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New Cicada Species: Nagaland

Star marking (1-5) indicates the importance of topic for CSE
  • 13 Oct 2021
  • 2 min read

Why in News

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

  • Earlier, two species of Cicadas Savazana mirabilis and Salvazana imperalis were discovered in Meghalaya.

Key Points

  • About:
    • 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 cicada species belongs to the Platylomia radha group described from the Naga Hills in the eastern Himalayas.
    • 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 sound producing membrane in various insects.
  • Significance of Cicadas:
    • They are mostly beneficial. They prune mature trees, aerate the soil, and once they die, their bodies serve as an important source of nitrogen for growing trees.
    • With their acoustic signatures, they act as indicators of a healthy forest ecosystem.
  • Habitat:
    • Most cicadas are canopy dwellers and are found in natural forests with large trees.
    • The generic diversity of cicadas in India and Bangladesh ranks the highest 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.
    • Since it is considered a delicacy and fetches a good price, its unabated capturing and killing during its mass emergence poses a great threat to its survival.

Source: DTE

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