Platyomia kohimaensis

Platyomia kohimaensis was first found in the Naga hills of Nagaland. These new species belong to the Cicadas. The Cicadas are the best indicators in determining the health of a forest ecosystem.

About Platyomia kohimaensis

The species sings only in the dusk for few hours. The sound of Platyomia kohimaensis is like a continuous cackling sound, which is like, “kok…kok…kok..kok”. This sound created by this particular Cicadas is completely different from those known till date. Thus, they have been identified as a new species.

Inference

The emergence of new species of Cicada in the Naga hills indicates that the health of the forest ecosystem in the region is good. A new species of Cicada usually occurs in areas around undisturbed bamboo grooves. It is to be noted that the Bamboo Forest in the region was recently regenerated.

About Cicadas

The Cicadas are insects known for their sounds. They produce loud songs (or acoustic signals). The diversity of Cicadas in Bangladesh and India is ranked highest in the world. Earlier, the Cicadas were found from Brynihat in the east till borders of Assam. However, now they are confined only to Nongkyllem Wildlife Sanctuary. The major threat to the Cicadas is their diminishing natural habitats. In the North Eastern parts of India, the forest fires are killing the Cicadas in large numbers.

Features and Characteristics

The Cicadas have prominent eyes that are set wide apart. They also have membranous front wings and short antennae. They live in trees feeding on the watery sap. They are Cryptic. Crypsis is the ability of the animal to avoid being observed by other animals. They lay eggs in the barks. Cicadas in North America spend most of their lives underground. They emerge to the surface only once in thirteen or seventeen years! The annual cicadas emerge to the surface every year. The desert cicadas control their body temperature by evaporative cooling, that is, through evaporation of water. When their body temperature increases above 39°C, they suck sap from the food plants and expel the water through the pores in their bodies.

Songs

The Cicadas create their songs using their special structure called tymbal. Tymbal is the exo skeleton of the insects. The tymbal of Cicadas are made of resilin (an elastomeric protein). Thus, the muscles here are capable of buckling and unbuckling rapidly. This action creates the song.

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