Myopsalta bassiana, Popple, 2017

Popple, Lindsay W., 2017, A revision of the Myopsalta crucifera (Ashton) species group (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadettini) with 14 new species from mainland Australia, Zootaxa 4340 (1), pp. 1-98: 16-20

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Myopsalta bassiana

n. sp.

Myopsalta bassiana   n. sp.

( Figs 1B View FIGURE 1 , 2B View FIGURE 2 , 3C, 3D View FIGURE 3 , 4 View FIGURE 4 , 7 View FIGURE 7 , 8 View FIGURE 8 ; Plate 2 View PLATE 2 )

Notopsalta   sp. nr atrata Montane Grass Buzzer   : Moss & Popple, 2000: 54, 57. Notopsalta   sp. nr atrata: Williams, 2002: 156   , 157.

Notopsalta   sp. nr atrata: Emery et al., 2005: 98   , 105, 107, Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 , Tables 1–3. Myopsalta   sp. nr atrata Montane Grass Buzzer ( Moss & Popple, 2000)   : Sanborn, 2014: 582, 583. Myopsalta   sp. nr atrata ( Emery et al., 2005)   : Sanborn, 2014: 583.

Types. Holotype: Male # AUSTRALIA ACT, Frith St, Acton, 18.xi.2010, LT2009371, L.W. Popple, 35°16'14'' Sx 149°06'48''E, 286-0014   , ANIC Database No. 20-014379 ( ANIC); Paratypes: AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY: 1♀ same data as holotype, 18.xi.2010, 286-0019   , ANIC Database No. 20-014380 ( ANIC); 1♀ same data as holotype, 286-0016   ; 1♂ same data as holotype, 18.xi.2010, 286-0017 (QM)   ; 2♂ Mt Ainslie , 20.xii.2001, D. Emery   ; 1♂ same data as previous 12.xii.2001   ; 1♂ same data as previous, 1.i.2002   ; 1♂ same data as previous, 20.xi.2003, N. & D. Emery (DE)   ; 1♂ ANBG perimeter fence, Acton , 35°16'26''S 149°06'39''E, 25.xi.2009, L.W. Popple, LT2009371, 286-0006 GoogleMaps   ; 2♂ same data as holotype, 3.xii.2009, 286-007 & 286-0008   ; 2♂ same data as holotype, 5.xii.2009, 286-0009 & 286-0010   ; 1♂ same data as holotype, 22.xi.2010, 296-0013   ; 1♂ same data as holotype, 286-0015   ; 1♂ same data as holotype, 6.xii.2010, 286-0018 (LWP)   ; NEW SOUTH WALES: 4♂ Kinka Reserve, Terrey Hills, 17.xii.1998, N. Emery   ; 1♂ same data as previous, 14.xii.2008   ; 2♂ same data as previous, 5.xii.1999, D. Emery   ; 1♂ same data as previous, 2.i.2007, D. & C. Emery   ; 2♂ same data as previous, 14.xii.1997, N. Emery   ; 3♂ same data as previous, 8.i.2002, S. & D. Emery   ; 1♂ same data as previous, 9.i.2000, N. & D. Emery (DE)   ; 4♂ Raspberry Lookout, Gibraltar Range National Park via Glen Innes , 19– 24.i.2000, J. Moss & L. Popple, 286-0001 to 286-0004   ; 1♂ Kinka Reserve, Terrey Hills NSW, 17.xii.1998, N. Emery; 1♂ Cuumbean Nature Reserve , 35°21'34''S 149°15'59''E, 5.xii.2009, L. Popple, S12588 View Materials , 286-0011 (LWP) GoogleMaps   ; 1♂ Manly, Bantry Bay , 18.xii.1983, V.R. Bejsak, on flowers Angophora hispida   ( MSM)   ; VICTORIA: 5♂ AU.VI.ALP, 7.9 km SE. of Mt Beauty, 20.2km N. of Omeo , 36°45.896'S 147°12.761'E, 577 m, 04.i.2011, K. Hill, D. Marshall, C. Simon Lab Voucher, 11.AU.ALP, ‘ Notopsalta   alpine 2’, song heard GoogleMaps   ; 1♂ same data as previous, 11.AU.ALP.01, ‘ Notopsalta   alpine 2’, specimen recorded GoogleMaps   ; 1♂ same data as previous, 11.AU.ALP.02, ‘ Notopsalta   alpine 2’, specimen recorded ( MSM). GoogleMaps  

Etymology. The name bassiana   (Latin adjective, feminine) reflects the temperate or bassian distribution of this species in south-eastern Australia.

Description. Male. (1B, 2B, 3C, 3D; Plates 2A, 2B View PLATE 2 ).

Head: Postclypeus predominantly black, pale brown along lateral margins and with a pale brown area medially on dorsal side, narrowing anteriorly; supra-antennal plates and genae black; mandibular plates black, brown along lateral margins, covered by silvery pubescence; vertex and frons black with sparse silvery pubescence; small pale brown diamond-shaped area extending narrowly along epicranial suture from near median ocellus to pronotal collar margin; ocelli pale red; compound eyes brown; anteclypeus black; rostrum dark brown, darker apically, clearly extending beyond anterior margins of hind coxae; antennae dark brown to black.

Thorax: Pronotum brown; central fascia conspicuous, pale brown, surrounded with black colouration, which broadens along anterior and posterior pronotal margins; with irregular black patches near paramedian and lateral fissures, and narrow black areas along lateral margins; pronotal collar mostly dark brown to black, with brown dorso-lateral posterior margins; metanotum dark brown to black; mesonotum including submedian and lateral sigilla, black, with brown areas between the submedian and lateral sigilla extending on to arms and lateral sides of cruciform elevation and posterior half of wing grooves; posterior third of mesonotum with dense fine and sparse long silver pubescence.

Wings: Fore wings hyaline; basal membranes orange to pale orange-brown; pterostigmata orange to reddishbrown; veins, including costal vein, brown to dark brown, darker distally. Hind wing plagas white at base, grading to dark grey-brown along basal two thirds, this colour extending broadly along jugal folds and terminating before apices, hyaline over remainder; veins pale brown basally, brown medially, dark brown on distal third.

Legs: Fore coxae dark brown, with longitudinal brown areas on medial anterior and posterior sides, pale brown mixed with pale red at apices; mid and hind coxae dark brown, with pale red joints, pale brown mixed with pale red at apices; meracantha spikes dark brown, becoming pale brown apically, overlapping opercula; fore femora dark brown with pale brown longitudinal areas on outer anterior sides, pale brown at apices; mid femora dark brown with pale brown apices; hind femora dark brown to brown with pale brown bases and apices; fore tibiae dark brown; mid tibiae dark brown, each with a pale brown band above base; hind tibiae dark brown, each with two pale brown bands, one above base, other towards apex; fore and mid tarsi dark brown; hind tarsi brown; pretarsi brown with dark brown apical areas; claws dark brown.

Opercula ( Fig. 1B View FIGURE 1 ): Broadly rounded; dark brown to black over basal half, dark brown to brown at crest; plates undulating, each with two ridges, basal ridges sharply defined, apical ridges gradual, medial areas between ridges depressed.

Timbals ( Fig. 2B View FIGURE 2 ): Anterior rib 5 abbreviated; rib 4 also abbreviated, with a prominent isolated remnant extension ventrally; ribs 1 and 2 joined ventrally and fused dorsally to basal spur; anterior termination of basal spur fused with ribs 3–4, with rib 5 unattached; prominent intercalary short ribs in medial areas between ribs 1 and 2, 2 and 3, and 3 and 4 (three in total).

Abdomen: Tergite 1 black; tergite 2 wider along dorsal midline than tergites 3 to 7; tergites 2 to 7 black, sometimes with brown areas on dorso-lateral posterior margins, all with dense short silver pubescence on dorsolateral sides and with extensive long and short silver pubescence on lateral sides; tergite 8 black, covered in short silver pubescence; intersegmental membranes pale brown; epipleurites black, with sparse silver pubescence; sternite II black medially and laterally, pale brown ventro-laterally, with a dark brown area medially, which broadens posteriorly, or in some specimens entirely pale brown; sternites III to VI pale brown laterally, with dark brown areas medially, which broaden posteriorly, gradually increasing in size distally in each successive sternite; sternite VII dark brown to black with diffuse pale brown areas at extreme anterio-lateral margins; sternite VIII dark brown to black; anterior sternites visible in lateral view.

Genitalia ( Figs 3C, D View FIGURE 3 ): Pygofer dark brown; upper lobes in ventral view relatively flat, with terminals directed slightly inwards and tapering broadly; basal lobes in ventral and lateral views slightly curved, apically flat; median lobe of uncus fairly blunt, exhibiting limited protrusion; claspers in ventral view conspicuous, diverging from point of downward deflection, with relatively broad apices; pseudoparameres projecting further (ventrally) than endotheca and ventral support; ventral support acute, projecting slightly beyond endotheca; endotheca fleshy.

Female ( Plate 2C View PLATE 2 ): Head, thorax, wings and legs match description of male.

Abdomen: Tergite 1 black; tergites 2 to 7 black, with broad brown areas on posterior dorso-lateral to submedial sides, being less extensive on tergite 2; tergite 8 black; auditory capsules black; abdominal segment 9 black on dorsal and lateral sides, pale olive-brown ventrally; dorsal beak black, sharply defined; sternite II black laterally and medially, otherwise pale to medium brown; epipleurites black, pale brown along posterior margins; sternites III to VI pale brown with broad black areas medially, broadening posteriorly, typically similar in width, though often widest on sternite IV; sternite VII pale brown with short, oblique, darker longitudinal markings medially; ovipositor sheath extends approximately 1.0 mm beyond termination of abdominal segment 9.

