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

Arizona cicada
Location: central Arizona (Aravaipa Canyon)
October 22, 2011 8:48 pm
This cicada was found (post-mortem, so no need to put this in the unnecessary carnage section! :-) ) in October in Aravaipa Canyon in south-central Arizona. I hate to bother you with it, but I’m stumped. I looked through all the cicada photos I could find on your site plus some other sites and I couldn’t find any with that interesting orange X on the back that appears to be between the thorax and the abdomen. (Or maybe I did but was so bug-eyed from looking at hundreds of cicada photos that I missed it.) That just seemed to me to be an important distinguishing feature that I did not see on any other species I found. If you could help me identify it, I would greatly appreciate it.
Signature: Brian Jones

Apache Cicada

Hi Brian,
After some research, we believe this may be
Diceroprocta apache, a species we have been unofficially calling the Apache Cicada.  You can see this posting to BugGuidethat explains how to differentiate the various members of the genus that are found in Arizona from one another.  We always welcome our readership to confirm or correct our sometimes questionable identifications.

Apache Cicada

Thank you so much for your amazingly fast response.  You guys perform an amazing service with your website.  It is both informative and entertaining.  Thank you for all of your efforts.
Take care,


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Tibicen and Magicicada exuviae, side-by-side
Location: Mid-Missouri
September 13, 2011 12:49 pm
Here’s a size comparison of the eclosed exuviae of our Brood XIX 13-year Magicicada and the later Tibicen. Found in somebody’s yard, mid-July. Magicicadas were gone by then…
Signature: Lisa, aka ”Mycologista”

Cicada Exuvia Comparison: Periodical Cicada (left) and Annual Cicada

Hi again Lisa,
Thanks for this nice size comparison.  Since the Periodical Cicadas emerge in May or June, and the Annual Cicadas emerged in mid Summer, it is isn’t often one has the opportunity to see the two side by side.

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