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

Seventeen Year Cicada
Location: Glenview, Illinois
September 12, 2011 8:14 pm
Magicicada, image taken in June, 2007 in Cook County, IL. They will be back in 2024.
Signature: Venom

Periodical Cicada: Brood XIII

Hi Venom,
We are happy you included the date of the sighting.  We were actually a bit shocked to be receiving a submission of a Periodical Cicada in September.  This is a member of Brood XIII, called the Northern Illinois Brood according to the Periodical Cicada Brood website.

Thanks for the email. I had submitted some images of the Spinyback Orbweaver spiders, and in looking thru some of my jpegs, I thought it would be interesting to submit the Cicada. I actually put up a site,  in which I posted many images back in 2007.
I’m kind of obsessed with close-up images of insects so I hope to post more as time goes by.
Thanks again,
John Spina

Hi John,
Now that you have opened the door on photography, and since our editorial staff teaches photography, and since we are very interested in staged photographs as much as we are interested in perfectly representational photographs of bugs, we feel compelled to ask if you found the Cicada on the geranium inflorescence or if you placed it there.

Good question. I placed it there, simply for the contrasting colors. Those bugs want nothing to do with flowers, their native positions are usually on tree leaves. Odd, they simply mate and die, don’t devour vegetation, and have no natural predators…against the rules of nature.
Anyway, I found it to be a nice color combination. Once I shot the image, she flew away. So, the subtitle should read “placed on the backdrop for color effect only”.

Hi again John,
We would like to qualify your latest response.  While it is true that adult Cicadas do not feed on leaves, they do feed on sap.  Also, they have numerous natural predators.  The emergence of swarms of Periodical Cicadas provides a bounty of food for birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and spiders as well as a host of other predators that you might not expect.  Cicadas falling onto the surface of water will feed fish, and with the current fad of entomophagy gaining popularity, even people are getting in in the Cicada eating action.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s this bug?
Location: Central Texas – HIll Country
August 25, 2011 8:49 am
I work at TPWD at a State Park and found this one close to our headquarters. At first I though it might be locus but looking at locus online I couldn’t fit one that look like it. Thanks
Signature: Sara


Hi Sara,
This is a Cicada, though in some parts of the country they are called Locusts.  We believe your Cicada is in the genus
Tibicen, and in our opinion, the closest match is to Tibicen resh which may be viewed on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Use of pic for Illinois FFA Forestry contest
Location: Greater Glendale Illinois
August 18, 2011 2:26 pm
Dear Whats That Bug, I am looking for permission to use a few images for use in a FFA forestry contest. The image would be printed once, laminated and used for the contest and for educational purposes only. The pics that I would like to use are at the following url.
Date of the contest is September 20, 2011.
Since the site made me place a pic in the image place, I did! Some sort of flocked insect taken last year while pruning a walnut plantation.
Thank you,
Jim Kirkland
Interim Director
University of Illinois
Illinois Forest Resource Center
Signature: Jim Kirkland

Mating Periodical Cicadas

Dear Jim Kirkland,
Please explain how the photo will be used.  It obviously cannot be entered in the contest by anyone but Jane who took the photo.  The photo you attached depicts mating Periodical Cicadas.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cicada Killer…Killing a cicada!
Location: Morningside Park, Manhattan, New York
August 14, 2011 4:56 pm
I guess this wasp must be one of those Cicada Killers, judging by the fact that it is clearly killing this cicada! I saw this thing flying at me across a busy intersection near Morningside Park. The two bugs together made quite a large mass of buzzing insect, and at first I couldn’t figure out what it was, and just stepped back in fear of getting stung. Then I realized it was this wasp carrying its prey through the air. It landed on a nearby lamppost and I was able to snap a few shots, of which one came out decently. I hope you like it!
Signature: Jenny Jo

Cicada Killer preys upon Cicada

Hi Jenny Jo,
Though we have no shortage of Cicada Killers preying upon Cicadas on our site, what makes your letter so intriguing to us is your concise eye witness account as well as your location.  It is wonderful to know that both Cicada Killers and Cicadas can be found in Manhattan.  Your description of the Cicada Killer and its freight flying through the air and landing on a lamp post is critical to understanding the Cicada Killers instincts.  It is highly likely that the load weighs more than the carrier, and getting airborne from the ground is probably very difficult if not highly unlikely.  We have read that Cicada Killers climb up a tree or pole so that they do not have to take off from the ground, adding needed altitude to the flight.  It expends considerably less energy that way.  The fact that the Cicada Killer that you witnessed chose a lamp post as a landing field ensured that it would not have to search for a structure to climb while on the ground on a busy street in Manhattan, ensuring its survival until it reaches the site of its underground nest.  Thanks so much for submitting a photo to our site that did not require an identification.  As an aside, Annual Cicadas in the genus
Tibicen, especially the northern species Tibicen canicularis, is frequently called the Dogday Harvestfly.  See BugGuide for verification.

