Punia minima ( Goding & Froggatt, 1904 )

Moulds, M. S., 2020, A revision of the Australian cicada genus Punia Moulds, 2012 (Cicadidae Cicadettinae: Cicadettini) with the description of four new species, Zootaxa 4860 (1), pp. 101-115 : 102-105

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Punia minima ( Goding & Froggatt, 1904 )


Punia minima ( Goding & Froggatt, 1904)

( Figs 10–12 View FIGURES 1–10 View FIGURES 11–24 , 28 View FIGURES 25–29 )

Pauropsalta minima Goding & Froggatt, 1904: 628 .

Melampsalta minima: Burns, 1957: 658 .

Cicadetta minima: Moulds, 1990: 162–163 , pl. 16, figs 3, 3a

Punia minima Moulds, 2012: 195 . (Fig. 180 labelled as this species in Moulds, 2012 is not this species but P. kolos .) Punia minima _KWW02 Owen et al., 2015: 261, 267–270.

Punia noninfuscata_LVQ03 Owen et al., 2015: 263, 267-270

Punia “sp. brown” Owen et al. 2017: 572, 580.

Punia “non-infuscated” Owen et al. 2017: 572, 580.

Types. Three syntypes, all in SAM (examined): one male, in very poor condition, bearing five labels: (1) ‘TYPE’ red circular label; (2) ‘N.T. 1875 Tepper’ handwritten; (3) ‘18.22 Goding 12.7.04’ handwritten; (4) ‘ Melampsalta minima Godg. Type’ handwritten; (5) ‘SAMA Database No. 20-014639’ printed and recently added; and two further males in very poor condition (together on the same pin) bearing five labels: (1) ‘TYPE’ red square label; (2) ‘N.T. 1875 Tepper’; (3) ‘22(2) Goding 12.1.03’ handwritten; (4) ‘ Pauropsalta minima G & F’ printed and recently added; (5) ‘SAMA Database No. 20-014640’ printed and recently added.

Lectotype designation. Goding and Froggatt (1904) state that they had three examples at the time of description and there is no reason to doubt that the three specimens labelled as types in SAM are the three in question. They are conspecific, and the specimen pinned singly is here designated as lectotype and the two mounted together on the same pin are designated paralectotypes. Only two of the three specimens retain their genitalia (the lectotype and the lower specimen of the two on the same pin) and examination of these confirm the identity of the species. The lectotype has only the right forewing and left hindwing still attached to the body and the left forewing and abdomen separated and mounted on a card. The upper specimen of the two on the same pin lacks most of its abdomen and much of the distal half of all wings, but its pigmented forewing vein M and unpigmented vein CuA imply it is conspecific with the specimens retaining their genitalia. The lower specimen comprises a body with wing stumps only. The data labels of the three specimens suggest they were collected together.

Although the original description gives the type locality as ‘ Northern Territory , S.A.’ the species does not occur in South Australia; Goding and Froggatt’s reference to South Australia stems from the fact that the Northern Territory was at that time under the administration of South Australia.

