Contacts Centre for Environmental Biology


Full Professor (retired)

CBA research group(s):

Computational Biology and Population Genomics (main)
Animal Diversity & Conservation

Personal webpage

Team webpage

José Alberto Quartau

Main Research Interests

My main research interests are studies on patterns of variation and adaptation in selected species of insects  (Hemiptera, Cicadomorpha) with a view to a better understanding of their adaptive roles and strategies, as well as of the divergence process in closely related forms - the basis of speciation.


Academic Qualifications

- 1985 Full Professor (Prof. Catedrático) in Zoology and Anthropology (Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon)

- 1985 Professor Agregado  in Zoology and Anthropology (University of Lisbon)

- 1978 PhD in Zoology and Applied Entomology (Imperial College, University of London)

- 1968 4-year college graduation in Biology (Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon), followed by several post-graduate courses (Cell physioology, Chemical microbiology, Numerical taxonomy) at Centro de Biologia, Gulbenkian Foundation, Oeiras (1968-1970).

Recent Publications

Rodrigues A.S.B., Silva S.E., Marabuto E., Silva D.N., Wilson M.R., Thompson V., Yurtsever S., Halkka A., Borges P.A.V, Quartau J.A., Paulo O.S. & Seabra S.G. 2014. New mitochondrial and nuclear evidences support recent demographic expansion and an atypical phylogeographic pattern in the spittlebug Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera, Aphrophoridae). PLoS One 9(6):e98375.

Mendes R., Nunes V.L., Quartau J.A. & Simões P.C. 2014. Patterns of acoustic and morphometric variation in species of genus Tettigettalna (Hemiptera: Cicadidae): Sympatric populations show unexpected differences. European Journal of Entomology 111(3):429-441

Nunes V.L., Mendes R., Marabuto E., Novais B.M., Hertach T., Quartau J.A., Seabra S.G., Paulo O.S. & Simões P.C. 2014. Conflicting patterns of DNA barcoding and taxonomy in the cicada genus Tettigettalna from southern Europe (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). Molecular Ecology Resources 14(1): 27-38.

Simões P.C., Sanborn A. & Quartau J.A. 2013. Two new species of Cicadatra (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea) from Greece. Entomological Science 16(1):83-90.

Simões P.C. & Quartau J.A. 2013. Distribution of cicadas from genus Lyristes (Hemiptera, Cicadidae) in the eastern Mediterranean area. Biologia 68/5:961-965.

Zina V., da Silva E.B., Quartau J.A. & Franco J.C. 2013. First report of the citrus leafhopper Penthimiola bella (StAyenl) (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae) in Europe. Phytoparasitica 41:521-527.

Sanborn A.F., Simões P.C., Phillips P.K. & Quartau J.A. 2011. Thermoregulations and the influence of body temperature on calling song parameters in Cicada orni (Hemiptyera: Cicadidadae). European Journal of Entomology 108:365-369.

Seabra S.G., Pina-Martins F., Marabuto E., Yurtsever S., Halkka O., Quartau J.A. & Paulo O.S. 2010. Molecular phylogeny and DNA barcoding in the meadow-spittlebug Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera, Cercopidae) and its related species. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56(1):462-467.

Triantis K.A., Borges P.A.V., Ladle R.J., Hortal J., Cardoso P., Gaspar C., Dinis F., Mendonça E., Silveira L.M.A., Gabriel R., Melo C., Santos A.M.C., Amorim I.R., Ribeiro S.P., Serrano A.R.M., Quartau J.A. & Whittaker R.J. 2010. Extinction debt on oceanic islands. Ecography 33(2):285-294.

Pinto-Juma G.A., Quartau J.A. & Bruford M.W. 2009. Mitochondrial DNA variation and the evolutionary history of the Mediterranean species of Cicada L. (Hemiptera, Cicadoidea). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 155:266-288.

Quartau J.A. 2009. Preventative fire procedures in Mediterranean woods are deswtroying their insect Biodiversity: a plea to the EU Governments. Journal of Insect Conservation 13:267-270.

Seabra S.G., Quartau J.A. & Bruford M.W. 2009. Spatio-temporal genetic variation in sympatric and allopatric Mediterranean Cicada species (Hemiptera, Cicadidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 96(2):249-265.

Simões P.C. & Quartau J.A. 2009. Patterns of morphometric variation among species of genus Cicada (Hemiptera, Cicadidae) in the Meditteranean area. European Journal of Entomology 106:393-403.

Fonseca P.J., Serrão E.A., Pina-Martins F., Silva P., Mira S., Quartau J.A., Paulo O.S. & Cancela L. 2008. The evolution of cicada songs contrasted with the relationships inferred from mitochondrial DNA (Insecta, Hemiptera). Bioacoustics 18(1):17-34.

Pinto-Juma G.A., Quartau J.A. & Bruford M.W. 2008. Population structure of Cicada barbara Stal (Hemiptera, Cicadoidea) from the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco based on mitochondrial DNA analysis. Bulletin of Entomological Research 98(1):15-25.

