Genus Cicadetta Amyot, 1847 group II (Spotted Wattle Cicadas, Beepers and Tigers)

Similar in general appearance to group I; however, most species have at least some level of wing infuscation. Most inhabit various acacia woodlands and scrubs. All occur throughout mainland Australia and Tasmania. Like many of the Australian cicada genera, this group needs higher taxonomic revision.

Distribution of the genus CIcadetta group II


Index to Genus Cicadetta Group II

Brigalow Tiger Cicadetta sp. nr apicata Kettledrum Cicada Spotted Wattle Cicada
Callitris Clicker Cicadetta sp. nr tigris Little Spotted Cicada Ticking Tiger
Cicadetta labeculata Cicadetta sp. nr torrida Orange Wattle Cicada  
Cicadetta sp. C Double Spotted Cicada Small Spotted Wattle Cicada  

Callitris Clicker Cicadetta sp. nr apicata

Male

Size: Forewing length: 25-30mm.

Range and Season: Inland southern Queensland from Duaringa south to near Millmerran and west to Charleville (A. Ewart). Recently it has also been recorded east of Wilcannia in New South Wales. The emergence period is from October to February.

Habits: Adults prefer open callitris and belah woodland, but will also occur in other woodlands adjacent to rivers and in mulga scrub (Acacia aneura). They are very static but will fly if approached without caution. The main trunk is favoured as a perching site.

Song: Double-clicks or triple clicks emitted irregularly throughout most of the day but more regularly at dusk. When many males are present a syncopated series of alternating single and double clicks may be produced, especially in the hottest part of the day and at dusk.

Oscillogram of calling song

Recording of calling song

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Spotted Wattle Cicada Cicadetta labeculata (Distant, 1892)

Male (coastal)

Female (coastal)

Male (montane)

Alternative name: Double Spotted Cicada.

Size: Forewing length: 19-30mm.

Range and Season: From the Blackdown Tableland and Kroombit Tops in Queensland coastally and subcoastally south to the north-eastern corner of Victoria. Uncommon around Brisbane. Often abundant in the Sydney area. It is present from September to April.

Habits: Adults prefer to sit on the main trunks and branches of various Acacia spp. in dry sclerophyll forest and heathland. They tend to be fairly static but may move after singing their full song. In some localities they are very common, but in other areas, such as the remnant forest in western Brisbane, they are very uncommon and scattered.

Song: Their day song is a long buzz that increases in pitch for a period of about 5-10 seconds. It then ends in an abrupt "tick" and sometimes the individual will produce a rapid buzz and tick again for about half a second duration. Singing normally occurs every 30 seconds to 5 minutes depending on the time of day and density of males. The dusk call is a monotonous buzzing broken by ticks and is quite different from the day song even though the tone is similar. Populations in coastal Queensland do no emit a dusk call. The specific status of the two song type populations requires investigation.

Oscillogram of day calling song (coastal Queensland)

Recording of day calling song (coastal Queensland)

Oscillogram of day calling song (temperate and montane areas in Queensland, coastal and montane New South Wales and north-eastern Victoria)

Recording of day calling song (temperate)

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Orange Wattle Cicada Cicadetta labeculata (?)

Male

Size: Forewing length: 19-26mm.

Range and Season: Only known from south of Theodore, central Queensland. Specimens have been taken in December.

Habits: Adults sit on the main trunks of tall Acacia sp. with large phyllodes growing in tall open forest. It is a moderately common and scattered species.

Song: Near identical to Spotted Wattle Cicada song from coastal Queensland. Requires investigation.

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Small Spotted Wattle Cicada Cicadetta sp. nr labeculata

Appearance: Looks very similar to C. labeculata; however, it is generally smaller and with much reduced wing infuscations.

Size: Forewing length: 17-24mm.

Range and Season: Only known from the coastal belt between Taree and Coffs Harbour. It is a mid-summer species.

Habits: Little known. Prefers Acacia sp. growing on coastal sand dunes.

Song: Similar to C. labeculata but reputed to be much shorter, more oft repeated and higher pitched. Requires investigation.

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Brigalow Tiger Cicadetta sp. nr tigris

Male - Female

Size: Forewing length: ~25mm.

Range and Season: Found in Inland Queensland from Theodore south to near Tara and near Millmerran. It is a mid-summer species.

Habits: Numbers vary greatly from year to year and sometimes it is only observed when attracted to light. Brigalow scrub is the main habitat associated with this species.

Song: A series of repeated, sharp, metallic "twangs". Singing periods are very sporadic and can be at any time during the day. Males may sing for most of the day when populations are high.

Oscillogram of calling song

Recording of calling song (Tara, Queensland)

Recording of calling song (Millmerran district, Queensland)

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Kettledrum Cicada Cicadetta sp. C (in Ewart and Popple, 2001)

Male

Other name references: Listed as Species near Cicadetta tigris (Ashton) in Ewart (1988).

Size: Forewing length: ~28mm.

Range and Season: Southern Queensland, from the Windorah district east to Chinchilla and the Jondaryan district. This species has been collected from November to February.

Habits: Adults are very mobile and often wary. Populations occur in association with Gidyea (Acacia cambagei) and Yarran (Acacia melvillei), species which grow on dark cracking clay soils. It is usually a locally common species in mid-summer.

Song: Moderately pitched, melodious ticking, with three distinct phases to the song. It is somewhat similar to the sound of a kettledrum, hence the name.

Oscillogram of calling song

Recording of calling song

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Ticking Tiger Cicadetta sp. nr tigris

Female

Size: Forewing length: ~28mm.

Range: Known from north and east of the Great Dividing Range in south-east Queensland from Theodore south to Boonah. November to February.

Habitat: Populations appear to be restricted to areas of dark cracking clay soils where the adults are found almost exclusively on brigalow (Acacia harpophylla). Adults are highly mobile and tend to perch high up on the outer branches. Males sing both when stationary and also in flight.

Song: Rapid ticking which culminates into a series of three short buzzes before being repeated. The song is vaguely reminiscent of the above species.

Recording of calling song

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Species from elsewhere in Australia

Little Spotted Cicada Cicadetta sp. nr torrida Male

Endemic to Tasmania

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