What’s this big bug?
August 20, 2009
This morning I found this bug sitting in my driveway, it was most impressive so I decided to photograph it and it obliged. This is the largest bug I’ve ever seen in my area, and I’m sure I’ve never seen this type of bug before. I did some googling and I’m guessing it’s a type of cicada. I’d be pleased if you could give it a definite identification.
Many thanks! -Kendra
We are nearly certain that this is a Dogday Harvestfly, a species of Cicada, Tibicen canicularis, though BugGuide has six pages of Cicadas in the genus and it could easily be one of the others. Here is BugGuide’s explanation of the name: “DOG-DAY: a reference to the hot “dog days” of late summer when this species is heard singing; at this time in the northern hemisphere the Dog Star (Sirius) becomes visible above the horizon in the Big Dog constellation (Canis Major)
CANICULARIS: from the Latin “canicula” (a little dog, the Dog Star, Sirius)
HARVESTFLY: another reference to the late season song of this species, heard during harvest time” We responded to three other readers today who found Cicadas and thought they were flies, so we figured the zeitgeist demanded that we post an image before going to bed.