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July 9, 2017

Cicadas of Japan

Tibicen japonicus
Photo: Auritibicen japonicus by Osamu Hikino.

Cicada season in Japan, like North America, seems to be best from June to September, peaking in August. Different cicada species emerge at different times of the year, but the majority of them are active during the summer.

Google Trends data for cicada searches in Japan backs that up:

The best website for the cicadas of Japan that I’ve come across is Cicadae in Japan which is run by Y. Saisho who co-wrote the amazing The Cicadidae of Japan book & CD.

I don’t have too many photos of cicadas from Japan on this site, but here are some of the more well known (Genus names may have changed recently):

Cicadas are very popular in Japan, and they find their way into pop culture (Anime, live action kids shows like Ultraman). This photo features a cicada toy, when spun, makes a sound, some cicada clicker toys, a plush Oncotympana, a Seminingen (bad guy from Ultraman), and Yotsuba a green-haired girl who has caught a cicada (Lyristes japonicus perhaps):

cicada related pop culture items from Japan

Cicada News & Photos

The best place, I’ve found, to keep track of which cicadas are out in Japan is Twitter. You can search Twitter yourself for セミ and you’ll find many results — most Tweets are references to pop culture, but occasional photos and actual information about actual cicadas.

These are many of the Twitter feeds I follow. You don’t need to belong to Twitter to view their feeds, but it’s more fun if you join.

Bonus:

Here’s a video of a Yezoterpnosia nigricosta taken by Elias Bonaros:

2 Comments

  1. Dave says:

    Don’t forget that japonicus, flammatus, and kyushyuensis were moved to the new genus Auritibicen in 2015.

    1. Dan says:

      I had to update three genera: Auritibicen, Hyalessa, and Yezoterpnosia.

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