SIZE DIFFERENCES IN CICADAS FROM DIFFERENT PLANT COMMUNITIES

C. A. Fleming, G. H. Scott
1970 New Zealand Entomologist  
In 1952 Dr. R. A. Cumber published the only account of the nymphal life history of a New Zealand cicada, based on studies a t the Phormium Research Laboratory a t Paiaka in the Manawatu district of the common grass cicada Cicadetta muta (Fabr.), for which, following Myers (1921), he used the name Melampsalta cruentata (Fabr.). As well as determining the number and duration of nymphal stages, Cumber investigated the variation in size of a sample of 143 males and 74 females collected during one
more » ... lected during one season from his study area, a flax experimental plantation in which rows of Phormium plants were separated by mixed grass pasture. Owing to indications of bimodality in both sexes, Cumber next compared samples of fifth instar nymphs obtained froin beneath Phormium and from beneath pasture grass a few feet away, finding highly significant differences between them, specimens of both sexes from beneath Phormium plants being more robust t h a t those beneath pasture. He concluded t h a t nymphs associated with Phormium roots a r e a t a definite advantage over nymphs feeding on annual grasses.
doi:10.1080/00779962.1970.9723071 fatcat:jfofiyxemfg37dusnvxa67epqe