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Green Grocer

Cyclochila australasiae

Description:

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 a rich yellow one - Yellow Monday, turquoise wings - Blue Moon, a brown or red one - Chocolate Soldier. All are identifiable by the three ocelli between reddish eyes on a very wide head. Approximately 90mm long. Sometimes they make an intimidating (if not laughable) hissing noise when approached.

Habitat:

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.

Notes:

For those who like Aussie cicada names... http://www.cicadamania.com/cicadas/austr... ... At the same location we also found a turquoise version (Blue Moon) spotted here .... http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/435... ... and a yellow version http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/435... 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." http://australianmuseum.net.au/Greengroc... ... http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2... ... A red form here http://www1.dpi.nsw.gov.au/keys/cicada/c... Now to find a red one and complete the set :-)

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3 Comments

The MnMs
The MnMs 6 years ago

I love the three extra eyes in the middle .-)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Surely you've heard them though ?! I almost needed ear-plugs yesterday :)

MartinL
MartinL 6 years ago

Now that's a better color.
(I haven't noticed these yet.)

Mark Ridgway
Spotted by
Mark Ridgway

Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Oct 16, 2013
Submitted on Oct 17, 2013

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