Currently viewing the category: "Cicadas"

Subject:  some kind of beatle
Geographic location of the bug:  Austin TXI
Date: 10/13/2021
Time: 12:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found it 09/01/2021 on my porch obviously dying
How you want your letter signed:  Bob McElhaney

Superb Cicada

Dear Bob,
This is not a Beetle.  It is a gorgeous Cicada.  We identified it as a Superb Cicada or Green Cicada,
Neotibicen superbus, thanks to BugGuide where it states that it:  “occupies several habitat types from forested to arid scrub. It is often associated with conifers; however, strong populations of this cicada can be found in areas where hardwoods are abundant.”

AKA Green Cicada

Subject:  Bug id
Geographic location of the bug:  Rockport Ma
Date: 09/10/2021
Time: 03:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please tell me what this is
How you want your letter signed:  Resident

Annual Cicada

Dear Resident,
This is an Annual Cicada, one of the loudest insect musicians of the summer.  Annual Cicadas are sometimes known as Dog Day Harvestflies.

Subject:  Wasp? Beetle? what is it..
Geographic location of the bug:  New York City, West Village
Date: 08/31/2021
Time: 02:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug landed on my shoulder. I thought a really large drop of water hit me. It was quite strong impact. I looked over and it was on my shoulder. I flicked it off, it flew around in  circles and landed on the sidewalk. About 2-1/2″ long. 3/4″ wide. Very stout, large, insect. What the heck is it? I’ve never seen one in 50 years in NYC.
How you want your letter signed :  J. Kastor

Figured it out-
It’s our new super noisy Cicada neighbors..: )

Dog Day Harvestfly

Dear J. Kastor,
We are happy to hear you figured out the identity of this Annual Cicada, sometimes called a Dog Day Harvestfly because they appear in the latter part of summer.  Many people compare their appearance to a giant fly.  Daniel really enjoyed listening to their numbers grow in Ohio during the first three weeks of August.  There is a large wasp known as a Cicada Killer that preys on Cicadas not to eat but to feed a brood, stinging the Cicada to paralyze it and then burying the Cicada alive to serve as fresh meat when the Cicada Killer’s egg hatches.  One of our favorite letters ever is the account of a Cicada Killer hunting a Cicada in Manhattan.


Subject:  Beetle mania
Geographic location of the bug:  Okinawa Japan
Date: 08/26/2021
Time: 11:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This looks like a type of scarab, but due to its near solid light brown color, I’m not able to pin point it. Its about 1.5-2 inches long. Was hanging out under the overhang of the house.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike

Cicada Exuvia

Dear Mike,
This is not a Beetle.  It is the exuvia or cast off exoskeleton of a Cicada.

Oh wow much different looking than the cicada I’m used to seeing…. Thanks!

Subject:  Big ancient looking bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Cape Breton county Nova Scotia
Date: 08/18/2021
Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman :  Hello! I love your site. Caught a picture of this bug in my flower box.
How you want your letter signed:  Cherbear

Dogday Harvestfly

Dear Cherbear,
This is an Annual Cicada or Dogday Harvestfly.  Daniel has been enjoying their symphony from the tree tops in Ohio.

Subject:  Annual Cicadas
Geographic location of the bug:  Campbell, Ohio
Date: 08/06/2021
Time: 3:30 PM EDT
Gentle Readers,
The summer symphony is in full swing here in Ohio, with singing birds and chirping insects and melodious tree frogs all adding to the rich summer sounds.  The Annual Cicadas have begun buzzing from the tall trees and last Wednesday while walking to the Four Seasons Flea Market and approaching Roosevelt Park, Daniel’s friend Sharon noticed a Cicada Nymph on the sidewalk.  After taking a few images, Daniel placed it on a nearby tree trunk so it could metamorphose without being stepped upon.

Cicada Nymph

Then Friday after returning from Rogers Flea Market, Daniel decided to sleep on the grass.  He heard a buzzing near his head and found this recently emerged Annual Cicada, commonly called a Dogday Harvestfly, in the grass with its wings not yet hardened. 

Dogday Harvestfly

While the Cicada was crawling on his hand, Daniel was able to feel the Cicada’s piercing mouthparts pressing against his skin and he recalled a letter sent by a reader long ago that included information about getting bitten by a Cicada.  That account described the bite as a stab, and not wanting to experience a similar encounter Daniel released the Cicada to a nearby pine so it could continue to harden and eventually fly away.  The Cicada quickly climbed out of reach. 

Update:  August 10, 2021
The Cicadas continue to call and they are increasing in numbers.  Today Daniel found two exuvia of newly metamorphosed individuals that shed their skin and flew off to mate and add to the summer chorus.

Cicada Exuvia