Genus Cyclochila Amyot and Serville, 1843

Two species are included in this genus. One is common in tropical northern Queensland and the other is a well-known species in southern and eastern Australia. Both species characteristically have a thickened basal half of the costa and a pronotal collar that extends anteriorly at the distal margins, where it contacts the back of the eyes.

Distribution of the genus Cyclochila


Index to Genus Cyclochila

Blue Moon Greengrocer
Chocolate Soldier Masked Devil
Cyclochila australasiae Northern Greengrocer
Cyclochila virens Yellow Monday

Greengrocer Cyclochila australasiae (Donovan, 1805)

Greengrocer - Male

Greengrocer - Female

Masked Devil - Male

Live Greengrocer pair

Size: Forewing length: 50-58mm. Moulds (1990) notes runts with 36mm forewings can occur}.

Range and Season: In more temperate areas from Kroombit Tops in Queensland, south through New South Wales, including coastal districts, to the eastern half of Victoria, with further populations in the Grampians and south-eastern South Australia. Nymphs are known to develop underground for a period of seven years. Adults usually occur from October to January, with extreme records from as early as September and as late as April.

Colour variants: Greengrocer - green form; found across entire range; specimens often fade to yellow. Yellow Monday - yellow form; also found throughout range, but less common. Masked Devil - has orange thorax and head, with black markings and a shiny black abdomen; found most commonly in montane areas throughout New South Wales. Chocolate Soldier - dark tanned form; not commonly encountered. Blue Moon - rare blue form, collected occasionally in the Sydney area. Red Warrior - another rarely encountered form in New South Wales; body entirely red (not teneral).

Habits: Both wet and dry sclerophyll forests are inhabited, as well as the edges of rainforest and also the suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne. Abundance varies from year to year and populations tend to be widespread in areas of suitable habitat.

Song: A loud, harsh continuous ringing sound that is often interrupted by a broken series of distinct pulses. On occasions, the pulsing component can be the more extended part of the song, in a similar fashion to members of the genus Psaltoda, which tend to produce smoother pulsing or revving sequences.

Oscillogram of pulsing phase of calling song (Tenterfield, New South Wales)

Recording of pulsing phase of calling song (Sydney, New South Wales)

Recording of pulsing phase of calling song (Tenterfield, New South Wales)

Recording of chorus (Tenterfield, New South Wales)

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Northern Greengrocer Cyclochila virens Distant, 1906

Distinguishing features: Always green in colour; has a much broader basal half of the costa than C. australasiae.

Size: Forewing length: 47-62mm.

Range and Season: Northern Queensland, from the Windsor Tableland south to Hinchinbrook Island and south of Paluma. This species is present from September to February.

Habits: Adults prefer the canopy of tropical rainforest. They are readily attracted to light.

Song: Only subtly different from C. australasiae above. Singing occurs prominently at dusk and just after dark (longer on warm evenings).

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