Currently viewing the category: "Cicadas"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bitten by a cicada
Location: Chicago IL, cir 1980
September 16, 2014 10:05 am
Hi! I’ve noticed in a few of your ID’s os of cicadas you mention the report of someone being bitten (or rather stabbed) by one. I was bitten by one when I was a boy! I always loved them and was super excited when I found one. I let this male that I found under a maple tree in Chicago climb my left index finger. About half way up it stopped and suddenly stabbed into my finger with its proboscis! It hurt like hell, much like being stabbed with a 20g needle. I don’t think it had any venom; the pain was purely from mechanical trauma. Anyway, I yanked it off my finger and tossed it into the air after which it buzzed off happily.
Random butterfly photo from the Bosque Del Apache reserve.
Signature: Mike

Western Painted Lady

Western Painted Lady

Dear Mike,
Thank you for substantiating the possibility that a person might be bitten by a Cicada if it is carelessly handled.  Your image of a Western Painted Lady,
Vanessa annabella, is beautiful.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large fly like bug what is it?

Location: Springfield, IL Lincoln’s House National Park
September 13, 2014 5:17 am
Hi bug man,
My eight-year-old daughter and I were hoping to get this rather large insect identified. She found him hanging out on the outside porch railing at Lincoln’s House in Springfield, IL. It was never bothered by our presence or me being very close to take this picture. Can you identify it? Thanks so much.
Signature: Sincerely, Shelly

Annual Cicada

Annual Cicada

Dear Shelly,
This Annual Cicada in the genus
Tibicen is sometimes called a Dog Day Harvestfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
September 13, 2014 12:10 pm
Saw this exoskeleton on my mailbox. The forelimbs look like a mantis but the rest doesn’t.
Signature: Theresa

Cicada Exuvia

Cicada Exuvia

Dear Theresa,
This is the shed exoskeleton or Exuvia of a Cicada.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange Beetle(?) with transparent wings
Location: Southeast Michigan
September 12, 2014 8:28 pm
Can you help ID this strange bug I found today, Sept. 12, on my back porch? I found it on its’ back, somewhat tangled in a bit of spider web, and I thought it might be dead. When I picked it up,
however, it moved.
I carefully removed the web, and it began flapping its’ wings but seemed happy to crawl around my
hand. In the 2nd photo you can see exposed what appears to be a proboscis of some kind. Quite an interesting little critter! Thank you!
Signature: Kathy

Cicada

Cicada

Dear Kathy,
This is an Annual Cicada in the genus
Tibicen, not a beetle, and you are probably quite familiar with the din caused by Cicadas that emanates from the tops of trees in mid to late summer.  These Annual Cicadas are also known as Dog Day Harvestflies.  For your kindness to this Cicada, we are honoring you with the Bug Humanitarian Award, and we are also tagging this posting as a Buggy Accessory as that Cicada looks quite fetching on your hand.

Dog Day Harvestfly

Dog Day Harvestfly

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for your prompt reply and for the lovely honor!  You made my day!
Go bugs!
Respectfully,
Kathy Genaw

You are welcome Kathy.  We should also warn you that we have received one report of a bite from a Cicada.  Many years ago, Vince who works at a Nature Center sent in an extensive comment beginning with:  “A few years ago, while working in a state park nature center in Indiana, a young (6 years old) entomologist brought his latest aquisition, a cicada, to show me. I picked it up and let it crawl on my thumb. When I was ready to give it back, the thing wouldn’t let go, and decided to press that sucking mouth part into my thumb. It was pretty painful. They can DEFINATELY bite (or perhaps STAB is a more appropriate term).”

Daniel,
You have gone above and beyond with your thoughtful warning!  Thank you!
I must share with you that, once you had identified by bug, I was compelled to follow up
with a bit more research.  I was particularly interested in that mouth part to which you referred.
As you can see in one of my photos, the cicada had just begun to insert its’ proboscis into my
flesh…it was at that point that I set it down on the ground!  From what I have read, this behavior
was not adversarial or defensive but rather a food absorbing action.  I did feel a bit of a sting,
but I have no hard feelings nor any skin effect!  All in all, my cicada experience was very
interesting, and your input much appreciated!
Have a great day…
Kathy Genaw

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Critter emerging from skeletal shell
Location: Sturbridge,Ma.
September 11, 2014 5:40 am
This critter was observed attached to a maple tree right at sunset so the lighting was tricky. I observed it for 25 minutes before darkness took over. I posted the picture on Facebook but no one was able to identify it. I was not sure if this guy was just shedding it’s shell or going through a transition stage.
Signature: Michael Edick

Metamorphosis of an Annual Cicada

Metamorphosis of an Annual Cicada

Dear Michael,
This is a spectacular image of the metamorphosis of an Annual Cicada in the genus
Tibicen.  For several years, the Cicada Nymph has been living underground feeding on nourishment from the roots of trees and shrubs.  When maturity time approaches, it digs to the surface, climbs up a tree or other vertical feature and molts for the final time, emerging as a winged adult and leaving behind the exoskeleton of the nymph or exuvia.  You are probably familiar with the clamor produced by male Cicadas in the treetops during the dog days of summer.  When they are plentiful, the loud buzzing sound is quite a cacophony.  One common eastern species is known as the Dog Day Harvestfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: annual cicada
Location: southern ontario, canada
September 1, 2014 12:23 pm
I have used your site a number of times to identify different bugs I’ve found. As I came across it again while looking for details about an annual cicada I recently got some photos of, I thought I might see if you would like some of those photos.
They are yours to use on your site if you’d like.
Thanks for the info,
Jeff Epp

Cicada

Cicada

Hi Jeff,
Your images are beautiful.  This does not look like one of the Cicadas in the genus
Tibicen, which are quite common, so we will try to provide a genus at a later point.  You should handle Cicadas with caution.  We tried to locate a comment we received from a reader once who was handling a Cicada when the Cicada plunged its piercing proboscis into the person’s finger.  It was allegedly quite painful.  We just located the comment which states:  “A few years ago, while working in a state park nature center in Indiana, a young (6 years old) entomologist brought his latest aquisition, a cicada, to show me. I picked it up and let it crawl on my thumb. When I was ready to give it back, the thing wouldn’t let go, and decided to press that sucking mouth part into my thumb. It was pretty painful. They can DEFINATELY bite (or perhaps STAB is a more appropriate term).”

Cicada

Cicada

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination