Double Drummer from Australia

Subject:  very large fly/ wasp. Jan 2019
Geographic location of the bug:  North Sydney
Date: 02/02/2019
Time: 12:43 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi
This bug had gathered quite a crowd as it sat on the pavement (dead or close to) owing to its size. About 4 cm long, but as you can see from the photo also very fat. Sent friend the photo and he said it is a horsefly, but it seems this one is much much larger and the head doesn’t look right for a horsefly.
How you want your letter signed:  Steve F

Double Drummer

Dear Steve,
This is neither a Fly nor a Wasp, but you are not the first person who has submitted an image of a Cicada to our site thinking it was a giant fly.  Australia has much diversity when it comes to Cicadas, and the sounds that Cicadas produce make them familiar to many folks because of the sound and not because they have been observed.  Australians have also come up with some very creative common names for Cicadas, and your individual appears to be a Double Drummer,
Thopa saccata, which is pictured on the Brisbane Insect site where it states:  “Double Drummer Cicadas are the largest cicadas in Australia. They make loudest sound in the insect world. They are brown to orange-brown in colours with black pattern. On each side of the males’ abdomen there are the small pockets, the double drums, which are used to amplify the sound they produce. Females do not have the double drums but with longer abdomen tip.   Those large cicadas may not be seen easily because they usually stay on tree top. However, we always know they were there by hearing their loud songs. Their song is loud, piercing, chainsaw-like whine, which fluctuates smoothly in pitch. Singing occurs throughout the day and also at dusk in summer season.”

Many thanks Daniel.
What a wonderful service.
Best regards.

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