmon Gums , 32°58'S 121°42'E, 5.i.1987, G. & A. Daniels GoogleMaps   ; 1♂, 1♀, Salmon Gums , 32°58'S 121°38'E, 5.i.1987, G. &A. Daniels GoogleMaps   ; 1♂, Ravensthorpe , 8.xii.1985, M.S. & B.J. Moulds   ; 2♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 292), 1♀, 150 km SSW of Coolgardie , 32°10'S 120°34'E, 23.xii.1995, M.S. & B.J. Moulds & K.A. Kopestonsky GoogleMaps   ; 1♂ (genitalia prep. PAU 390), 1♀, 57 km S of Norseman , 32°38'S 121°32'E, 30.xii.1985, G. & A. Daniels GoogleMaps   ; 2♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 391), 1♀, Newmanns Rocks , 50 km W of Balladonia Motel, 32°06'S 123°10'E, 30.xii.1986, G. & A. Daniels GoogleMaps   ; 2♂♂ (genitalia preps. PAU 272 & PAU 283), Balladonia, western edge of Nullarbor Plain , 7.xi.1984, S. Lamond   ; 2♂♂, Mount Ragged , 17.xii.1995, M.S. & B.J. Moulds & K.A. Kopestonsky   ; 2♂♂ (molecular vouchers 03.AU.WA.PAU.01, 03.AU. WA.PAU.03; GenBank accessions: KM377200, KM377329, KM377430, KM377560, KM668242), 26.5 km North of Mt. Ragged campsite turn off road, 33°233'S 123°434'E, 17.i.2003, Moulds, Moulds, Hill, Marshall, Vanderpool   ; 4♂♂ (one genitalia prep. PAU 472), Madura [roadhouse], [31°54'S 127°01'E], 26.xii.1990, M.S. & B.J. Moulds GoogleMaps   ; 1♂, Madura, Nullarbor Plain , 6.xii.1978, M.S. & B.J. Moulds ( MSM)   . 1♂, 1♀, Moir’s Rock , 42 km NNW Salmon Gums, 32°39'S 121°25'E, 2.i.1987, G. & A. Daniels ( WAM) GoogleMaps   . SOUTH AUSTRALIA: 2♂♂, 3.2 km S. of Karoonda Hwy, 27.xii.2014, L. Popple & A McKinnon , 35.1565°S 139.5519°E, 652-0001 to 652-0002 ( LP) GoogleMaps   .

Distribution ( Fig. 17 View Figure 17 ). The southern third of Western Australia south from Kalgoorlie, west as far as Ravensthorpe and the Hyden district and east to Madura roadhouse on the Nullarbor Plain and in southeastern South Australia from near Karoonda. All known localities are in areas receiving very low to low average annual rainfall of 200–500 mm. There are records for December and January only but adults most likely occur in other months.

Habitat. Mallee woodland.


Male (Pl. 2). Head wider than lateral angles of pronotal collar; dominantly black with muddy yellow spot at posterior midline. Postclypeus jet black with pale yellow or pale reddish brown markings; a muddy yellow or pale reddish brown mark on midline around most anterior portion; lateral and posterior margins muddy yellow or pale reddish 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 tending white distally. Supra-antennal plates black, sometimes edged reddish brown along anterior margin.

Thorax. Pronotum black, usually with reddish brown and pale yellow markings; center of pronotum with reddish brown patches; fascia along midline pale yellow, usually extending from near head and pronotal collar; sometimes a small, muddy yellow marking near midline of pronotal collar; pronotal collar between lateral angles black with posterior margin edged muddy yellow or reddish brown; lateral margin of pronotal collar not, or barely, ampliate. Mesonotum primarily black with reddish brown markings; usually a reddish brown marking on either side 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 on midline; sometimes a reddish brown blotch between anterior arms of cruciform elevation; lower lateral area usually with a reddish brown streak; scutal depressions occasionally visible as black dots surrounded by reddish brown; cruciform elevation black and reddish brown, sometimes partly muddy yellow; anterior arms usually reddish brown or muddy yellow with distal ends black, posterior arms usually black but sometimes yellow or brown, often a black fascia down midline. Metanotum black at hind wing base, remainder reddish brown, sometimes black near dorsal midline.

Legs. Fore legs mostly black but with two reddish brown fascia to varying degrees along anterior length of femora, sometimes a brownish fascia along lateral interior and exterior of femora; femora with spines usually black, sometimes reddish brown distally; pretarsal claws black with pale yellow apices. Mid and hind legs mostly black or brown tending dark brown; coxa with proximal margin edged pale reddish brown; reddish brown along anterior length of femora; tibiae and tarsi brown tending dark brown. Meracanthus black with outer lateral margin and apex pale yellow.

Wings. Hyaline. Fore wing with stems of veins M and CuA completely fused as one; venation brown; costa curving inward near arculus; infuscation distally on clavus; basal membrane grey to black. Hind wing with 5 apical cells; venation brown except for pale yellowish brown 2A and 3A; plaga muddy white to grey and pale brown; black infuscation on wing margin at distal end of vein 2A.

