Encontros Scientia

The final cries of the unheard Moroccan cicadas

The final cries of the unheard Moroccan cicadas

Gonçalo Costa

CoBIG², cE3c

The cicadas of Morocco have largely remained unexplored in the past 50 years. Many of these species are small and dull-coloured, reinforcing their unassuming status. Most spectacularly, the true diversity of these small cicadas shine when we hear their calling songs. These songs are produced by the male to attract the attention of females and are truly diverse. These songs are currently regarded as species standards, as they can quickly identify a specimen. Alas, this precious information is severely lacking for almost all the Moroccan cicadas, described without the use of the calling song, when acoustic analysis softwares were non-existing. Adding to our concern, much of the Moroccan land is in severe danger, including protected areas, of prodigious herds of cattle that raze the landscape, leaving behind barren habitats. Habitats where these cicada species used to thrive. In this talk, you will hear about our latest expedition to Morocco, with the support of National Geographic, and our advances on the discovery and taxonomy of these unknown species.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

FCUL (Building C2), 12h00-13h00, room 2.2.14