Discovery of "Butterfly Cicada": New Species Unveiled in Meghalaya

  • 01 Apr 2024

Scientists have recently revealed the discovery of a captivating new cicada species, informally named the "Butterfly Cicada", in Meghalaya.

Key Points

  • First Record of Genus in India: The newly discovered cicada, belonging to the genus Becquartina, is the first-ever record of this genus in the country, showcasing the rich biodiversity of Meghalaya.
  • Colourful Wings Earn Nickname: The cicada's vibrant wings earned it the nickname "Butterfly Cicada", with its species name "bicolour" reflecting its distinctive dual color forms.
  • Multiple Locality Discoveries: Discovered around Balpakram National Park and Nongkhrah community forest, the cicada's morphological and bioacoustic investigations suggest a single species despite its distinct localities.
  • Call for Conservation: Researchers emphasize the need for conservation efforts to protect the endemic cicada species, confined to protected areas in Garo Hills and Ri-Bhoi district.
  • Habitat Preference and Calling Patterns: The cicada species thrives in thick forests and native vegetation, with males exhibiting varying calling patterns between Garo Hills and Ri-Bhoi districts during April to June.
  • Importance of Habitat Conservation: The discovery underscores the significance of preserving the cicada's habitat in protected areas and community forests to safeguard its biodiversity.
  • Distinct Wing Patterns: The cicada's wings display distinct patterns, with one form featuring rich saffron spots and the other showcasing a greenish-brown fascia on the forewing.
  • Regional Distribution and Genus Characteristics: The genus Becquartina, represented by six species in Southeast Asia, is renowned for its colourful wings, earning it the moniker "Butterfly Cicadas" across China, Thailand, and Vietnam.