Southern Oak Cicada from Alabama

Subject:  Just submitting this picture. Thought it was really beautiful!
Geographic location of the bug:  Odenville, Alabama
Date: 07/24/2019
Time: 02:05 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! I wanted to submit this picture I took today. Found this guy on my porch and thought it was beautiful! I am not sure what kind of bug this is but thought you guys would like the picture!
How you want your letter signed:  Brittni

Southern Oak Cicada

Dear Brittni,
Not to demean other submissions we receive, but we get much more pleasure reading a letter like yours that is actually excited about an insect sighting than we like reading submissions from horrified parents who have killed some insect because they fear for their child’s welfare, or from paranoid homemakers who believe everything that gets into the house poses a threat to the home and its inhabitants, or because a person perceives things that no one else believes are living in their bloodstream and that look like blurry chunks of mucous.  This magnificent insect is a Cicada, but it is not like the typical Dog Day Harvestflies we get submitted each summer.  We believe your individual is a Northern Dusk Singing Cicada,
Megatibicen auletes, which we identified thanks to numerous images on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide it is also known as the Southern Oak Cicada and “Despite the common name, this cicada is most common across the South.  Extreme n. Florida (“the Highlands”), Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina & Virginia.” BugGuide also notes:  “T. auletes is our LARGEST EASTERN Tibicen SPECIES.  In fact, it appears to be our largest and most robust North American Cicada (north of Mexico).”  A final note from BugGuide is “PRUINOSITY: These cicadas often look as though they are molded or have been dusted in “powdered sugar”. No other US species is so pruinose (NOTE: This white wax will wipe off and over time, esp. in older specimens, much of the white can be lost! Reduced white wax often changes the general appearance of these insects).”  According to Cicada Mania:  “These very large cicadas are loud, but not the loudest.”  According to Insect Singers:  ” Grating slow-pulsed song.  Calls from high in large trees.”  Thank you for your sweet submission and also for getting us off to a cheerful morning.

Thank you so much for the information! My son and I love taking pictures of wildlife and learn as much as we can! Thank you for everything that you do!

Photo of author


BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

Leave a Comment