Currently viewing the category: "Cicadas"

Geographic location of the bug:  MICHIGAN
Date: 07/30/2018
Time: 03:04 PM EDT
How you want your letter signed:  DEAR

Western Lyric Cicada, we believe

Dear DEAR,
The short answer is that this is an Annual Cicada or Dogday Cicada in the genus
Neotibicen.  Its markings are quite unusual, and we believe we have correctly identified it as a Western Lyric Cicada, Neotibicen lyricen lyricen, thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults often congregate in large numbers during the heat of the day to feed/drink on the sap of several hardwoods (preferred adult hosts seem to incl. Pecan, Hickory, Walnut, Wild Cherry, Apple, Pear + many other species in the rose and walnut families).”  Are you certain it was dead?  It legs appear to be in different positions in your images, and according to BugGuide:  “Behavioral note: When ALIVE, lyric cicadas will usually tuck their legs tightly to the sides of their body and ‘play dead.'”

Western Lyric Cicada, we believe

Subject:  In my garden
Geographic location of the bug:  Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: 07/31/2018
Time: 07:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This guy might be common, but I know next to nothing about it – can you help identify what this is? He rolled over in the second picture.
How you want your letter signed:  B

Cicada Nymph

Dear B,
This is an immature Cicada nymph.  Cicada nymphs live underground for several years feeding from plant roots, after which they burrow to the surface and molt for the final time, emerging as winged adult Cicadas.  The shed skin left behind is known as an exuvia.

Subject:  NYC Exotic or Neighbor’s Luggage Jumper from….?
Geographic location of the bug:  Lower Manhattan, New York City
Date: 07/13/2018
Time: 08:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi!
Season: July/Summer
Location: NYC
This is the best shot I could get — I don’t have a great shot of the head area but you can see part (the “bugged” out eyes) and the coloring in brown on the body and green on the wings.
Thanks for running this site and fielding questions like mine.
How you want your letter signed:  Downtown Prof


Dear Downtown Prof,
This is an Annual Cicada, an insect that is sometimes called a Dog Day Harvestfly because they are most numerous during the Dog Days of Summer and they look like a giant Fly.  It would not be unusual to find Cicadas in Manhattan as the lifetime of an Annual Cicada nymph is spent underground drawing nutrients from the roots of trees, shrubs and other plants, and even Manhattan has street trees and parks.  When it nears maturity, the Cicada nymph digs to the surfaces, molts for the last time and emerges as a winged adult Cicada.  Cicadas are full of nutrients and even fat, and they are a valuable source of food for wildlife, and with the current trend in entomophagy, Cicadas are even relished by humans, especially when Periodical Cicadas appear after 17 years underground.  Perhaps the Annual Cicadas most fascinating predator is the Cicada Killer, a large wasp that paralyzes the Cicada and buries it where it will feed the young of the Cicada Killer.  Adult Cicada Killers are vegans that take nectar from flowers, and their sole meal as a larva is a paralyzed Cicada.  Perhaps you will be lucky enough to witness a Cicada Killer with its prey in Manhattan

Dear Daniel,
Thanks so much! I used to live in Morningside Hts…(Columbia U) …much greener up there. But, I live off a private University park at NYU and I bet that’s why I got the visitor. And following your insight about importance to wild life, a pigeon was stalking the cicada from the terrace next door.
You must get some great stories (or tedious ones like mine!).
Great site!

Subject:  Dusty wanderer
Geographic location of the bug:  Taiwan (mountains)
Date: 07/11/2018
Time: 11:24 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This grandpa stumbled into our room one July night. Looks like he has crab-like pincers. About 6 cm long. He is covered in a kind of bug-dandruff. What is he, and what is with the crusty covering? Bad hygiene?  Parasites?
How you want your letter signed:  Luuk

Cicada Nymph

Dear Luuk,
This is a Cicada nymph.  Immature Cicadas live underground for several years (up to 17 in the case of the North American Periodical Cicada) where they feed from roots.  As they near maturity, they dig to the surface and molt for the final time, emerging as winged adult Cicadas.  The crusty covering is dried dirt that will be shed during molting.

Thank you so much! You were, of course, totally right. I found an empty husk and a dazed, brand new cicada sitting on my table this morning. Too bad I missed the molting and did not see him emerge. Insects are amazing and wonderful!
Luuk from Taiwan

Subject:  Giant fly thing, please identify!
Geographic location of the bug:  Montpellier, France
Date: 07/04/2018
Time: 01:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  To Whom It May Concern
I found this dead in the city centre of Montpellier, France.  It was 6cm long.  I thought it was a moth at first because of the size but its wings aren’t very moth like.  I am no expert and would love to identify this.
Kind Regards
How you want your letter signed:  Alex


Dear Alex,
You are not the first person who has written to us mistaking a Cicada for a giant fly.  One common name for annual Cicadas in North America is Dog Day Harvestfly.

Subject:  Small Texas cicada
Geographic location of the bug:  Bellville Texas
Date: 05/14/2018
Time: 09:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I seen a couple of pictures on this site of this small little cicada. I took this picture this morning with a macro lens.  First time ever seen one in person .
How you want your letter signed:  Rick

Possibly Little Juniper Cicada

Dear Rick,
The closest match we could find on BugGuide of a tiny Cicada is the Little Mesquite Cicada,
Pacarina puella, but that species has dark marks on the wings that your image does not reveal, though that might be a combination of the lighting and the shallow depth of field of the wing veinage.  BugGuide does provide this description of the genus:  “Quick tips for id:  Pacarina puella (associated with Mesquite) usually has more pronounced pattern in the wings  US Range: AZ, NM, CO, TX. OK. & LA  Pacarina shoemakeri (associated with junipers) usually has less infuscation (i.e. dark pattern) US Range: AZ, NM, CO, and parts of OK & TX.”  That leads us to believe this might be the Little Juniper Cicada, which is not pictured on BugGuide.  Perhaps you should submit your image to BugGuide to request an identification.