Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics / Zoological Museum Amsterdam

SECTION ENTOMOLOGY

 

CICADAS OF SOUTH-EAST ASIA AND THE WEST PACIFIC

Dr Hans Duffels

 

Tropical rain forest in Sabah, Borneo

Fascinating cicadas

Most cicada species of South-East Asia, the Indo-Pacific, and other tropical areas live hidden in the rain forest canopy where they produce a wide variety of fascinating songs. The singing of most species is limited to a short period during the day. Many species contribute to the cicada orchestra at dusk, during the short period before sunset. Most species living in the canopy are large and conspicuous insects, but they live hidden in the foliage and are rarely seen during the day. In the night most species of cicadas are attracted to the artificial light. This is also the reason why cicadas are usually reasonably well represented in insect collections.

Freshly emerged cicada of the genus Huechys on its larval skin

Taxonomy, distribution and biogeography of the Cicadas of South-East Asia and the Indo-Pacific

The study area comprises the southern part of the mainland of South East Asia, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and the Indo-Pacific region from Sulawesi, throughout New Guinea and the islands of the western Pacific, to Samoa. This whole area is divided by the so-called 'Line of Wallace', an imaginary line running between Bali and Lombok in the south, along the Strait of Makassar between Borneo and Sulawesi, and continuing east of the Philippines to the north. This line is the biogeographic boundary where most Asian taxa reach their eastern limit and most Indo-Pacific taxa reach their western limit. The cicada fauna at both sides of Wallace's Line are very different in species composition.

The research on the taxonomy and distribution of the cicadas of the Indo-Pacific region has already been going on for more than 25 years. The taxonomy and distribution of the cicadas of New Guina and the West Pacific have been studied in detail, and resulted in the description and classification of about 350 species and subspecies at present known to occur in this area. A taxonomic study of the genus Dilobopyga (more than 40 species), centred in Sulawesi, is in progress.

In the last decade more attention has been paid to the South-East Asian cicadas occurring west of Wallace's Line. Taxonomic studies of the genera Dundubia, Platylomia and Orientopsaltria have been completed. Revisions of Purana and Chremistica are in progress.

Dilobopopyga species from Sulawesi

A phylogenetic and biogeographic study of the Dundubiini, a group of about 225 species occurring in the Asian mainland and the Greater Sunda Islands (Java, Sumatra, Borneo) and in the Indo-Pacific region resulted in an historical biogeographic reconstruction for this group


Would you like more information on the historical biogeographic study of cicadas of South East Asia and the West Pacific? Click here.


 

Biodiversity of the cicadas of South-East Asia and the West Pacific

The studies mentioned above provide a taxonomic basis for a reliable identification of the cicadas of this area, which is a prerequisite for biodiversity research. On the other hand the taxonomic revisions and biogeographical papers contain a wealth of information on the distribution of species and other biodiversity data. Analysis of distributional data has already led to the recognition of areas of endemism and biodiversity hot spots in New Guinea and the West Pacific.

Platylomia perakana Moulton of the Malaysian Peninsula

The possibilities of capturing the biodiversity knowledge of cicadas of South-East Asia and the West Pacific in easily accessible databases are currently under investigation. Cicada data have been used in a survey for priority areas for conservation in Irian Jaya. Assemblage of biodiversity information from available cicada data will strengthen the national capacity of the countries in South-East Asia and the West Pacific with regard to decision making and management in nature conservation and sustainable development.

Most cicada species are rain forest dwellers and therefore regarded as indicators of rain forest types and of degeneration of their environment. It is expected that forests in various stages of disturbance or regeneration differ in composition and richness of their cicada fauna.


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More detailed description of cicada research as mentioned above

Historical biogeography of the cicadas of South-East Asia and the West Pacific

For over 20 years the cicadas of Southeast Asia and the West Pacific have been the subject of historical biogeographic studies at the University of Amsterdam. The aim of historical biogeography is to link up phylogenetic reconstructions of relationships between species, the geographical distributions of species and the geological evolution of the surface of the earth. Tectonic movements have led to the fragmentation and rearrangement of land masses and hence to isolation and vicariant speciation of the biota. This resulted in recurrent patterns of distribution. When we trace the way back, patterns in the distributions and relationships of species can be regarded as an indication for a historic (geologic) relationship between the areas in which these species occur. A prerequisite is that the species used in the study did not disperse but remained endemic to the areas in which they once evolved.

