The subspecies that occurs in Portugal (and Spain) is Cicada barbara
lusitanica Boulard, 1982. It is a cicada characteristic of the south of the country,
namely Algarve and Alentejo, although it also occurs in Serra da Arrábida, as well as in warmer parts of the north, e.g. where almond trees (Amygdalus communis) are grown.
Distribution - Cited for the Algarve (Alcalar, Alvor, Carvoeiro, Castro
Marim, Lagoa, Lagos, Loulé, Poço do Boliqueime, Praia da Rocha,
Raposeira, Serra de Monchique), Baixo Alentejo (Moura, Vila Verde
of Ficalho), Alto Alentejo (Crato, Monforte, Portel, Sousel),
Estremadura (Serra da Arrábida, Sesimbra) and Beira Alta (Barrage of the
Côa, Foz Côa, Malcata).
Ecology -In typically Mediterranean habitats, such as open woods,
olive groves and "garrigue", usually singing in trees and
less frequently on shrubs, namely olive trees (Olea
European), carob (Ceratonia siliqua), maritime pine (Pinus
pinaster), mastic shrubs (Pistacea lentiscus), etc...
Notes - Males emit acoustic signals from the end of June until
early September, perched on trunks and branches of several
trees and shrubs, either alone or in a chorus of several
individuals. Morphologically identical to Cicada orni, from which it is easily distinguished by its characteristic continuous call (discontinuous in C. orni), as well as by a slightly higher frequency (on average about 6 kHz vs. 5
kHz in C. orni) (Quartau & Rebelo, 1994). These two species
can occur simultaneously in some locations, and when
in sympatry, the populations of C. orni tend to vanish earlier, remaining only C. barbara lusitanica in the field. This gives evidence to some kind of acoustic competition between this pair of species when in sympatry, possibly because the signal of C. barbara masks the
call of C. orni. When disturbed, and unlike C. orni, this
cicada produces a characteristic alarm signal, which is characterized
by a marked modulation in intermittent amplitude.
(QUARTAU, J.A. & REBELO, M.T. 1994. Sinais acústicos em Cicadidae e Cicadellidae (Homoptera, Auchenorrhyncha) que ocorrem em Portugal.In: Actas do I Congresso Nacional de Etologia. Almada, V. & Oliveira, R. (eds), pp.: 137-142).