Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps


Compiler and date details

June 2012 - Updated by ABRS, following revision by Moulds (2012)


This family includes all extant cicada species except two. It is a cosmopolitan family, although most species are tropical or subtropical in distribution. Adults are diurnal or crepuscular.

The Cicadidae are characterised by having tymbals in males only or sometimes absent, tympana present, males with an abdomen substantially cavernous forming a resonant chamber, a forewing venation with Rs arising from node near or beyond middle of costa, and veins 1A and 2A concurrent for most of their length, a nervous system with all ganglia fused, male genitalia without harpagones, tarsal empodia absent, and a pronotum not concealing the majority of mesonotum (Moulds 1990).

The tymbals are used by males to produce loud, calling songs. No other insects have developed such an effective and specialised means of sound production. Rapid buckling of the ribbed tymbal membrane produces sound pulses which are amplified by a substantially hollow abdomen that acts as a resonating chamber. Differences in tymbal structure and movement, abdominal resonance, and abdominal movements are responsible for the song characteristics unique to each species. Moulds (1990) summarises acoustic signalling mechanisms in cicadas and Ewart (1989, 2001) discussed song patterns for Australian cicadas.

The genus Abricta Stål, 1866 is excluded from the Australian fauna (Moulds 2003).

Tribe classification follows Marshall et al. (2018).


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
17-Nov-2022 CICADIDAE 17-Nov-2022 MODIFIED
05-Aug-2022 CICADIDAE 11-Aug-2022 MODIFIED
10-May-2022 CICADOMORPHA 17-Nov-2022 MODIFIED
02-Jun-2021 AUCHENORRHYNCHA 17-Nov-2022 MODIFIED Dr Murray Fletcher
03-Oct-2018 CICADIDAE 17-Nov-2022 MODIFIED
21-Mar-2016 CICADIDAE 17-Nov-2022 MODIFIED
02-Dec-2013 CICADIDAE 17-Nov-2022 MODIFIED Dr Federica Turco (QM)
19-Jul-2012 17-Nov-2022 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)