Mid-August is approaching, and the “Dog Days” of summer are almost here. Sirius (the Dog Star) and the constellation Canis Major will soon begin to appear in the early morning sky. Now is also the time that Tibicen canicularis, the Dog Day Day cicada, is also making its presence known in the U.S.A.
This is a photo of a T. canicularis (Dog Day cicada) next to a T. davisi (Southern Dog Day cicada) by by Paul Krombholz:
T. canicularis has a green pronotal collar, green markings on its pronotum, and at least some, if not all, orange colors on its mesonotum (where the M is on the cicada’s back). T. canicularis sounds like (to me at least) a circular saw buzzing through a plank in wood in a neighbor’s garage.
Imagine that you are a farmer waking just before dawn and seeing the first signs of Sirius, the Dog Star, and then later in the day, hearing T. canicularis singing away in the trees surrounding your fields. Those two signs are signals that summer is reaching its peak, and harvest will start soon enough.
Here is a screen capture of the computer app Stellarium, with Canis Major and Sirius rising above the horizon before dawn.
The cicada season in Australia lasts between September and May, but November and December are prime time for cicada emergences. Here’s a selection of Australian cicadas peaking in November, December and January.
Adding a Thompson’s Floury Baker (Abricta curvicosta)10 at David’s recommendation:
Cyclochila australasiae can be found in eastern Queensland, NSW and Victoria, and most emerge in October and November (1 Moulds, M.S.. Australian Cicadas Kennsignton: New South Wales Press, 1990, p. 61.).
The Cherry Nose cicada can be found in Eastern Queensland, NSW, and a small part of South Australia, and is most common during November & December (2 ibid, p. 95.).
The Bladder Cicada can be sound in eastern Queensland & NSW, and are most common Nov-Jan. (3 ibid, p. 193.)
The Pauropsalta mneme can be found in south-eastern NSW, Victoria, and a small pocket in South Australia, from late September to early January. (4 ibid, p. 131.)
The Bagpipe cicada can be found in the Northern tip of Queensland, from October to February, but they’re most common during January. (5 ibid, p. 178)
The Diemaniana euronotiana can be found in eastern NSW, south-eastern Victoria and Tasmania. They are most common in late November to January. (6 ibid, p. 112)
The White Drummer cicada can be found in eastern Queensland and NSW, from November to April, but they are most common during December and January. (7 ibid, p. 58)
The Redeye cicada can be found in eastern NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, and are most abundant in late November and December. (8 ibid, p.75)
The Double Drummer can be found in parts of eastern Queensland and Eastern NSW, from November to early March. (9 ibid, p.55)
The Floury Baker can be found along the coast of Queenland & NSW. Adults are most common in late December and January. (10 ibid, p.119)
Here’s a Tibicen auletes found in Winston-Salem, North Carolina by my friend Erin Dickinson. The T. auletes is also known as Northern Dusk Singing cicada. It can be found in most Southern states, IL, IN, MI, OH, MD, DE, NJ and CT.
The Tibicen auletes is the largest species of the Tibicen cicadas (largest in terms of physical size). Visit Insect Singers to hear its song.
Roy Troutman sent us these amazing photos of a female Walker’s Cicada aka Tibicen pronotalis (aka T. walkeri, T. marginalis) taken in Batavia, Ohio. As you can guess by the various akas (also known as), the Tibicen pronotalis has been known by several species names in the past. Sometimes it takes cicada researchers a while to figure out that two different species are the same species (which is probably the case here). Tibicen pronotalis also sounds exactly like another species of Tibicen: Tibicen dealbatus. The major difference between the T. pronotalis and the T. dealbatus is the T. dealnatus has more pruinose than the T. pronotalis. Pruinose is the white, chalky substance that appears on the bodies of cicadas.
Walker’s Cicada is found in 18 mid-western and southern states. Read more about this pretty cicada on Bug Guide, and listen to its song on Insect Singers.
The Brood XIX (and Brood IV stragglers) are all but gone, but annual species of cicadas are emerging around the United States right now. The various annual species of cicadas differ from periodical cicadas in many ways. Annual cicadas emerge in limited numbers every year, they are not organized into broods, they tend to be timid and camouflaged to match their environment, and while their life cycles are longer than a year, they are not as long as 13 or 17 years.
The most common annual cicada east of the Rockies is probably the various species of the Tibicen genus. There are also cicadas belonging to the Diceroprocta, Neocicada, and Okanagana genera out and about now.
Use the Insect Singers website to help match the species to their song.