Opercula. For the most part reaching or almost reaching distal margin of tympanal cavity; widely separated; flat other than a low rounded swelling of epimeron 3; black, sometimes yellowish brown on distal half.

Timbals with four long ribs spanning the width of timbal membrane and one much shorter anterior rib terminating level with lower end of adjacent intercalary rib.

Abdomen. Tending triangular in cross section with epipleurites reflexed inwards from junction with tergites. Tergites black with reddish brown and yellow markings. Tergite 1 black; tergite 2 black with posterior margin narrowly edged reddish brown to muddy yellow, sometimes with a reddish brown to muddy yellow spot adjacent to posterior margin on midline; tergites 3–7 with posterior margin edged reddish brown laterally, extreme margin usually outlined dull yellow; tergite 8 black with dull yellow and/or reddish brown posterior margin, widest around midline. Sternite I black; sternites II–VII black with posterior margin reddish brown to dull yellow to varying degrees; sternite VIII black tending yellowish brown distally.

Genitalia ( Fig. 17 View Figure 17 ). Pygofer upper lobe slender and long, in lateral view slightly tapering to a rounded apex. Basal pygofer lobe small, broadly rounded; secondary basal lobe, small, dome-like. lobe. Median lobe of uncus wider than long, bi-lobed with lobes wide apart. Claspers clawlike, flattened in dorsal view, concave below. Aedeagus with pseudoparameres as long as or slightly longer than endotheca, slender, flattened in cross section, lying immediately adjacent to or just above endotheca in lateral view, in dorsal view parallel to each other but slightly diverging at distal ends. Endotheca nearly straight, parallel sided, circular in cross-section, apex sloping backwards ventrally, without ornamentation.

Female (Pl. 2). Similar to male. Tergites VIII black with posterior half reddish brown and yellow.Abdominal segment 9 black with a reddish brown fascia on each side of midline extending from the anterior margin but not reaching posterior margin. Ovipositor sheath long, extending some 1.5 mm beyond apex of abdomen; dark brown to black.

Measurements. Range and mean (in mm) for 10♂♂ and 7♀♀; includes smallest and largest of available specimens. Length of body: male 13.5–16.0 (15.0); female 13.9–17.3 (15.5). Length of fore wing: male 14.7–22.0 (18.9); female 17.0–22.0 (19.1). Width of fore wing: male 5.2–7.3 (6.5); female 5.9–7.5 (6.6). Ratio length/width of fore wing: male 2.8–3.0 (3.0); female 2.8–3.0 (2.9). Width of head (including eyes): male 4.1–5.3 (4.8); female 4.3–5.4 (4.7). Width of pronotum (across lateral angles): male 4.2–6.1 (5.0); female 4.0–4.9 (4.4).

Distinguishing features

Very similar in outward appearance to Pauropsalta accola   , Pau. contigua   , Pau. confinis   , Pau. juncta   , and Atrapsalta dolens   ; all of which occur in the southwest of Western Australia.

Distinguished from Pau. infuscata   , Pau. confinis   , Pau. contigua   and some individuals of Pau. accola   by having the stems of fore wing veins M and CuA completely fused as one, rather than closely abutted (view under low magnification).

Distinguished from Atrapsalta dolens   by the dark reddishbrown markings on the inner part of the pronotum. Males differ from those individuals of Pau. accola   with fused fore wing veins M and CuA in having sternite VIII and the pygofer black or dark brown, while Pau. accola   has a large proportion of these structures yellow. Males differ from those of Pau. juncta   in the shape of the upper pygofer lobes (visible without dissection); those of Pau. conflua   are triangular while those of Pau. juncta   are semi-circular. Females are indistinguishable from females of Pau. accola   (females of Pau. juncta   are unknown).

The male genitalia are unique in having the following combination of characters: a large upper pygofer lobe tending slender, parallel-sided or with a slight taper and a rounded apex, a pair of pseudoparameres that reach to the distal end of the endotheca or just beyond, and an endotheca lacking a ventral support. It is the only Western Australian Pauropsalta species   with a bi-lobed uncus.

Etymology. From the Latin conflua   , meaning flowing together, uniting, and referring to the complete fusion of the stems of veins M and CuA on the fore wing, a feature uncommon amongst the small black cicadas of Pauropsalta   .

Song ( Fig. 17 View Figure 17 ). The song is composed of phrases containing pulses and echemes. Each phrase begins with a single click followed by a slight pause. This is followed by a short series of pulses leading to an echeme, which is followed by pulses. Following the second series of pulses is a pause that is followed by a click. Each phrase is shorter than one second long and phrases occur at a rate greater than one per second. The frequency of the song occurs between 6 kHz and 16 kHz.


Western Australian Museum


Australian Museum


Laboratory of Palaeontology


Marine Science Museum, Tokai Univ.














Pauropsalta conflua

Owen, Christopher L. & Moulds, Max S. 2016

Pauropsalta conflua

Owen, C & Marshall, K 2015: 260