Monday, 30 November 2009

Brown leaf cicada

As I type this, the cicadas are singing in the rainforest surrounding the house. Their song isn't complex — it's one note — but it is produced with gusto. A single cicada is loud. A forest full of them is deafening.

The noisiest choristers are northern greengrocers (Cyclochila virens), a robust and handsome species found in the Wet Tropics. (A southern greengrocer (C. australasiae) visited Boobook the other day and posed for some photos.)

Last night, this brown leaf cicada (Lembeja vitticollis) settled on my living room window. Like the northern greengrocer, this species is also restricted to rainforests of the Wet Tropics, where it lives in the canopy. The forewings resemble dead leaves, the veins embroidered with black stitches that highlight theor lines. These cicadas are almost impossible to see in the forest, so it is fortunate that they like to come to lights.


Tyto Tony said...

Loud and very showery on some hot days.

Mosura said...

Re: "they like to come to lights"

I've had a few in my moth trap from time to time.

Dave Coulter said...

Cicadas...I'm a big fan! :)

mick said...

I think they sound like summer - and so far its been too dry for them this year down here.

Denis Wilson said...

Personally I like to know they are still around, but I am pleased that I don't have to put up with them here.
I rem,ewmber them from school days in Melbourne.
They seem to like Eucalypts, and my patch of rainforest is Eucalypt free!
They occur down on the Sandstone plateau.

Snail said...

The northern greengrocers are more regimented that their southern cousins!

They start calling just after 7pm and go on for about 12 - 15 minutes. (I will time it if I remember.) They begin and end together. I don't think anyone breaks ranks and goes it alone.

Sherryl said...

Lovely to get back from HK and catch up with all your photos and nature notes.
Not much wildlife in HK, although I was quite excited to see a squirrel on one of my walks. (I do like squirrels!)
No cockroaches in my hotel - good. No birds anywhere that I could see - bad. And never made it to the huge wetlands and bird sanctuary - pity.

Snail said...

No cockroaches = very good! Will you be going back to HK? Maybe schedule a trip to the sanctuary before all the work starts?