Henicopsaltria eydouxii

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Henicopsaltria eydouxii
Henicopsaltria Eydouxii 19.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Cicadidae
Genus: Henicopsaltria
Species: H. eydouxii
Binomial name
Henicopsaltria eydouxii
(Guérin-Méneville), 1838
Synonyms

Cicada eydouxii Guérin-Méneville

Henicopsaltria eydouxii, commonly known as the razor grinder, is a large species of cicada native to eastern Australia.[1] Predominantly brown in colour, it is found in dry and wet sclerophyll forest in December and January and is quite common in Brisbane.

Taxonomy[edit]

The razor grinder was first described in 1838 by Félix Édouard Guérin-Méneville as Cicada eydouxii before being moved to the new genus Henicopsaltria in 1866. It is the type species.[2] Its common name refers to its harsh call, which has been likened to the noise of a metal grinder.[2]

Description[edit]

head detail

The razor grinder is a large cicada with a forewing measuring 50–55 mm (2.0–2.2 in).[1] Males and females are similar in color and markings. The head and thorax is red-brown with black markings. The wings are transparent with some brown discoloration.[2]

The male's call lasts for a few seconds, increases in volume,[3] suddenly stops, and then suddenly starts again.[4] They usually silently feed throughout the afternoon, and then groups call at maximum volume around dusk.[3] There is a secondary population, referred to as the laughing razor grinder, which is only observed in rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest, and has a distinct call.[3]

Razor grinders can also emit a distress call – a fragmented irregular noise – upon being seized by a predator.[5]

Behaviour[edit]

A razor grinder drying its wings after shedding its shell

Male razor grinders sing in large groups on the main trunks of tall eucalypts, especially spotted gum (Corymbia maculata).[1][3] In some years their numbers can be locally immense, but in other years very few adults emerge.[6]

Adult razor grinders are wary and flighty, especially at dusk, and are difficult to approach. They are fast flyers.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The razor grinder is found along the east coast of Australia from Gladstone in Central Queensland south to Narooma in southern New South Wales, generally below 500 m (550 yd) elevation. It reaches inland to Toowoomba, Inverell, Tamworth and the Capertee Valley.[2] It is common in Brisbane,[1] but uncommon in Sydney.[2] There is also an isolated population in Cathu State Forest.[3] Their habitat is dry or wet sclerophyll forest[6] or rainforest margins. They are most visible in December and January, sometimes appearing in early November in some years.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Cicadas - our Summer Singers - Factsheet" (PDF). Queensland Museum learning. The State of Queensland, (Queensland Museum). 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Moulds, Maxwell Sydney (1990). Australian Cicadas. Kensington, New South Wales: New South Wales University Press. pp. 68–69. ISBN 0-86840-139-0. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Popple, Lindsay W. "Genus Henicopsaltria Stal, 1866 (Grinders)". The cicadas of central eastern Australia. Department of Zoology and Entomology, the University of Queensland. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "ENTOMOLOGY.". Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872). NSW: National Library of Australia. 25 July 1874. p. 15. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Moulds, p. 22.
  6. ^ a b Moulds, Maxwell (1 September 2009). "Those noisy Sydney insects - the cicadas". In Daniel Lunney; Pat Hutchings; Dieter Hochuli. The natural history of Sydney. Mosman, NSW: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. pp. 227–233. ISBN 9780980327236. 

External links[edit]