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New Cicada varieties: Nagaland

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    19th Oct, 2021

Context

Recently, a new species of cicada (Platyomia kohimaensis) was discovered in Naga Hills, Nagaland.

About

About cicada species

  • Cicadas are hemipteran insects known for their loud, complex and species-specific acoustic signals or songs. 
    • Hemipteran insects, also called true bugs, have mouthparts used for piercing and sucking and have two pairs of wings.
  • The new species of cicada belong to the Platylomia radha group described in the Naga Hills east of the Himalayas.
  • These species have been found near the village of Mitelphe in the Kohima region.
  • It is a dusk singing, large-sized cicada that calls for a short window during the evening twilight hours.
  • It timbalises in the form of a continuous and regular cackling. 
    • Timbal is a membrane that produces sound for various insects.

Habitat

  • Most cicadas are canopy dwellers and are found in natural forests with large trees.
  • The typical variety of cicadas in India and Bangladesh is ranked high in the world, followed by China.

Threat

  • Large-scale clearing of natural forest land into human settlement and agricultural fields, along with burning of forests is behind the shrinking distribution of Cicada.
  • Considered as a delicacy and fetching at a good price, its uncontrollable photography and killing during its massive emergence poses a serious threat to its survival.
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