June 29, 2010
I found this bug on a Tomato plant (June ’10). Its’ body (not counting the wings) was slightly larger than a US Quarter. It didn’t appear to be eating any of the plant and didn’t move until a couple of hours after I had taken the picture when it moved underneath the leaf – this was after sunset.
Twin Cites, MN
Whenever we get an email with a reference to a large fly in the subject line and the email arrives in mid to late summer, we immediately suspect a Cicada, and this was the case with your letter even before we looked at the photo. Your Cicada is probably in the genus Tibicen. Appearances generally begin in July, so your individual is earlier than most, and the size you indicate is smaller than most. We are reluctant to try to identify your Cicada to the species level, but one good candidate might be Linne’s Cicada, Tibicen linnei, which is profiled on BugGuide. One photo on BugGuide with a finger for scale indicates that it is in the size range of your specimen, and the data page on BugGuide shows that Minnesota is likely in the range and that there are some reported June appearances (though they are in the southern portion of the range).