Pinto-Juma G.A., Seabra S.G. & Quartau J.A. 2008. Patterns of acoustic variation in Cicada barbara Stal (Hemiptera, Cicadoidea) from the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco. Bulletin of Entomological Research 98(1):1-14.

Seabra S.G., André G. & Quartau J.A. 2008. Variation in the acoustic properties of the calling songs of Cicada barbara and C. orni (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) at the individual and population levels. Zoological Studies 47(1):1-10.

Simões P.C. & Quartau J.A. 2008. Distribution patterns and calling song variation in species of the genus Cicada Linnaeus, 1758 (Hemiptera, Cicadidae) in the Aegean Sea area. Italian Journal of Zoology 75(2):135-146.

Naves P.M., Camacho S., de Sousa E.M. & Quartau J.A. 2007. Transmission of the pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus through oviposition activity of Monochamus galloprovincialis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Entomologica Fennica 18(4):193-198.

Naves P.M., Camacho S., de Sousa E.M. & Quartau J.A. 2007. Transmission of the pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus through feeding activity of Monochamus galloprovincialis (Col., Cerambycidae). Journal of Applied Entomology 131(1):25-35.

Naves P.M., de Sousa E.M. & Quartau J.A. 2007. Winter dormancy of the pine sawer Monochamus galloprovincialis (Col., Cerambycidae) in Portugal. Journal of Applied Entomology 13(9-10):669-673.

Simões P.C. & Quartau J.A. 2007. On the dispersal of males of Cicada orni in Portugal (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). Entomologia Generalis 30(3):245-252.

Ongoing Projects

  • Investigator of the project “2010/13 Adaptive significance and genetic basis of a balanced colour-polymorphism. (PTDC/BIA-BEC/098783/2008)”
  • Investigator of the project “PTDC/BIA-BIC/115511/2009 How does acoustic divergence correlate with morphology and genetic distance in speciation?”


Other Information

New species to Science 

One hundred and twenty nine (129) species and subspecies new to Science, mostly within the Hemiptera Cicadomorpha and from Portugal and Africa, were described by J.A.Quartau (within genera Acacioiassus, Afroiassus, Agallia, Aphrodes, Asianidia, Brachypterona, Batracomorphus, Cicada, Cicadatra, Goldeus, Iassomorphus, Jassargus, Lusitanocephalus, Krisna, Ommatissopyrops and Tettigetta).



Tributes (recipient of new taxa names by peers):

Brevisiana quartaui (Hemiptera, Cicadidae, in Boulard, M. (1972) -Contribuition à l'étude de la faune Cicadéene d'Angola (Insecta-Auchenorrhyncha). Publicaçöes Culturais da Companhia de Diamantes de Angola, Lisboa: 151-178).

Cyphopterum quartaui (Hemiptera, Flatidae, in Linnavuori, R. (1974) - A hemipterus material from Salvage Islands. Bocagiana, 34: 1-3).

Quartausius dalmatinus (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae, in Dlabola, J. (1974) -Ueber sich der Gattungen Anoplotettix, Goldeus und Thamotettix mit Beschreibungen von 7 neuen mediterranean Arten (Homoptera, Auchenorrhyncha). Acta Faunistica Entomológica Musei Nationalis Pragae, 15: 103-130).

Kiamoncopsis quartaui (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae, in Linnavuori, R. (1978) -Studies on the family Cicadellidae (Homoptera, Auchenorrhyncha). Acta Entomologica Fennica, 33: 1-19).

Quartauropa nigrocella (in Webb, M. (1983) - The Afrotropical idiocerine leafhoppers (Homoptera: Cicadellidae). Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Entomology), 47 (3): 211-257).

Haematopota  quartaui (Diptera, Tabanidae, in Dias, J.A.T.S. (1987) -Notas sobre os tabanídeos (Diptera-Tabanidae) de Portugal. XII. Alguns tavöes coligidos pelo Prof. Doutor J.A. Quartau. Actas do II Congresso Ibérico de Entomologia, Lisboa, Suplemento nº 1, Boletim da Sociedade Portuguesa de Entomologia, 4: 137-147).

Geocharis quartaui (Coleoptera, Carabidae, in Serrano, A.R.M. & C.A.S. Aguiar (2004) –Three new species of the genus Geocharis Ehlers, 1883 from Portugal (Coleoptera, Carabidae). Graellsia, 60(1): 71-80).


Some published comments on his research:

- In Ecosfera Público 07-06-2009, by Nicolau Ferreira. Prevenção dos incêndios pode hipotecar biodiversidade das florestas. Read in

- In Ciência Hoje 17-08-2009, by Catarina Amorim. Cicadas – singing a different song . Cicadas - better known for providing the soundtrack of our hot summer are remarkably interesting animals, they are the longest living insects &ndas(...) Read more at...

- In Ciência Hoje 18-08-2009. by Lusa. Canto das cigarras pode gerar evolução da espécie.
O processo evolutivo das cigarras enveredou fundamentalmente pela comunicação acústica e a diversificação dos seu(...) Read more...