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Evolution, Diversification and Biogeography of Cicadas on the Indian Subcontinent

India is at the junction of Palearctic and Oriental zoogeographic regions, and is believed to have been critical in the evolution and exchange of faunal elements between these zoogeographic regions. Thus, understanding the biogeography of Indian faunas is important in constructing a more complete picture of biological diversification in the Indo-Australian Region. Using cicadas, we aim to: (a) study the origin and diversification of cicadas in India in relation to neighboring regions, (b) generate a higher-level phylogeny of Indian cicadas that will form a backbone of further studies (in collaboration with Prof. Chris Simon, University of Connecticut, USA), and (c) inventory cicada diversity.

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Relevant Publications:

  1. Marathe, K., V. Sarkar, Price, B. W., P. Roy, and K. Kunte (eds). 2023. Cicadas of India. v. 1. Indian Foundation for Butterflies. URL:
  2. Owens, C., ..., K. Kunte, ..., and C. Simon. 2022. Detecting and removing sample contamination in phylogenomic data: an example and its implications for Cicadidae phylogeny (Insecta: Hemiptera). Systematic Biology, 71:1504–1523.
  3. Sarkar, V., C. Mahapatra, P. P. Mohapatra, M. V. Nair, and K. Kunte. 2021. Description of three new species of the genus Mata Distant, 1906 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae: Oncotympanini) with notes on their natural history from Indian state of Meghalaya, India. Zootaxa, 4908:1–28. PDF file (3 MB. Has colour plates of type specimens). Read news coverage in Deccan Herald.
  4. Hill, K., D. Marshall, K. Marathe, M. Moulds, Y. P. Lee, A. Mohagan, V. Sarkar, B. Price, H. Duffels, M. Schouten, A. de Boer, K. Kunte, and C. Simon. 2021. The molecular systematics and diversification of a large, taxonomically unstable group of primarily Asian cicada tribes (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). Invertebrate Systematics, 35:570–601. PDF file (5.2 MB. Has colour figures).
  5. Sarkar, V. 2019. A note on the taxonomy and natural history of the Summer Clicker Lahugada dohertyi (Distant, 1891) (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cicadidae) along with its distribution in northern West Bengal, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 11:14128–14136. 
  6. Marathe, K., A. F. Sanborn, and K. Kunte. 2018. Revision of the genus Rustia Stål, 1866 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae) including a generic synonymy, four new combinations, and two new species from the Western Ghats, India. Zootaxa, 4457:431–443. PDF file (5.6 MB, has colour figures of new species described).
  7. Marshall, D. C., M. Moulds, M. Boulard, A. F. Sanborn, A. Ewart, C. Wei, K. Marathe, L. W. Popple, B. W. Price, and C. Simon. 2018. Case 3761 — Platypleurini Schmidt, 1918: Proposed precedence over Hamzaria Distant, 1905 to conserve nomenclatural stability in the Cicadidae (Insecta, Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cicadoidea). The Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 75:49–54. PDF file (250 KB). [ICZN's Opinion 2466 conserved Platypleurini (PDF file, 340 KB)].
  8. Marshall, D. C., M. Moulds, K. B. R. Hill, B. W. Price, E. J. Wade, C. L. Owen, G. Goemans, K. Marathe, V. Sarkar, J. R. Cooley, A. F. Sanborn, K. Kunte, M. H. Villet, and C. Simon. 2018. A molecular phylogeny of the cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) with a review of tribe and subfamily classification. Zootaxa, 4424:1–64. PDF file (13 MB, has colour figures).
  9. Marathe, K., H. M. Yeshwanth, D. N. Basu, and K. Kunte. 2017. A new species of Platypleura Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae) from the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, India. Zootaxa, 4311:523–536. PDF file (9 MB, has colour figures of type specimens of the new species).
  10. Price, B. W., E. L. Allan, K. Marathe, V. Sarkar, C. Simon, and K. Kunte. 2016. The cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka: an annotated provisional catalogue, regional checklist and bibliography. Biodiversity Data Journal, 4:e8051. PDF file (1.3 MB).
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