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October 24, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: L

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 10:33 am

L is for locusts. Locusts are not cicadas. True locusts are grasshoppers (Wikipedia page for Locust).



17-year cicada:

17-year cicada

People call Periodical Magicicadas locusts because they emerge in massive numbers, but they are not true locusts.

Labrum. The labrum is the structure that connects a cicada’s clypeus to their stylus. The labrum is also know as the anteclypeus.

Labium. The labium form the outside of the beak of the cicada; inside the labium is the stylet which is comprised of the mandibles and maxillae, which the cicada uses to pierce plants and drink their sap. The Latin root of both Labi and Labr is “a lip”, which makes sense when think about it.


Larvae. Cicadas larvae do not look like a grubs or maggots as you might expect; instead they look like tiny termites or ants, with 6 legs and antennae. View a video of a cicada larva.

Lembeja paradoxa, a.k.a. Bagpipe Cicada, is a cicada native to Northern Queensland Australia known for it’s massive abdomen. Here is a photo of a Lembeja paradoxa.

Linne’s cicada, a.k.a. Tibicen linnei, is a cicada native to most mid-western and eastern states. View a photo of Linnie’s cicada.

The Lyric cicada, a.k.a. Tibicen lyricen, is a cicada native to most mid-western and eastern states (similar to the Linne’s cicada). View some photos of a the Lyric cicada.

The Insect Singers website has audio files of the songs of both Linne’s cicada and the Lyric cicada.

September 5, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: K

Filed under: Australia,Cicada Alphabet,New Zealand — Dan @ 9:19 am

K is for Dr. Kritsky, specifically Dr. Gene Kritsky of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dr. Kritsky is one of the premier Magicicada experts and advocates; if you’re a cicada fan you must attend one of his lectures and buy one of his books. A few years ago Gene provided Cicada Mania with an interview.

Kikihia, one of the two major Genus of cicadas in New Zealand. David Marshall says: “The name Kikihia is derived from the Maori word for cicada, as is the name of the town Kihikihi, in New Zealand. You’ll love their public cicada statue. See this web page:“.

The Kobonga is a Genus of cicadae that exists in eastern Australia. Thanks to David Marshall and Kathy Hill of for these wonderful photos of a Kobonga species currently nicknamed the Xmas Clanger (species name pending).

Kobonga Xmas Clanger

Kobonga Xmas Clanger

September 4, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: J

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 12:04 pm

J is for Jar Fly. Jar Fly is a colloquial name for Tibicen cicadas.

I don’t know the origin of the term, but I’m guessing it has to do with the fact that kids keep insects in jars.

Cicada Alphabet: I

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 11:53 am

I is for instar. An instar is a developmental phase in the life of an insect. Each instar marks a change in the abilities and characteristics of the insect. Most cicadas go through five instars; the final instar of a cicada’s life is the adult or imago phase.

An imago is an adult, sexually mature insect. Here’s a photo of Magicicada imagoes:


Insectoverdin is the pigment that that makes insects like cicadas green.

August 29, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: H

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet,Neocicada — Tags: — Dan @ 9:29 am

H is for Hieroglyphic Cicada. The Neocicada hieroglyphica a.k.a. Hieroglyphic Cicada is found in the south-eastern United States. It’s active in the late spring and early summer. There are multiple subspecies of the Hieroglyphic Cicada including the Neocicada hieroglyphica hieroglyphica and Neocicada hieroglyphica johannis, according to

Neocicada hieroglyphica Photo by Matt Berger.

Listen to a Hieroglyphic Cicada:

Neocicada hieroglyphica singing by Joe Green from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

  • Haemolymph is a blood-like fluid found in some arthropods like cicadas. Cicadas use haemolymph to inflate their wings when they eclose (leave their nymph form and become adults), as well as to transport nutrients throughout the cicada’s body.
  • Harvest Fly is common name for Tibicen cicadas, presumably in areas where harvests take place. I’ve heard tales that the harvest is supposed to take place a month after the last Tibicen sings.
  • Kathy Hill is a cicada researcher who is “working on descriptions of new species of cicadas from New Zealand, Australia and North America, several discovered through recognition of their unique songs” (quoted from Kathy and David Marshall’s wonderful website). Kathy is responsible for this unbelievable photo of 18 different USA Tibicen specimens.
  • Huechys sanguinea is a beautiful black and red cicada from Asia. Here’s a photo of a Huechys sanguinea: Huechys sanguinea (Photo by Huechys sanguinea by =spurdog=, on Flickr).
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