The study area, the collision zone between the Australian, Asian, and Pacific tectonic plates, has promising aspects for biogeographical research. Its tectonic history is dominated by the formation, break-up, and accretion of island arcs, which must have had great impact on the evolution of the local biota.
Cicadas have proven to be particularly well suited for biogeographic studies, since the species tend to show a high rate of endemism. The cicada life-cycle (several subterranean larval stages followed by a very short adult free-flying stage) virtually prevents easy dispersal.

 

Two monophyletic groups of cicadas, the subtribe Cosmopsaltriina of the family Cicadidae and the sistertribes Chlorocystini and Prasiini of the family Tibicinidae, show a roughly similar distribution pattern in Sulawesi, the Moluccas, New Guinea, and the westpacific island chains to Samoa and Tonga.

Since these groups are not closely related, they evolved independently, and any similarities in distribution patterns may be accredited to a common, geological cause. A closer analysis of the distributions of the species involved, showed that species groups or genera in both groups tend to be restricted to areas with a known history of isolation. For example, the cicada genera occurring in New Guinea each tend to be

Areas of endemism in Sulawesi, the Moluccas, New Guinea and the West Pacific

concentrated on a certain part of the island that was identified as a microcontinent or island arc fragment with an independent tectonic history. In both groups of cicadas phylogenetic relationships indicated very similar area relationships, which closely matched palaeogeographical reconstructions based on geological data. The present-day distribution of cicada species in the Indo-Pacific region still reflects the geotectonic history of that area.

 

 

 

Relatively few groups have spread across Wallace's Line from south-east Asia to the Indo-Pacific. This spreading may have happened along a number of possible routes and these routes may have been available at different stages during the geological evolution of the area. Different groups (or biota) may have followed different routes. In order to find support for any of these routes it is necessary to execute biogeographical analyses of groups that occur on both sides of Wallace's Line.

Most westpacific cicadas belong to two large groups of cicadas that have extended their range from south-east Asia to the Indo-Pacific: the monophyletic group Chlorocystini + Prasiini + Muda and the monophyletic tribe Dundubiini including the Southeast Asian subtribe Dundubiina and the West Pacific Cosmopsaltriina

 

The historical biogeography of the tribe Dundubiini was the subject of a recent study. The tribe is species rich on both sides of Wallace's Line. The species east of Wallace's Line belong to the subtribe Cosmopsaltriina with genera like Cosmopsaltria, Diceropyga, Aceropyga and Inflatopyga. These genera demonstrate a high rate of endemism on genus and species level. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the westpacific Cosmopsaltriina form the supposed sistergroup of the continental southeast-asian Dundubiina occurring west of Wallace's Line. The largest genera in the subtribe Dundubiina are Dundubia, Platylomia, and Orientopsaltria. These genera show relatively less endemism than those occurring east of Wallace's Line.  

A biogeographic analysis of the Dundubiini made very plausible that the Dundubiini followed a northern route into the Indo-Pacific. Southeast Asian ancestors of the Indo-Pacific Dundubiini probably dispersed southward along north-south running island arcs between the Asian and Pacific tectonic plates. The distributional pattern found in the Dundubiini probably reflect a biogeographic scenario that is also found in other groups of animals and plants.

 


List of publications of the Amsterdam cicada group

 

Beuk, P. L. Th., 1996. The jacoona assemblage of the genus Dundubia Amyot & Serville (Homoptera: Cicadidae): a taxonomic study of its species and a discussion of its phylogenetic relationships. Contributions to Zoology 66: 129-184.

Beuk, P. L. Th., 1998. Revision of the radha group of the genus Platylomia Stål, 1870 (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 140: 147-176.

Beuk, P. L. Th., 1999. Revision of the cicadas of the Platylomia spinosa group (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Oriental Insects 33, 1-84.

Beuk, P.L.Th., 2002. Cicadas spreading by island or by spreading the wings. Historic biogeography of the dundubiine cicadas of the Southeast Asian continent and archipelagos: 323. Thesis, Universiteit van Amsterdam

Boer, A. J. de, 1982. The taxonomy and biogeography of the nasuta group of the genus Baeturia Stål, 1866 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Beaufortia 32: 57-78.

