Now is a great time to look and listen for Tibicen cicadas in North America. Tibicen are the medium to large sized annual cicadas. Typically they are well camouflaged – with colors like black, white, green & brown.
During the day you can listen for them, of course, and spot them that way. Try Insect Singers for cicada songs. You can also look for their exuvia (skins), and if you’re lucky you can catch on on a low branch.
Last night I started looking around 10pm and found three Swamp Cicadas (T. tibicen tibicen) shedding their skins on trees around the yard. I also collected about 30 exuvia (skins). All in a quarter acre yard. Take a look at this video:
Swamp Cicada shedding its nymphal skin from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.
A really nice video, and it is also pleasant to hear the sound of katydids in the background. I was fortunate recently to see a newly emerged swamp cicada near the base of a tree one early, misty morning. As I looked more closely, I was caught up in the beauty of this insect. It appears even more colorful than I thought in the stages just prior to turning brown and dark green. This insect’s wings and body almost appeared to glow in light green, white and blue tones. The wings especially were quite pretty looking. I took many up-close photos.
Since then I have been able to spot an occasional adult while on walks during the day. Once I thought I may have seen and possibly heard a dusky cicada. I didn’t know until recently that there are different kinds of annual cicadas found in NJ. I thought only one kind was present. Your website has been quite educational in all the information it offers. Still, I find it challenging now to distinguish the annuals I have seen. Some look quite similar it seems, and I have only seen one or two photos at most of any individual. Are there any good books with photos out there about annual cicadas in particular, such as those found in the Northeast?
Your website is still quite informative and appreciated. Perhaps sometime you could post a few more photos of annual species for comparison purposes. Thank you.