Help needed to identify a very noisy insect!
January 6, 2010
Looks like a large green cicada and is approx. 7cm in length. However it has solid coloured wings unlike any cicada I have seen previously and has a swollen abdomen. Was making a very loud vibration noise that I initially thought was coming from an electricity transformer. Unfortunately where it was I couldn’t get a full photo.
Sydney Australia

Bladder Cicada

Bladder Cicada

Hi Sarah,
As you letter indicated, this is not an ideal photograph for identification purposes.  At first we thought this must be a Katydid, and the Brisbane Insect website has a few photos of a False Leaf Katydid in the genus Mastigaphoides, family Pseudophyllinae, that didn’t look quite right.  In attempting to locate additional online photographs, we stumbled upon a wonderful Conservation Report website on Leaf Mimic Animals.  We suddenly remembered the Bladder Cicada, Cystosoma saundersii, and we found images that look correct on the Brisbane Insect website which states “The male Bladder Cicadas have the greatly enlarged abdomen, largely hollow. This is the resonating chamber to amplify the loudness of their songs.
”  You may also listen to the call of the Bladder Cicada on the Brisbane Insect Website.

Hi Daniel,
Yes, that’s it, a Bladder Cicada! Thankyou so much for helping to identify it.
It has been driving my neighbour & I mad for the last week trying to workout
what was making the sound, as it started spot on 8.30pm every evening (right
when it gets dark) and would make a very loud, annoying vibrating noise for 30
mins -2hrs. Last night it had moved from being up near the roof, most likely in
a tree (hence I thought it was coming from something electrical), to her
carport, so we were able to locate it & determine the source!

3 Responses to Bladder Cicada from Australia

  1. ozzicada says:

    It is a bladder cicada Cystosoma saundersi- where do you hear it in Sydney? The southern limit was thought to be Gosford, but we have a colony in Burwood.

  2. Mark says:

    Yes I heard two last night (24/10/17) in low shrubs on Weldon St Croydon, right next to Burwood & I was very surprised. As an avid amateur entomologist I’ve heard & seen them north of the central coast area at Taree, Cessnock etc but first time last night in Sydney..!

  3. Helen says:

    Whilst visiting the Central Coast, my son found one of these rare little creatures last night 25/11/17 at Erina !! We come from a leafy suburb in Sydney but I’ve never seen a cicada like this before, Wow!
    Everyone at the party suggested it was just a newly hatched green grocer, it took some googling & at first we identified it as a katydid (but it didn’t have the long cricket like legs and it had a pretty cicada face) then we discovered it was a beautiful bladder cicada!
    With the help of human haulage, I guess they might be moving & surviving so far south due to global warming?… I do hope a family move in around our neighbourhood soon!
    Surprising how nature never stops adapting and is so beautifully amazing!!!
    Thanks for your website, so much to explore : )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *