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


Cicada (Chorus cicada) Amphipsalta zealandica

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
Infraorder: Cicadomorpha
Superfamily: Cicadoidea
Family: Cicadidae
Genus: Amphipsalta
Species: Amphipsalta zealandica
Common name: Chorus cicada,

Only males make the chorus. The adult male cicada possesses two ribbed membranes called tymbals, one on each side of its first abdominal segment. By contracting the tymbal muscle, the cicada buckles the membrane inward, producing a loud click. As the membrane snaps back, it clicks again. The two tymbals click alternately.
Air sacs in the hollow abdominal cavity amplify the clicking sounds. The vibration travels through the body to the tympani, which amplify the sound further.
Chorus cicadas are found all over the North Island.They are also found on coastal areas of the South Island except from Dunedin north to about Timaru and Stewart Island.

Photos of a subterranean cicada nymph emerging as an adult cicada

   Listen to an interesting talk byJohn Early of the Auckland Museum on cicadas 
              When page opens click on the 
 to hear.              
 The sound of the Amphipsalta zealandica (Thanks to Cicada Cental)

Photos below are of the Chorus cicada, Amphipsalta zealandica
They can be identified by checking their wing base where there is a small turquoise patch.

An empty Cicada nymph skin   The chorus empty case is an bright brown colour. The clapping cicadas emplty case is a palecolour.

The wing veins.