Boer, A. J. de, 1986. The taxonomy and biogeography of the conviva group of the genus Baeturia Stål, 1866 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Beaufortia 36: 167-182.

Boer, A. J. de, 1989. The taxonomy and biogeography of the bloetei group of the genus Baeturia Stål, 1866 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Beaufortia 39: 1-43.

Boer, A. J. de, 1990. Aedeastria, a new cicada genus from New Guinea, its phylogeny and biogeography (Homoptera, Tibicinidae), preceded by a discussion on the taxonomy of New Guinean Tibicinidae. Beaufortia 40: 63-72.

Boer, A. J. de, 1991. Scottotympana, a new cicad genus from New Guinea, with the description of three new species, their taxonomy and biogeography (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Beaufortia 42: 1-11.

Boer, A. J. de, 1992. The taxonomy and biogeography of the viridis group of the genus Baeturia Stål, 1866 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 61: 163-183.

Boer, A. J. de, 1993a. Guineapsaltria, a new genus of the Australian-New Guinean region, with notes on the taxonomy and biogeography (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 63: 15-41.

Boer, A. J. de, 1993b. Ten new species added to the genus Aedeastria De Boer, 1990, with a description of eight new species and notes on the taxonomy and biogeography (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Beaufortia 43: 140-167.

Boer, A. J. de, 1994a. The taxonomy and biogeography of the loriae group of the genus Baeturia Stål, 1866 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 137: 1-26.

Boer, A. J. de, 1994b. The taxonomy and biogeography of the guttulinervis group of the genus Baeturia Stål, 1866 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 64: 87-100.

Boer, A. J. de, 1994c. The taxonomy and biogeography of the exhausta group of the genus Baeturia Stål, 1866 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Beaufortia 44: 127-158.

Boer, A. J. de, 1994d. Four species added to the Baeturia nasuta group, with notes on taxonomy and biogeography (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 137: 161-172.

Boer, A. J. de, 1995a. The taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of the cicada genus Gymnotympana Stål, 1861 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 9: 1-81.

Boer, A. J. de, 1995b. The taxonomy and biogeography of the cicada genus Papuapsaltria n. gen. (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 138: 1-44.

Boer, A. J. de, 1995c. The phylogeny and taxonomic status of the Chlorocystini (sensu stricto) (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 65: 201-231.

Boer, A. J. de, 1995d. Islands and cicadas adrift in the West-Pacific, biogeographic patterns related to plate tectonics. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 138: 169-244.

Boer, A. J. de, 1996. Mirabilopsaltria, a new cicada genus from New Guinea, its taxonomy and biogeography (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Tropical Zoology 9: 349-379.

Boer, A. J. de, 1997. Phylogeny and biogeography of Australian genera of Chlorocystini (Insecta: Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria 56: 91-123.

Boer, A.J. de, 1999. Taxonomy and biogeography of the New Guinean Cicadettini (Hemiptera, Tibicinidae). Mitt. Mus. Nat.kd. Berl., Dtsch. entomol. Z. 46: 115-147.

Boer, A.J. de, 2000. The cicadas of Mt. Bosavi and the Kikori Basin, southern Papua New Guinea. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 61: 1-23.

Boer, A. J. de, & J. P. Duffels, 1996. Historical biogeography of the cicadas of Wallacea, New Guinea and the West Pacific: a geotectonic explanation. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 124: 153-177.

Boer, A. J. de, & J. P. Duffels, 1997. Biogeography of Indo-Pacific cicadas east of Wallace's Line. In: A. Keast & S.E. Miller (eds.), The origin and evolution of Pacific Island biotas, New Guinea to eastern Polynesia: Patterns and processes. SPB Academic Publishing bv, Amsterdam: 297-330

Bregman, R., 1985. Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of the tridentigera group of the genus Chremistica Stål, 1870 (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Beaufortia 35: 37-60.

Duffels, J. P., 1965. A new species of Cosmopsaltria Stål, with preliminary notes on the genus (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Nova Guinea (Zoologica) 35: 371-376.

