T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Cicada (Sand Dune Redtail Cicada) Rhodopsalta leptomera

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
Infraorder: Cicadomorpha
Superfamily: Cicadoidea
Family: Cicadidae
Genus: Rhodopsalta
Species: R. leptomera
Binominal name: Rhodopsalta leptomera
Common name: Sand Dune Redtail Cicada

Rhodopsalta leptomera is a cicada in the genus Rhodopsalta. It is endemic to New Zealand and is found mainly on the west coast of the North Island and in Northland on the east coast.

Hudson, 1950 141 description: Body: length 16–23 mm; background colour pale brownish yellow with black markings, [usually] with indistinct pale median stripe from tip of head to tip of abdomen [stripe sometimes indistinct on head and thorax or indistinct throughout]; overall silvery haircover strongly developed (more so than in R. cruentata), to the extent of obscuring body markings. Mesosternum (underside of middle of thorax) black. Anterior wing: costa (thick front edge) and other veins orange-yellow. Wingspan 43–46 mm. Abdomen: dorsal surface black with posterior margins of segments faintly red, but overall appearance grey due to cover of silvery hairs closely pressed against surface.
Habitat. Lowland, coastal; near the beach on sand dune vegetation (e.g., marram grass, native grass, Scirpus frondosus (low down in leaf axils).