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August 21, 2006

Auletes (no Megatibicen grossus) IS the biggest USA cicada!

Cicada researcher Kathy Hill took this unbelievable photo of 18 different USA Neotibicen & Megatibicen specimens, plus a Quesada gigas (upper right) for comparison.

Kathy Hill. Auletes is the biggest Tibicen

Click/tap the image for a much larger version. Contact Insect Singers for more information about the image.

I just took a photo of all the “eastern USA” Tibicens except
latifasciata, which we haven’t got yet (I didn’t include the “little
western” Tibicens like T. texana that are more centrally located
either). But I did also add T. duryi from the west coast and Q.
gigas, just for comparison.

I just wanted to prove that auletes IS the biggest USA cicada 🙂

Note that the these cicadas were reorganized into two new genera: Megatibicen (larger USA Tibicen) and Neotibicen (smaller USA Tibicen) since this original announcement in 2006.

* Note as of 2023 the name of this cicada has changed to Megatibicen grossus. You can also call it a Northern Dusk-Signing Cicada. Cicada names change a lot.


  1. Devere Gould says:

    When I was a little girl, collecting the shells of this insect was my hobby. Every nite i would go to all the area trees and collect the shells by the coffee cans full. At one point I found the actual insect, but it was burnt orange in color and had red eyes from what I remeber. I have never seen another one since then. Do you know what kind of “Locust” this would have been?

    Thank you,
    Devere Gould

  2. IRENE says:

    Hi,my daughter and I had a wonderful experience today. We were able to see a cicada emerge
    from its shell. We were wondering what type that it was. I saw a lot of photos on-line, but
    have yet to see the exact kind that we saw. It was rather large and had green wings. Can you
    help us find the rite species of cicada? Thank you for your time. We also took a few photos.

  3. Brian Baldwin says:

    IF I send a decent photo, can I get someone to ID cicadas for me?
    Or better- I can mail pinned specimens- fewer than 20 and get det labels?
    Brian in Tuttle, OK

  4. zubair ahmed says:

    Dear Kathy,
    if u talk to me on mail about cicadas, i will b thankful u.

    Zubair Ahmed

  5. Iván says:

    It is impressive east four of the classification of the Tibicen! thank you very much to fix it 🙂 I have paid attention that does not appear the Tibicen species plebejus? it wanted to know if really that species exists or is a total error to call it by that name.

  6. david emery says:

    Excellent collection and reference photo. I gather that the USA (Texan) specimens of Q.gigas are smaller than those in Central and South America? Keep up the good work.
    David E (Oz)

  7. Roy T. says:

    Great reference photo! Thanks for sharing it Kathy!

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