Thanks for the note!  The wasp landed near the base of the lamp post
an did, indeed, climb upward after landing.  I didn’t have time to
stick around until she took off, though.  I love how she is able to
hang onto the texture of the paint with only one foot.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large Flies Mating.
Location: Central Ontario,Canada
August 10, 2011 10:22 am
I was wondering if someone could tell me what on earth these flies are.I know what they are doing,that’s obvious.I have never seen them before up until the last week or so. My cat has been chasing them around on the deck,but I can never seem to get a picture of one until today. And behold I got two of them. I managed to get about 35 photos. They are rather large. the widest part of there upper body may span 3/4 of an inch. And a beautiful pattern on there front portion of there body. So any assistance would be great. Thank you so much.
Signature: Matt Hickey

Mating Annual Cicadas

Hi Matt,
We just finished posting an identification request for an Annual Cicada, and we remarked that in mid to late summer, we always get requests to identify enormous flies that are actually Annual Cicadas, sometimes called Harvestflies.  Just as we posted, your email arrived to substantiate our claim.  These are mating Annual Cicadas in the genus
Tibicen, and we believe they are Tibicen canicularis, Dogday Harvestflies or Northern Dog-Day Cicadas.  You can read details about this species on BugGuide.

Mating Annual Cicadas

Thank you so much for your quick response. We have lived at our current location for over 15 years and have never come across these Flies before. It is amazing. Just when you think you know it all.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What could this be and is it dangerous?
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
August 10, 2011 9:49 am
Hi bugman.
Very interesting and informative site. I came across this insect, rather it came across me the other night. I walked out on to my front porch and it appeared to be making a warning noise (clicking) and movements to warn me off. Like it was squaring off to me. A little frightened, I hit it with a flyswatter and then was able to get a photo of it.Now living in North Carolina, there are a lot of insects that I have come across that are so unusual to me that I feel I have joined the ”bug of the month” club. I turned it over to have a look at the underside and noticed what looked to be a stinger looking appendage, but it came back to consciousness and flew away before I could take a picture of the underside.
Any help with identification would be appreciated.
Signature: James in NC

Annual Cicada

Hi James,
This is an Annual Cicada in the genus
Tibicen.  There are many species in the genus that look very similar, and we are very reluctant to try to identify different species.  You can view some of the possibilities on bugGuide.  We get several identification requests each summer for enormous flies that turn out to be Cicadas.  Annual Cicadas generally emerge in July and August, and because of their resemblance to flies and the time of their appearance, they are sometimes called Harvest Flies.  Annual Cicadas typically spend several years underground as nymphs before emerging and metamorphosing as winged adults.  The name Annual Cicada distinguishes them from the Periodical Cicadas that appear every 13 or 17 years, depending upon the species.  The Periodical Cicadas are also called 17 Year Locusts, though they are not true locusts.  Cicadas are not dangerous, however, like other Hemipterans, they have piercing/sucking mouthparts that are strong enough to pierce young tree stems.  We have received at least two reports of painful bites from Cicadas, though in both cases, the bites occurred because of careless handling.  You do not need to fear a Cicada attack, though should you decide to handle them, stay away from the mouth.

Update:  August 27, 2011
Hi Daniel.
Thank you for the timely response. After reading how busy you guys are I guessed it would be days/weeks before I heard back and I do appreciate your effort.
I am not normally a random bug killer but the aggressive behavior in this particular instance brought it out in me.
Just for your information, while up visiting in Canada last summer I ran across phoney wasp nests that claimed to stop other wasps from building nests nearby (within 200feet). I took a chance and bought a paper version and a cloth version. They work. I haven’t had a single issue with nest building wasps since I placed them. Just the occasional solitary variety like the mud-dobber (?). I brought back some for my neighbor this year and she has hung them up now. So we can see if they work or if I just had really good luck. Normally we have several varieties of nests to contend with.
I will let you know in the future how they back up their claim. Now if I could find a harmless way to rid our house of mosquitos and flies… That would be a trick
Regards, James
James Rankine

Thanks for the tip on Wasp’s Nests James.  We will create a unique posting with that information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination