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Cicadas - Family Cicadidae

Order Hemiptera

This page contains pictures and information about Cicadas in family Cicadidae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Double Drummer Cicada last molting - the largest cicada in Australia, making loudest sound in the insect world. 
The order Homoptera has been divided into two suborders. This suborder Auchenorrhyncha includes cicadas, spittle bugs, treehoppers, leafhoppers and Planthoppers. Hoppers have hard forewings which held roof-like over the membranous hind wings on the back.
Cicadas are well known because their 'song' is the back ground noise here during summer. Their empty shells are often seen on tree trunks and fences. The young nymphs live underground. They are sap suckers feed by sucking on roots of trees. They live underground from one to many years. Mature nymphs dig tunnels to surface waiting to become adults. After they have the final moulting and leave those empty shells, they come up from soil. Adults live for one to several weeks. 
All species of cicada adults sing. This is the male who sing the song to attract females. They make the sound by ribbed a pair of membranes, or tymbals,  located at the base of abdomen. The sound is amplified by resonating in the chamber which is the hollow part of the abdomen. Each species have different 'songs' patterns.
More information about cicada in general can be found in this Cicada Biology page.
All living cicadas, except the two species in Tettigarctidae, belong to this family Cicadidae. Australian cicadas are in two subfamilies of the Cicadidae, they are the Cicadinae and the Tibicininae. Those we found in Brisbane are listed as follows.

Classification :

Large Cicadas - subfamily Cicadinae

This subfamily Cicadinae includes mostly large cicada species.
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Small Cicadas - subfamily Tibicininae  

This subfamily Tibicininae includes mostly small to medium size cicada species.
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1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 465.
2. Identification Keys and Checklists for the leafhoppers, planthoppers and their relatives occurring in Australia and New Zealand (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).  Fletcher, M.J. and Larivière, M.-C. (2009 and updates).
3. Family CICADIDAE - Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment and Heritage.
4. Australian Cicadas - Moulds MS (1990). New South Wales University Press, NSW. Australia. 
5. Cicadas – our Summer Singers - Geoff Monteith, Queensland Museum, leaflet 0036, September 2000.
6. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
7. An appraisal of the higher classification of cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea) with special reference to the Australian fauna - Moulds, M.S. (2005) Records of the Australian Museum 57(3): 375-446. 
8. The cicadas of central eastern Australia - L. W. Popple, Zoology and Entomology, the University of Queensland, Australia, 2006. 

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Cicada Biology ] Cicadinae ] Tibicininae ]


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Last updated: May 21, 2012.