Measurements. N= 15♂ 3♀. Ranges and means (in parentheses), mm; BL: ♂ 12.7–15.9 (14.64); ♀ 17.8–19.1 (18.43). FWL: ♂ 13.8–19.2 (17.46); ♀ 19.1–20.9 (20.13). HW: ♂ 3.8–4.9 (4.52); ♀ 4.8–5.1 (4.97). PW: ♂ 3.7–5.0 (4.56); ♀ 5.0–5.5 (5.30). AW: ♂ 4.2–5.3 (4.86); ♀ 4.9–5.6 (5.27). FWL/W: ♂ 2.35–2.87 (2.62); ♀ 2.73–2.86 (2.78); OL: 6.7–6.9 (6.77).

Morphological distinguishing features. Myopsalta bassiana   n. sp. can be distinguished from M. atrata   , M. binotata   , M. coolahensis   , M. gordoni   n. sp., M. lactea   , M. libritor   , M. waterhousei   and M. xerograsidia   n. sp. by the colour of the basal membranes of the fore wings, which is pale brown or pale orange rather than white to pale grey. It can be distinguished from M. melanobasis   n. sp. and M. platyptera   n. sp. by the appearance of the fore wing clavus, which is entirely hyaline and not opaque at the base. Males and females can be separated from M. albiventris   n. sp. and M. wollomombii   by the colouration of the sternites, which is predominantly dark brown (cf. almost entirely pale brown). They can be differentiated from M. umbra   n. sp. by the colour of the costal veins, which is brown rather than reddish-brown. Males can be distinguished from M. septa   n. sp. and M. crucifera   by the colouration of sternite VII, which is entirely dark brown to black (not bordered with pale brown on any margin). They can be distinguished from M. parvula   n. sp. by having contrasting pale brown lateral edges on sternite III (cf. almost entirely dark brown to black), and from M. leona   n. sp. and M. chrysopedia   n. sp. by having a fore wing length/width ratio of <2.7. They can be separated from the closely similar M. mackinlayi   and M. riverina   n. sp. by the colouration of the opercula, which is dark brown to black rather than predominantly pale brown. They can be distinguished from the closely similar M. longicauda   n. sp. in having uniform pale brown colouration on the lateral sides of sternites II –V (not a mixture of reddish-brown and pale brown). In addition, they can be separated from M.

majurae   n. sp. by the presence of contrasting pale brown colouration on the ventro-lateral sides of sternite II. Females can be distinguished from M. chrysopedia   n. sp., M. crucifera   , M. leona   n. sp., M. longicauda   n. sp., M. parvula   n. sp. and M. septa   n. sp. by the length of the ovipositor sheath, which extends approximately 1.0 mm beyond the apex of abdominal segment 9 (cf. 0.5 mm in M. parvula   and ≥ 2 mm in the other species). They are not able to be reliably differentiated from the closely similar M. mackinlayi   and possibly also M. majurae   n. sp. or M. riverina   n. sp. for which the females are currently unknown (male specimens are required).

Distribution, habitat and behaviour ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 ). Myopsalta bassiana   is found in south-eastern Australia from Gibraltar Range west of Grafton in northern New South Wales, Pilliga Nature Reserve and Warrumbungle National Park on the central western slopes, the Capertee Valley and Blue Mountains and northern parts of Greater Sydney in central New South Wales, south through the Australian Capital Territory to near Omeo in northern Victoria. Populations occur in grassy woodland and open forest with a sparse to mid-dense shrubby understorey where the adults are typically found on grass and in shrubs. Adults have been found from October to January. Males call during warm conditions.

Calling song ( Figs 7 View FIGURE 7 , 8 View FIGURE 8 ). The calling song contains a set of repeated phrases. At the onset of calling, each phrase begins with a long echeme (0.646– 1.702 s duration), followed by a 0.023– 0.045 s gap, a short echeme or macrosyllable (0.02– 0.097 s duration) and a 0.196– 1.767 s gap (all statistics, n =8 recordings). Close inspection of the beginning of the long echemes in each phrase reveals a series of discrete syllables that coalesce and increase up to 3x in amplitude during production of the echeme. After production of several successive echemes, males typically start to lengthen the introduction of each phrase with the addition of a long sequence of syllables (each 0.005– 0.013 s duration), separated by gaps of 0.042– 0.092 s duration. The gaps between these syllables noticeably decrease towards the end of a sequence, shortening down to 0.011 s immediately prior the production of the long echeme. These introductory sequences range in duration between 1.204 and 2.277 s, with the longest examples shortening the gap at the end of the preceding phrase down to 0.030 s on occasion. Field observations indicate that the female responds during the gap following the short echeme or macrosyllable at the end of each phrase.

This species calls during the day and is not known to sing at dusk. The calling song maintains an even frequency distribution throughout, with a high amplitude plateau of 9.7–13.2 kHz and a dominant frequency between 10.2 and 12.0 kHz.


Australian National Insect Collection


University of Newcastle


Marine Science Museum, Tokai Univ.














Myopsalta bassiana

Popple, Lindsay W. 2017


Sanborn 2014: 582
Sanborn 2014: 583
Emery 2005: 98


Williams 2002: 156
Moss 2000: 54