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Cicada songs from Borneo

Cicada songs from Borneo

Japanese version

Among the loudest animal voices to be heard in South East Asian Rainforests are those produced by cicadas (Insecta: Homoptera: Cicadidae). An unexperienced listener probably does not associate their loud, weird-sounding voices with an insect! This site provides acoustic examples of some cicada songs.
Recordings were made in April 1994 at Poring, Kinabalu National Park, Sabah, Malaysia. Thanks to Sabah Parks for assistance!
Sounds were sampled with Soundblaster, at a sampling frequency of 22kHz, in wav-format. For Unix-Users, some files are converted to au-Format.

Click on the scientific name of a cicada to hear its song!

Pomponia imperatoria, 22k,16-BIT,wav-Format [1.2 MB!]

Dundubia vaginata, 22k, 16-BIT, wav-Format [1.2 MB!] – 22k, 8-BIT, au-format [750 kB]


Listen to a weird unidentified cicada from Mt. Kinabalu, Sabah. For the time being, we call it the Laughing chicken

Listen to a longer soundtrack of forest voices from early afternoon at Kinabalu National Park (mp3; 1.3 MB, 4 minutes), or download Poring dusk chorus

All songs: © Klaus Riede 1995, 26.1.1995
Recordings in the rainforest were made with Telinga-microphones

Species singing at dusk 
exhibit an elaborate pattern of time-sharing, 
probably to reduce acoustic interference:

Cicada Songs

Click on picture, to get sonagrams of all mentioned species [large file!]

These sounds are described and discussed in:

  • Riede, K. & A. Kroker (1995): Bioacoustics and niche differentiation in two cicada species from Bornean lowland forest. Zoologischer Anzeiger 234, 43-51.
  • Gogala, M. & K. Riede (1995) Time sharing of song activity by cicadas in Temengor Forest Reserve, Hulu Perak, and in Sabah, Malaysia. Malayan Nature Journal 48, 297-305.

These studies have been realized during 1993 and 1994 in Sabah, Malaysia, with funding from the German research council (DFG: grants Ri 475/2-1 und Ri 475-2-2)

More publications by K Riede....


For comments and questions, please contact Klaus Riede

Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK)
Adenauerallee 160
53113 Bonn

Riede's Homepage



Last update: 27th July 2007