Material examined. Types as above and the following: WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 2 males (1 genitalia prep. PU31 ) ( Simon Lab. vouchers 10.AU.WA. LVQ.03, 10.AU.WA. LVQ.04) , 1 female, nr Broome, 13 km up Cape Leveque road, 17°46.210S 122°16.868E, 18 Jan. 2010, Hill, Marshall, Moulds ( MSM) GoogleMaps . NORTHERN TERRI- TORY: 3 males, same data as holotype ( AE) GoogleMaps . 3 males, same data as holotype ( AM) GoogleMaps . 4 males, Smith Point, Coburg Pen. , 11°07’S 132°08’E, 19–25.i., 3–21.ii.1977, R. C. Lewis ( ANIC) GoogleMaps . 2 males, same data as holotype; 1 male, Savannah Way GoogleMaps , ~ 57 km WSW of Borroloola nr Tawallah Stn , 16°16.976’S 135°49.093’E, 90m, 13.xi.2011, K. Hill, D. Marshall (DE) GoogleMaps . 3 males, same data as holotype ( LP) GoogleMaps . 17 males (4 genitalia preps PAU20 , PAU21 , PAU24 , PU17 ) , same data as holotype; 1 male (genitalia prep. PU16 ) U.D.P. Falls, Waterfall Ck, ENE of Pine Creek, 1.i.1987, M.S. & B.J. Moulds; 2 males, Cullen R. x-ing , S of Pine Creek , 3.i.1992, M.S. & B.J. Moulds; 1 male , 80 km S of Larrimah , 24.i.1977, M.S. & B.J. Moulds; 1 male, NTR. KWW , 30 km W of Katherine , 125m, 14°40.8’S 132°05.1’E, 24.i.2004, Cooley, Hill, Marshall, Moulds; 6 males (1 genitalia prep. PU43 ) (1 Simon Lab. voucher 11.AU.NT. KWW.07) GoogleMaps , 3 females (1 Simon Lab. voucher 11.AU.NT. KWW.06), Victoria Hwy ( Hwy 1) , 30 km W of Katherine , 125m, 14°40.776’S 132°05.142’E, 30.xi.2011, K. Hill, D. Marshall; 10 males (2 genitalia preps PU32 , PU38 ) (one Simon Lab. voucher 11.AU.NT. MIK.01) GoogleMaps , ~ 4 km W of South Alligator R., Kakadu NP, Yurmikmik, on rd to Gunlom area , 82m, 13°31.124’S 132°27.166’E, 1.xii.2011, K. Hill, D. Marshall; 2 males (1 genitalia prep. PU42 ) (1 Simon Lab. voucher 11.AU.NT. CHE.03) GoogleMaps , Cheon Ck xing on Roper Hwy , ~ 39 km W of Roper Bar , 57m, 14°45.363’S 134°13.207’E, 14.xi.2011, K. Hill, D. Marshall; 15 males (one genitalia prep. PU41 ), (1 Simon Lab. voucher 11.AU.NT. TAW.01) GoogleMaps , Savannah Way, ~ 57 km WSW of Borroloola nr Tawallah Stn , 16°16.976’S 135°49.093’E, 90m, 13.xi.2011, K. Hill, D. Marshall ( MSM) GoogleMaps . 1 male, Lake Bennett area , c . 25 km SE of Manton Dam, 29-30.xii.1979, M.B. Marlipatil; 1 male Mataranka, 29–31.xii.1994, G. R. Brown; 1 male, Katherine, Springvale H /S, 1-3.i.1995, G. R. Brown; 5 males, Katherine Experimental Farm, 12 ml . N of Katherine , 24.i.1973, T. Angeles & N. Forrester ( NTM) .

Distribution and habitat ( Fig. 28 View FIGURES 25–29 ). Near Broome in Western Australia, and in the Northern Territory from Smith Point on Coburg Peninsula and Lake Bennett (some 60 km south of Darwin), south-east in a broad band through the central Top End to near Tawallah Stn (57 km WSW of Borroloola). The large gap between the single known locality in Western Australia (near Broome), and those from the Northern Territory suggests the species is far more widespread than known records suggest. There are records from mid November to early March. Adults can be found in dead or browning grass.

Redescription of male ( Figs 10–12 View FIGURES 1–10 View FIGURES 11–24 ). Head light yellowish brown sometimes with small darker brown patches beside ocelli or near supra-antennal plates; lora light yellowish brown or sometimes darker brown. Anteclypeus light yellowish brown or sometimes dark brown. Postclypeus with a broad central brown area (not always clearly defined) extended to dorsal surface but not encompassing most anterior part of midline. Rostrum light yellowish brown basally becoming dark brown to blackish distally; reaching apices of mid coxae. Antennae dark brown to black except sometimes for light yellowish brown scape. Thorax with pronotum light yellowish brown except usually for dark brown paramedian and lateral fissures. Mesonotum light yellowish brown; submedian sigilla ill-defined but lateral sigilla clearly defined dark brown to blackish unless teneral; scutal depressions indistinctly marked brown or blackish. Wings hyaline; forewing venation brown or blackish except for very pale or colourless C+Sc, CuA and sometimes CuP+1A; forewing veins near apex very weakly infuscated (those forming sides of apical cells and the ambient vein); forewing basal membrane whitish to very pale grey; hindwing usually with median vein and associated crossveins brown, others tending whitish; hindwing plaga following veins 2A and 3A whitish. Legs light yellowish brown, sometimes darker brown on distal tarsi. Meracantha light yellowish brown. Opercula light yellowish to whitish. Timbals with three long ribs spanning timbal membrane and fused dorsally. Abdomen light yellowish brown with tergites 3–6 predominantly translucent pale yellow laterally; dorsal midline pinkish red to dark brown to black variable between individuals, widest on tergites 2 and 3, tapering distally on tergite 3, narrower on tergites 4–7; tergites 6–8 also blackish sublaterally often extending to cover much of segments 7 and 8; tergites 2–7 narrowly edged pale yellow to pale light yellowish brown along posterior margin, tergite 8 less distinctly so. Sternites pale yellow to almost white except for sternites VI–VIII sometimes with dark brown or blackish suffusion.

