Large cicada, borneo
Sun, Mar 15, 2009 at 6:36 PM
I was accosted by this cicada at Sabah, Borneo Island, at the start of March. It was as big as my hand – the biggest flying insect I have seen. Do you know what it is ?
Thanks, Ben D
Goodness Gracious Ben,
That is one huge Cicada. Sadly, we haven’t the time to try to research the species, but we are confident that one of our readers will soon supply us with an identification.
Update: Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 5:21 AM
Hi Daniel and Ben:
Other than its incredible size, this cicada doesn’t have too many distinctive features to help with positive identification. However, based on size and general appearance this looks like it is probably in the genus Pomponia, which includes most of the world’s largest cicadas. At least half a dozen Pomponia species have been recorded from Borneo, but based on visible thoracic and wing markings I suspect it may be P. merula. However, there are several other possibilities, including P. imperatoria which is the largest, and by some accounts the loudest cicada on the planet. It has a reported wingspan of 20 cm! Regards.