Duffels, J. P., 1968. On the identity of Orientopsaltria montivaga (Distant, 1889) and Orientopsaltria agatha (Moulton, 1911) comb. nov. (Homoptera-Cicadidae). Beaufortia 15: 79-84.

Duffels, J. P., 1969. Two new species of Cosmopsaltria Stål from New Guinea (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Entomologische Berichten, Amsterdam 29: 147-155.

Duffels, J. P., 1970. The synonymy of Diceropyga opercularis (Walker) and D. insularis (Walker) with a description of D. breddini n. sp. (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Entomologische Berichten, Amsterdam 30: 9-16.

Duffels, J. P., 1976. A new species of the genus Dundubia Amyot & Serville (Homoptera, Cicadidae) from Borneo.Entomologische Berichten, Amsterdam 36: 129-131.

Duffels, J. P., 1977. A revision of the genus Diceropyga Stål, 1870 (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Monografieen van de Nederlandse Entomologische Vereniging 8: 1-227.

Duffels, J. P., 1979. Taxonomy and evolution of Cicadidae in the Papuan region. - (Abstracts of Auch. Workshop 23-25th August 1978, Wageningen, The Netherlands). Auchenorrhyncha Newsletter 1: 19-20.

Duffels, J. P., 1982. Brachylobopyga decorata n. gen. n. sp. from Sulawesi, a new taxon of the subtribe Cosmopsaltriaria (Homoptera, Cicadoidea: Cicadidae).Entomologische Berichten, Amsterdam 42: 156-160.

Duffels, J. P., 1983. Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of the genus Cosmopsaltria, with remarks on the historic biogeography of the subtribe Cosmopsaltriaria (Homoptera: Cicadidae). Pacific Insects Monograph 39: 1-127.

Duffels, J. P., 1983. Distribution patterns of Oriental Cicadoidea (Homoptera) East of Wallace's Line and plate tectonics. In: I. W. B. Thornton (ed.), Symposium on biogeography and plate tectonics in the Pacific. Geojournal 7: 491-498.

Duffels, J. P., 1985. Rhadinopyga n. gen. from the "Vogelkop" of New Guinea and adjacent islands, a new genus of the subtribe Cosmopsaltriaria (Homoptera, Cicadoidea: Cicadidae). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 55: 275-279.

Duffels, J. P., 1986. Biogeography of Indo-Pacific Cicadoidea, a tentative recognition of areas of endemism. Cladistics 2: 318-336.

Duffels, J. P., 1988. The Cicadas of Fiji Samoa and Tonga Islands, their taxonomy and biogeography (Homoptera, Cicadoidea). Entomonograph 10: 1-108.

Duffels, J. P.1988.Cosmopsaltria kaiensis n. sp., a new cicada from the Kai Islands, Indonesia (Homoptera: Cicadidae). Entomologische Berichten, Amsterdam 48: 187-190.

Duffels, J. P., 1988. Biogeography of the cicadas of the island of Bacan, Maluku, Indonesia, with description of Diceropyga bacanensis n. sp. (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 131: 7-12.

Duffels, J. P., 1988. Cosmopsaltria halmaherae n. sp. endemic to Halmahera, Maluku, Indonesia (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 58: 20-24.

Duffels, J. P., 1989. The Sulawesi genus Brachylobopyga (Homoptera: Cicadidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 132: 123-127.

Duffels, J. P., 1990. Biogeography of Sulawesi cicadas (Homoptera, Cicadoidea). In: W. J. Knight & J.D.Holloway (eds.), Insects and the Rain Forest of South East Asia (Wallacea). Royal Entomological Society, London: 63-72.

Duffels, J. P., 1990. Dilobopyga janstocki n. sp., a new cicada endemic to Sulawesi (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 60: 323-326.

Duffels, J. P., 1991a. Revision of the genus Champaka (Homoptera, Cicadidae) from Borneo and Sulawesi. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 134: 177-182.

Duffels, J. P., 1991b. The eye-catching cicada Hamza ciliaris (Linnaeus, 1758) comb. n. in Indonesia and the Pacific: taxonomic status, synonymy, and distribution (Homoptera, Cicadoidea). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 61: 119-130.

