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

Subject: Insect w/black lace like wing yet looks cricketish or grasshopperish?
Location: La Grande Oregon 97850
June 2, 2012 4:35 pm
Hi Bugman,
I noticed this as I was checking for ladybug eggs in the backyard (just released 18,000 of them :) I have never seen anything quite like it around here. However I did ”theoretically” release some green lacewing larvae around a month ago…I say ”theoretical” because I buy packages full of invisible things from the internet. Unfortunately the weather went south and the release conditions were less than ideal, also my understanding is green lacewings are well… Any help you could provide would be much appreciated. Best Regards Scott
Signature: Purple Monkey Dishwasher


Dear Scott, AKA Purple Monkey Dishwasher,
This is a Cicada, but we are uncertain of the species and sadly, we haven’t the time to research the species at this moment.  You can read more about Cicadas on BugGuide.  We find it terribly interesting and more than a little disturbing that you release packages of invisible things you have bought on the internet.  This could have undesirable consequences if you establish non-native species in a sensitive habitat.  We are postdating your letter to go live during our absence later in the month.

Hi Bugman,
Thank you so very much for your prompt reply.  Of course I understand that you haven’t the time or inclination to identify the species(I don’t either!) the genus is enough :)  I too find my “release of invisible things” interesting and disturbing.  Rest assured though releases have been quite limited to the aforementioned lace wings and the beneficial nematodes S. feltiae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora or as I call them “Adult Sea Monkey’s”.  Of course you may use my letter how you wish though I would prefer it not be in the context of “this is how you file a restraining order” or “stay away from Eastern Oregon sweetie…..” fond memories at drunken Christmas parties are ok though…….Once again thank you.
Regards, Purple Monkey Dishwasher

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tiny cicadas; we call them ”snapping bugs”
Location: Edgewood, NM at 6800’; pinion and juniper forest
May 25, 2012 12:09 pm
Hi again! Been awhile since my last submission to you guys. We have been invaded by the cutest little cicadas I have ever seen. I’m used to the giant ones that come out in late summer or the periodical ones; these look a bit like the 17 year ones in Illinois except that their eyes aren’t red and they are about 1/4 the size. Also, they don’t buzz; they sound like a small child snapping his or her fingers. There are so many of them outside that it sounds like an entire school of kids snapping their fingers randomly. The cicadas seem to prefer junipers, but this one was snapping away in a small apple tree.
Signature: Mike

Cicada: Platypedia similis perhaps

Hi Mike,
This is a member of the genus
Okanagana and there are many similar looking species in the genus.  We suspect this might be a Mountain Cicada, Okanagana bella, because of the altitude of your sighting.  You can see some photos of the Mountain Cicada on BugGuide if you would like to compare them to your individual.  Your observations about the call of this Cicada being like the snapping of fingers is interesting.  We are going to try to locate its call online.  The Selected Cicada Species of the Western United States has many sound recordings, but none of the members of the genus Okanagana sound like snapping fingers to us.  Perhaps you can play through the songs to see if any matches what you heard.  

Ok, thanks for the suggestions.  It looks exactly like a Okanagana bella, but the song is completely different.  When I sit and watch them, they don’t buzz with their abdominal plates like “normal” cicadas; it seems that they are doing a quick wing flap which creates the “snap” sound.  I can’t tell if they are hitting their wings on the trees or if they are just catching the air around them.  For their size, the sound is surprisingly loud.  Does that help?

We would love to spend more time on this Mike, but there are so many unanswered questions in our mailbox right now.  If you find your Cicada’s call on the Selected Cicada Species of the Western United States, please let us know.

I think I found what it is–a Platypedia putnami (or other related species).  They only call with wing slaps and look exactly like the pic I sent.  If you get a chance, listen to the song and see if you agree that they sound like snapping fingers.  Thanks for helping!

Sorry–I meant a Playpedia similis.  Their calls are almost exactly a second apart.

Thanks for getting back to us Mike.  The two genera, Platypedia and Okanagana are in the same Cicada subfamily.  BugGuide has some nice images of Platypedia putnami  and they are reported from states bordering New Mexico, however, we cannot locate any images of Platypedia similis. Interestingly, the Cicadas North of Mexico website puts Platypedia in the subfamily Platypediinae, the Crepitating Cicadas.  Crepitate is defined as “To make a crackling or popping sound; crackle” on the Online Medical Dictionary.  Some folks refer to snapping fingers as “popping”.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location: South East Texas (Sour Lake), USA
May 13, 2012 3:20 pm
Found this beauty hanging on our chicken coop today. I don’t know how long it was out, but it appeared to be still drying. It’s such a beautiful color and there are several areas around the head of a coppery-gold.
Signature: HereFishyFishy

Newly Emerged Cicada

Dear HereFishyFishy,
This newly emerged Cicada is still clinging to the exuvia or cast off skin of its nymph form.  It is most likely in the genus
Tibicen.  As it dries and hardens, it will lose its neon coloration.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Found in the house
Location: chatham, On
January 16, 2012 1:43 pm
My mothers husband was cleaning in their living room and found this skin of what i thought was a junebug, but at a closer glance i realized that it wasn’t. Can you please tell me what this is because the pincher arms scare me a little with my young kids going there. It might be in the house, it was at one time at least to shed its skin.
Signature: Carly

Cicada Exuvia

Hi Carly,
This is the exuvia or cast of skin of a Cicada.  Cicada nymphs live underground, often for many years.  When they are ready to metamorphose into adults, they dig to the surface, split their skins to molt for the last time, and emerge as winged adults leaving the exuvia behind.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Happy New Year
Location: Queensland, Australia
December 31, 2011 8:01 pm
Hi guys,
Happy New year to all, hope it is another great one for bugs.
Thought you might like this shot of an Ironbark Cicada. They are emerging in great numbers right now following a quite wet December. This is about as big as they come, I have seen ones only half this size so perhaps the difference is gender.
They don’t make a lot of noise and will scurry around to the other side of the tree as you walk around trying to spot them. Very frustrating.
Signature: Aussietrev

Ironbark Cicada from Australia

Happy New Year to you as well Trevor.
Thanks for thinking of us and sending your wonderful photo of a new Australian Cicada species for our site.  We found a page devoted to Cicadas in the genus
Burbunga from Australia that are called Bark Cicadas, but other than that, we cannot locate much information.  The hiding behavior you describe is typical of many of the Leafhoppers and Treehoppers that are classified with Cicadas in the superfamily Cicadoidea.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

This 17-year Cicada nymph missed the party :(
Location: Chicago, IL
December 8, 2011 12:29 am
I found this M. cassini nymph (judging by the fact this was the only song I heard in the area) on June 25, 2008 under a flat rock in my backyard on the far Southwest side of Chicago. It was a straggler from Brood XIII from 2007. I took this pic and let it crawl away.
Signature: Justin

Periodical Cicada Nymph

Hi Justin,
Thanks for sending us your photo of a “late” Periodical Cicada Nymph.  It is not unusual for individuals to be early or late, and if enough members of a brood emerge in a different year and mate and procreate, a new brood may be created once they return to the 17 year cycle.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination