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Journal Article

Habitat and Seasonal Relationships of Some Cicadas (Homoptera: Cicadidae) in Central Costa Rica

Allen M. Young
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 103, No. 1 (Jan., 1980), pp. 155-166
DOI: 10.2307/2425049
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2425049
Page Count: 12
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Habitat and Seasonal Relationships of Some Cicadas (Homoptera: Cicadidae) in Central Costa Rica
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Abstract

The peak emergence periods and habitats of cicadas (Homoptera: Cicadidae) were examined in the central highlands of Costa Rica for several years. The region included remnants of primary forest along streams, various types of secondary habitats, and had a 4-month dry season. If cicada species have similar ecological requirements, it was predicted that some species would occupy different habitats and others would have allochronic peak emergence periods, perhaps synchronized with the wet and dry season cycle. Of the five species occurring here three (Fidicina pronoe (Walker) F. amoena Distant and Conibosa sp.) occupy secondary habitats including mixed plantings of coffee and bananas, while Quesada gigas (Olivier) and Zammara smaragdula Walker occupy forest remnants. The three secondary-forest species exhibit allochronic emergences: F. amoena emerges during the dry season, F. pronoe near the end of it and Conibosa in the wet season. Extensive censuses of nymphal casts of Q. gigas and Z. smaragdula along a stream revealed allochronic peak emergence periods, in the dry season for the former and in the wet season for the latter. Both cicadas emerge from the same patches of habitat, lending further support to the hypothesis that these species are ecologically similar. Because there is a relatively small amount of original forest cover remaining in this region today, some cicadas are adapting to secondary habitats. Habitat preferences in cicadas are probably determined, at least in part, by the feeding associations of nymphs with the root crowns of certain plants.

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