Genitalia ( Figs 11–12 View FIGURES 11–24 ). Pygofer dorsal beak not strongly developed, broad and tending confluent with pygofer margin; basal lobe large, in lateral view tending triangular and a small but well formed secondary basal lobe adjacent to its outer base; upper pygofer lobe broad, flat, with a well developed accessory tooth curving inwards and no longer than the length of the lobe. Uncus well developed and clearly projecting beyond anal tube, broad and gradually tapering to a broadly rounded apex. Claspers broad basally, claw-like, triangular in dorsal view, diverging, distally gently curved downwards to a bluntly pointed apex, concave below. Aedeagus with endotheca gently curved, sclerotized to apex, apically tapering ventrally to become sharply pointed; pseudoparameres slender, rounded in cross-section, usually lying partly above endotheca but sometimes entirely lateral, far longer than endotheca (at least a third as long again), gradually tapering throughout their length to a blunt point.

Female. Similar to male but mostly with very little or no red abdominal markings, and without translucent sides to abdomen. Abdominal segment 9 similar in colour to other abdominal segments but usually slightly paler, without markings; ovipositor sheath light brown to nearly black, clearly extending beyond apex of abdomen.

Measurements. Range and mean (in mm) for 10 males and 4 females (including largest and smallest of available specimens). Length of body: male 9.9–11.8 (11.1); female 9.9–11.2 (10.7). Length of forewing: male 10.3–12.7 (12.0); female 12.4–13.1 (12.9). Width of head (including eyes): male 2.7-3.2 (2.9); female 2.9–3.3 (3.1). Width of pronotum (across lateral angles): male 2.8–3.6 (3.2); female 3.0–3.4 (3.2).

Distinguishing features. Distinguished from all other Punia species by having the stem of forewing vein M brown or blackish while vein CuA is very pale. Males often have a pinkish red dorsal midline to the abdomen, otherwise found only in some specimens of P. hyas . The male genitalia have a long uncus that protrudes well beyond the anal tube and the aedeagus is distinctive with its pseudoparameres that extend far beyond the apex of the endotheca, at least a third as long again.


Marine Science Museum, Tokai Univ.


Australian Museum


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Australian National Insect Collection


Laboratory of Palaeontology


Société Nationale des Sciences Naturelles et Mathématiques de Cherbourg


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics


Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences














Punia minima ( Goding & Froggatt, 1904 )

Moulds, M. S. 2020


Owen, C. L. & Marshall, D. C. & Hill, K. B. R. & Simon, C. 2017: 572


Owen, C. L. & Marshall, D. C. & Hill, K. B. R. & Simon, C. 2017: 572


Owen, C. L. & Marshall, D. C. & Hill, K. B. R. & Simon, C. 2015: 263

Punia minima

Owen, C. L. & Marshall, D. C. & Hill, K. B. R. & Simon, C. 2015: 261
Moulds, M. S. 2012: 195

Cicadetta minima:

Moulds, M. S. 1990: 163

Melampsalta minima:

Burns, A. N. 1957: 658

Pauropsalta minima

Goding, F. W. & Froggatt, W. W. 1904: 628