Duffels, J. P., 1993. The systematic position of Moana expansa (Homoptera, Cicadidae), with reference to sound organs and the higher classification of the superfamily Cicadoidea. Journal of Natural History 27: 1223-1237.

Duffels, J. P., 1994. Abstract: Biogeographic patterns in the Indo-Pacific. Biodiversity and Phylogeny: XIIth Meeting of the Willi Hennig Society, Copenhagen.

Duffels, J. P., 1997. Inflatopyga, a new cicada genus (Homoptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) endemic to the Solomon Islands. Invertebrate Taxonomy 11: 549-568.

Duffels, J. P., 1999. Dilobopyga remanei: a new species from Sulawesi (Indonesia) (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadomorpha: Cicadidae). Reichenbachia 33 (9): 81-86.

Duffels, J. P., & A. J. de Boer, 1990. Areas of endemism and composite areas in East Malesia. In: P. Baas, C. Kalkman & R. Geesink (eds.), The plant diversity of East Malesia: Proceedings of the Flora Malesiana symposium commemorating Professor Dr. C.G.G.J. van Steenis, Leiden, August 1989. (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht: 249-272.

Duffels, J. P., & P. A. van der Laan, 1985. Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Homoptera, Auchenorhyncha) 1956-1980. Series Entomologica 34: i-xiv + 1-414.

Duffels, J. P., & H. J. G. van Mastrigt, 1991. Recognition of cicadas (Homoptera, Cicadidae) by the Ekagi people of Irian Jaya (Indonesia), with a description of a new species of Cosmopsaltria.. Journal of Natural History 25: 173-182.

Duffels, J.P. & M. A. Schouten, 2002. Orientopsaltria endauensis, a new cicada species from Endau Rompin National Park, Malaysia (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Malayan Nature Journal 56: 49-55.

Duffels, J.P. & H. Turner, 2002. Cladistic analysis and biogeography of the cicadas of the Indo-Pacific subtribe Cosmopsaltriina. Systematic Entomology 27: 235-261.

Duffels, J. P. & M. I. Zaidi, 1998. Two new species of the genus of the genus Orientospaltria Kato (Homoptera, Cicadidae) from Peninsular Malaysia, a contribution to study of cicada biodiversity. Serangga 3: 317-341.

Duffels, J. P. & M. I. Zaidi, 1999. Correction to: Two new species of the genus Orientopsaltria Kato (Homoptera, Cicadidae) from Peninsular Malaysia, a contribution to the study of cicada biodiversity.-- Serangga 4: 147-148.

Duffels, J.P. & M.I. Zaidi, 2000. A revision of the cicada genus Orientopsaltria Kato (Homoptera, Cicadidae) from Southeast Asia. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 142: 195-197.

Jong, M. R. de, 1982. The Australian species of the genus Lembeja Distant 1892 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Bijdragen tot Dierkunde 52: 175-185.

Jong, M. R. de, 1985. Taxonomy and biogeography of Oriental Prasiini 1: The genus Prasia Stål, 1863 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 128: 165-191.

Jong, M. R. de, 1986. Taxonomy and biogeography of Oriental Prasiini 2: The foliata group of the genus Lembeja Distant, 1892 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 129: 141-180.

Jong, M. R. de, 1987. Taxonomy and biogeography of Oriental Prasiini 3: The fatiloqua and parvula groups of the genus Lembeja Distant, 1892 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 130: 177-209.

Jong, M. R. de, & J. P. Duffels, 1981. The identity, distribution and synonymy of Lembeja papuensis Distant, 1897 (Homoptera, Tibicinidae). Bulletin Zoologisch Museum, Universiteit van Amsterdam 8: 53-62.

Kos, M. & M. Gogala, 2000. The cicadas of the Purana nebulilinea group (Homoptera, Cicadidae) with a note on their songs. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 143: 1-25.

Overmeer, W. P. J., & J. P. Duffels, 1967. A revisionary study of the genus Dundubia Amyot & Serville (Homoptera, Cicadidae). Beaufortia 14: 29-59.

Schouten, M. A. & J. P. Duffels, 2002. A revision of the cicadas of the Purana carmente group (Homoptera, Cicadidae) from the Oriental region. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 145: 29-46.