ESA Annual Meetings Online Program

The Neotropical cicada genus Zammara (Hemiptera: Cicadidae), untangling the taxonomic knot, using DNA, morphology and song

Monday, November 12, 2012: 8:39 AM
200 D, Floor Two (Knoxville Convention Center)
Geert Goemans , Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Cicadas are typically known for their, sometimes deafening, songs. The species from the genus Zammara on the other hand, are mostly known for their bright emerald blue-green color and large size.  Zammara has a Neotropical distribution, limited to the mainland, with its highest diversity around the equator. Although the majority of species were described by the start of the twentieth century, confusion pertaining to the delimitation of the genus still persists. Several species have been transferred back and forth between genera, some as many as eight times.

A distinctive character has been found to distinguish Zammara from all other genera in the tribe Zammarini, namely having two tarsal segments versus the usual three. The depositories for all but one of the type specimens was located. These types were either photographed and studied at the respective museum, or borrowed and studied in the lab. All collected and borrowed specimens were compared with the type specimens. Phylogenetic analyses were performed using a 2.2 kb molecular dataset of the mitochondrial genes COI and COII and the nuclear gene EF1α in addition to morphology. Due to limited availability of recordings, song characteristics could not be included in the analyses.

Redescriptions for the present species have been made and two new species are described. The genus Zammaralna comes out as the sister genus to Zammara, and a new genus as sister to the latter two.