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Australian Native Wildlife – White Drummer Cicada

December 17th 2009 04:03
Australian Native Wildlife White Drummer Cicada
The white Drummer has distintive white tymbals
In Australia, Christmas is synonymous with barbeques, beach cricket and the piercing song of cicadas. There are over 200 species of cicadas in Australia, with curious names such as the Brown Bunyip (Tamasa tristigma), the Razor Grinder (Henicopsaltria eydouxii) and the Black Tree Ticker (Birrima varians).

Each species has its own distinct ‘song’. Adult males produce the sound by flexing a pair of rigid ribbed membranes, called tymbals, located on either side of the abdomen. Rapid contractions produce such high frequency sound pulses that they are perceived as a continuous sound by the human ear.

The White Drummer (Arunta perulata) favours frontal dunes and sandy coastal scrub. It is often found in Coastal Sheoak but occurs in any trees, where it uses its syringe like mouth to suck the juices.

The white drummer is so called for the distinct white tymbals on males, and smaller white patches on the abdomen of the females.
Australian Native Animals Insects cicada nymph
A newly emerged adult dries his wings

Like all cicadas, the nymphs live underground, sucking the juices from roots. When they emerge they climb the nearest vertical object. Gripping tightly, the nymph splits its old skin and ventures on its first flight.

The Gold Coast Wildlife Series, archived in the ‘offbeat’ category, is intended to highlight the natural, environmental features of the Gold Coast hinterland; ‘the green behind the gold.’ It includes various reptiles, birds, marsupials, arachnids and fish living amongst us.

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