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Masked devil

Cyclochila australasiae


My favourite of the insect world. This huge cicada comes in at least four different colour forms. Each has it's own common name originally given by Australian children. There is an all-green one - Green Grocer, green with blue wings - Blue Moon, a brown one - Chocolate Soldier, a red one and this one apparently also occurs without the black mask and is called Yellow Monday. All are identifiable by the three ocelli between reddish eyes on a very wide head. Approximately 90mm long.


Attracted to strong night lighting on a very warm evening at a local used car yard this one was at first clinging to a car tyre. The area is surrounded by fairly dense, dry eucalyptus based forests.


For those curious about the cicada names... At the same time we also found a green and turquoise version (Blue Moon) spotted here .... THIS species lives a seven year cycle. The adults live for about six weeks (unless a predator intervenes which is often the case). The males produce a very loud chorus of phasing, synchronised sound when the temperature is perfect (above 18.5C) which is very much regarded as the sound of summer in south-eastern Australia. Here are some interesting comments from Dr Max Moulds from the Australian Museum in Sydney.... . . "When people come here from Europe and America they are amazed, they have never heard anything like it before," Dr Moulds said. "Because the green grocer has adapted to cities like Sydney and Melbourne, and because they are so loud and obvious, cicada song gives our cities a summertime buzz distinct from most other cities around the world." Another little-known fact is that cicadas suffer from insect VD. Dr Moulds said the adults of some cicada species are susceptible to fungi of the genus Massospora. "These entomopathogenic fungi attack the terminal portion of their abdominal cavity and genitalia - a cicada venereal disease if you like," Dr Moulds said. "It is a fungus unique to cicadas and it usually makes their tail ends drop off." A red form seen here

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40 Comments (1–25)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 years ago

Thanks Rob. This one is a reminder that summer is truly finished here.

RobThacker 7 years ago

Simply incredible, thank you Mark

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Thanks staccyh.

staccyh 8 years ago

WOW!!! Beautiful photos Mark! :)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Thanks for that Martin. Fixed. I'm looking forward to seeing yours. I'm also getting a little obsessed with finding a red one.

MartinL 8 years ago

I'm afraid your description is not as simple as you suggest..... there is another form. Yellow Monday is entirely yellow (monochromatic). Your pic is wearing a black mask and body and it is the Masked Devil ( same species). Last night I saw the Masked Devil emerging, both the pale green and also orange/yellow colors. I shall post them tonight.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Thanks Toshimi.... 3 down 2 to go :-)

ToshimiDowaki 8 years ago

Wonderful cicada! Very nice!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Thanks Leanne. Have you got cicadas there now with the dry? Ours are getting deafening.

LeanneGardner 8 years ago

Brilliant Mark! Great photos & info :)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

thanks dotun55 - they're actually quite big

dotun55 8 years ago

Awesome close up!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Thanks Stephen and Mac. I know you guys have suffered heat and dry but for us this one means summer is really coming... :-)

MacChristiansen 8 years ago

Nice one Mark

StephenSolomons 8 years ago

wonderful bug, excellent notes too

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Reiko, Jopy, Jemma, Luis, guanalan2013, Carol, Maria, Adarsha - the cicada thanks you all for the compliments.

LuisStevens 8 years ago

Beautiful series Mark!

guanalan2013 8 years ago

that is so cool.
I congrats you!!

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 8 years ago

WOW! Great series! Awesome insect!

Maria dB
Maria dB 8 years ago

Marvelous series, Mark!

Mona Pirih
Mona Pirih 8 years ago

Beautiful series Mark.. and very cool name aswell :)

Jopy 8 years ago

very nice, I like its eyes :)

Hema 8 years ago

interesting " Common name" !!

RiekoS 8 years ago

Beautiful series.

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 8 years ago

There are even songs about Cicada..! Omg!

Mark Ridgway
Spotted by
Mark Ridgway

Spotted on Oct 9, 2013
Submitted on Oct 9, 2013

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