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Paratettigarcta zealandica sp. n. differs from other Tettigarctidae by the attributes discussed in the generic diagnosis above. In particular the forewing of Paratettigarcta zealandica, that is remarkably similar to extant Tettigarcta crinita Distant, 1883 (Fig. 2) and Tettigarcta tomentosa White, 1845 (the only described species of Tettigarcta), differs as follows: (a) forewing crossvein m gently bowed and almost perpendicular to M2 and M3 rather than steeply angled and broadly ‘S’-shaped; (b) forewing crossvein m-cu strongly bowed rather than nearly straight; (c) hindwing apical cells long and narrow, much longer than those of extant Tettigarcta (compare Figs 2 and 4).
Holotype. Forewing similar to extant Tettigarcta in size, shape and venation (compare Figs 2, 4). Impression 24.3 mm maximum length by 10.2 mm maximum width. Bearing dark pigmented transverse bands, one near the wing base, one following the nodal line between costa and M3+4, one following the bases of apical cells, and one along apical margin. Nodal line strongly defined; CuA strongly bowed before forking at nodal line; crossvein r-m nearly straight and angled to both RP and M1; crossvein m gently bowed, nearly perpendicular to M2 and M3; crossvein m-cu strongly bowed, meeting M4 nearly perpendicularly, meeting CuA1 at a steep angle. Hindwing impression 19.5 mm maximum length by 7.3 mm maximum width. Bearing dark bands, one from near coupling lobe to at least crossvein m-cu, and a dark streak behind M stem. Marginal membrane well developed but not exceedingly broad. Crossvein r nearly straight and angled to both RA and RP; crossvein r-m nearly straight and steeply angled to both RP and M; crossvein m-cu straight and angled to both M3 and CuA1.
Holotype OU45476, hind and forewing from lacustrine mudstones at Hindon Maar (early Miocene; I44/f0392 in the New Zealand Fossil Record File), Waipiata Volcanic Field, 10 km N of Outram, Otago, southern New Zealand; deposited in the Department of Geology, University of Otago.
The species name refers to New Zealand, where this species was distributed in the Miocene.
Paratettigarcta zealandica gen. et sp. n. appears closest to Eotettigarcta scotica based on the hindwing venation (the latter known only from a partial hindwing). In particular Sc and RA are widely separated, and it is likely that the apical cells are of similar length with a1 being almost as long as a2. If that is so then Paratettigarcta is best placed in the tribe Protabanini of the subfamily Tettigarctinae, family Tettigarctidae, following the classification of Shcherbakov (2009). At around 23–16 Ma this would make Paratettigarcta zealandica the youngest known Tettigarctidae fossil, the next youngest at 44 Ma being an undescribed Tettigarctinae tentatively placed in the tribe Tettigarctini (Wappler 2003, Shcherbakov 2009).
The forewing venation of Paratettigarcta zealandica shows a clear affinity with that of extant species of Tettigarcta of which there are only two closely related species, Tettigarcta crinita and Tettigarcta tomentosa (Moulds 1990). The overall branching of veins and therefore cell proportions are remarkably similar (compare Figs 2, 4). This confirms the placement of Paratettigarcta zealandica in the subfamily Tettigarctinae and similar dark wing patterns are found in some extinct genera of this subfamily (e.g. Liassocicada Bode, 1953).
- Kaulfuss, U; Moulds, M; 2015: A new genus and species of tettigarctid cicada from the early Miocene of New Zealand: Paratettigarcta zealandica (Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Tettigarctidae) ZooKeys, (484): 83-94. doi
- Shcherbakov D (2009) Review of the fossil and extant genera of the cicada family Tettigarctidae (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea). Russian Entomological Journal 17: 343–348.
- Wappler T (2003) Die Insekten aus dem Mittel–Eozän des Eckfelder Maares, Vulkaneifel. Mainzer Naturwissenschaftliches Archiv, Beiheft 27: 1–234.
- Moulds M (1990) Australian cicadas. New South Wales University Press, Kensington, 217 pp.
- Moulds M (2005) An appraisal of the higher classification of cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea) with special reference to the Australian fauna. Records of the Australian Museum 57: 375–446. doi: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.57.2005.1447