Cicada from Tasmania
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
May 6, 2011 8:22 pm
I find this on one plant in my garden in Tasmania, Australia. Less than a half-inch long. It seems like a cicada though not the native hairy legged one of Tettigarctidae found here normally (http://www.ces.csiro.au/aicn/name_c/a_4255.htm) based only on a non-microscopic examination. It is silent even in warmer weather but has survived to the winter.
Signature: Tasmanian bug watcher
Dear Tasmanian Bug Watcher,
It is undeniable that your insect resembles a Cicada, but we believe it is a Passion Vine Hopper, Scolypopa australis, which is classified in the family Ricaniidae and not as one of the Cicadas in the family Cicadidae. Taxonomically, the split occurs at the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, the Free Living Hemipterans. The family of Cicadas is represented in the superfamily Cicadoidea while the Ricaniid Planthoppers are represented in the superfamily Fulgoroidea. Ricaniidae is a small Old World family and it is not represented in North America. It is profiled on the Brisbane Insect Website where it is stated: “When disturbed, they jumped away with a loud ‘click’ sound and disappeared in the air. Many of them can be found resting on the same plant during early summer. They are consider as pest on passion vine and kiwifruit. It seems that besides those vine plants, they feed on many other plants as well.” Because it is considered to be a pest of Kiwi and because Kiwi has such economic significance, the Passion Vine Hopper has been the subject of numerous technical papers including this article from the New Zealand Entomologist.
Thank you. I now see the larvae are there are well (which I thought were large aphids of some sort). I will try and eradicate it.