Subject: assumed cicada, but possibly something else?
Geographic location of the bug: Brooks, Alberta, Canada (Dinosaur Provincial Park
Time: 08:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: For overlanding camping/adventure site, and for accuracy’s sake, would like accurate confirmation of insect. Apologies for unclear photo. Best guess will be appreciated. If it helps, this creature was really loud! This is a “Badlands” site, temps at the time were 39C and higher. Any info will be appreciated.
How you want your letter signed: Tobi
This is a Grasshopper, not a Cicada. You may visit our Cicada page to see some examples of what a Cicada looks like. According to Songs of Insects: “there is one group, the slant-faced grasshoppers, that are known for their soft and muffled songs. Males of this group ‘fiddle their tunes’ by rubbing pegs on the inner surface of their hind femurs against the edges of their forewings. Another group, the band-winged grasshoppers, make an entirely different kind of sound. Males, and sometimes females, make loud snapping or crackling sounds with their wings as they fly, especially during courtship flights. This unique mode of sound production is called ‘crepitation,’ the snapping sounds apparently being produced when the membranes between veins are suddenly popped taut (band-wings also stridulate, but their songs are typically weak and subtle).” Our best guess is that this is a Band-Winged Grasshopper from the subfamily Oedipodinae and you can view many species on BugGuide where it states: “Many make crackling, buzzing, or ticking sounds when they fly (crepitate).” There is not enough detail in your image to make a species identification, but based on your location and its name, we suspect this might be a Crackling Locust, Trimerotropis verruculata verruculata, which is pictured on BugGuide.