Currently viewing the category: "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

What’s this bug?
Location: NE PA
August 8, 2011 7:11 pm
I found it on a type of pine tree. 3 of them. hanging upside down. It’s crusty. My dog grabbed it and chewed on it. Appears partially hollow. It’s eyes are transparent as well as some of its body. It has front claws like a crab. Thanks!
Signature: does not matter

Cicada Exuvia

Dear does not matter,
This is the Exuvia or cast off exoskeleton of a Cicada.  The Cicada nymph lives underground for several years feeding on the sap in tree roots.  When it nears maturity, it digs to the surface and metamorphoses into a winged adult, leaving behind the shed exuvia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Loud flying bug
Location: Oregon Cascades near Tombstone Pass/Cone Peak
August 8, 2011 12:45 pm
We saw quite a few of these while hiking in the Cascades last week. We’re about a month behind as far as weather is concerned. Aprox 4000 ft elevation, sunny day, wildflower fields surrounded by old growth forests with over 10 species of trees. They sound kind of like rattlesnakes when they fly (scared the bejezzus out of my friend). Can’t seem to find any info on them but my 10 year old daughter is very interested in knowing what they are.
Signature: Thanks so much! Corrie and Kayley

Mountain Cicada

Dear Corrie and Kayley
All indications are that this is a Mountain Cicada,
Okanagana bella, or a closely related species in the same genus.  Your elevation at the time of the sightings is an excellent indication that our identification is correct.  You can compare your image to those posted on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Cockroach Eating Cicada
Location: Central Kentucky
August 4, 2011 9:56 pm
I thought you would enjoy this picture I took one night of a cockroach munching on a cicada while the cicada was molting. Cockroaches are certainly opportunistic.
Signature: Amelia

Wood Cockroach eats molting Cicada

Hi Amelia,
Thank you so much for sending this amazing documentation.  We don’t normally think of Cockroaches as being predators, but this lends credence to the popular concept that they can and will eat most anything.  It appears that the Cockroach might be a Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach based on the markings around the pronotum.  Check BugGuide for a comparison.

Eric Eaton provides and alternate theory
Yep, a male Parcoblatta pennsylvanica.  I’m thinking the cicada is already dead (got stuck while molting) or it is just the exuviae itself.  Roaches are rarely, if ever, predators.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination