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Browse the stamps of French Polynesia in a lively way with our Virtual Museum.
Discover the stamps of various issues grouped by topics and start your journey in the heart of history and polynesian culture.
 
Cicadas of Polynesia




Withdrawn   Discovered by Edgar Aubert de la Rüe a traveller and naturalist, while on a visit in Raiatea (Leeward Islands, Society Archipelago) in 1935.
Five specimens (4 males and 1 female) were captured, taken to France and deposited at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris for further studies and classification in the future; however, they were pinned, labeled and kept in the innumerable boxes containing the national entomological collections.
An entomologist of EPHE and the Paris Museum, specializing in cicadas, was most surprised and interest when he found these specimens quite by chance in... 1978. The cicada in question was unknown and represented not only a species unheard of but, and this is much rarer, a new genus.

As a matter of fact, no cicada whatsoever had ever been listed or even reported as existing in French Polynesia ! The entomologist gave a description of the Raiatean cicada and its scientific name: Raiateana oulietea (French Journal of Entomology, N.S., 1 (2), 1979: 55-58).
Quite large (5.2 to 5.5 cms, for a wing span of some ten centimeters) and attractive (turquoise green striped or blackish-brown front part of body; dark brown belly showing a kind of white wax mask). This insect is very spectacular (rater to herein-enclosed photographs). Research undertaken so far in forest habitats, which are seemingly identical or very close to those existing in the Archipelago, gave no result and Raiateana oulietea, and, in fact, any other type of cicada was found.
Therefore, after the "Tiare apetahi", it appears that the Sacred Island has the unique privilege of holding another exclusivity by providing a home, in its high forests, to the Raiateana oulitea, the only cicada of French Polynesia.

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