Cicada Mania

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August 26, 2006

Cacama valvata Cicada

Filed under: Adam Fleishman | Cacama | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) — Tags: — Dan @ 1:56 am

View other parts of this set: part 2, part 3, and part 4.

Adam Fleishman has captured some amazing photos of Cacama valvata cicadas. They were taken in Tucson, AZ. Elevation 2,450 ft.

See more of Adam’s work at his photography web site: Cometmoth Sight and Sound.

Ovipositing female:
Cacama valvata cicada photo by Adam Fleishman

Cacama valvata cicada photo by Adam Fleishman

Cacama valvata cicada photo by Adam Fleishman

Molted cicada skin (exuvia):

Cacama valvata cicada photo by Adam Fleishman

Cacama valvata cicada photo by Adam Fleishman

Cacama valvata cicada photo by Adam Fleishman

Cacama valvata cicada photo by Adam Fleishman

Cacama valvata cicada photo by Adam Fleishman


  1. Nikki says:

    I used to catch these cicadas when I was a kid in Phoenix AZ and my friend and I dared my dad to eat one he chewed it up and showed us that he was really eating it, lol those were the days. I can say now I would not get near one and would probibly freak out if one was flying by my head. I honestly have no reason to be scared nothing bad ever happend playing with then I loved picking there shells of the trees and puting them on the counter to scare my mom.


  2. Suzanne Farrar says:

    I just found the maps on the 17 and 13 year cicadas. GA has 13 year cicadas in 2011 and we are about 20 miles from the GA line. But I still see cicadas every year, so does each bug have a 13 year cycle or are the whole group of them only supposed to hatch out every 13 years?

    1. Dan says:

      Only 4 species of cicada have 13 year cycles, all belonging to the genus Magicicada. The annual cicadas you see every year have multi-year cycles, but 1) only a few years long, and 2) they aren’t synchronized so they arrive every year.

  3. Alysia Cunningham says:

    I live in Western Pennsylvania. We have the “annual” cicadas emerge every year – usually around mid-July. You know that summer is half way over when you start to hear the cicadas at night. But for the last week or so, I’ve been seeing a lot of cicadas flying around that are nothing like I’ve seen before! These ones are HUGE! They look exactly like the one in the above picture. There have been several times they have flown into windows at my home & work, when you get a close look, it’s almost like they are cicadas on steroids – atleast that’s how I’ve been referring to them! They look almost like birds when they are in flight. What kind of cicada are these, and why are they in Western PA!?

  4. Martin Kolner says:

    The genus Cacama is restricted to the SW US and Mexico. It is generally associated with the genus Opuntia or prickly pear cactus. The adults feed on the pads and lay eggs on other plants that overhang the Opuntia. Nymphs drop off the plants and burrow into the ground around the prickly pears. Also noted in the Phoenix area that eggs only hatch during a monsoon rain when the humidity is high and temperatures are cooler. Exit holes of this genus are clustered around the prickly pear cactus. These observations done during graduate work at ASU in the early 70s.

  5. Jessica says:

    We live in NS Canada and just found one in our driveway. The kids thought it was totally cool! We’ve been hearing them for years around this time of year but have never seen one.

  6. Justin DeMott says:

    I live in Maine and found one in my pool this morning. I’m 34 and that is the first one I’ve ever seen!

  7. GymeeHoffa says:

    we just found some in detroit, michigan. they scream like human beings.They are pretty scary to be bugs..

  8. Ingrd says:

    Hello Blair,I live in Canada. Grew up on a farm and the cicadas where always active during haymaking time, and we called them the haymaking beetle. Some forty years later, I saw one for the very firt time. I’ certain it was a Cacama valvata. It too was in the end stage of life. After speaking with neighbors, and long-time farmers, it would seem that they do not often show themsleves. They are quite harmless as far as I know, they certainly were of no threat to our many and varried crops over the years.

  9. blair says:

    Hi Im from new zealand and we have thousands of these cicadas..they actually cause noise pollution…no lie…they are harmless and provide a good sourse of food for they bird life…we used to feed them to our frogs…

  10. kira says:

    is….is…is that as big as the tree trunk? we don`t have them here in Michigan but…..

  11. Sally Cook says:

    Just found one on my front porch — Hendersonville, NC (mountains)!

  12. Sunflower says:

    Just saw one of these guys wandering around the parking lot of a local grocery store in Nova Scotia, Canada. We call them Keji bugs, because we first learned about them when we used to camp at Kejimikujik National Park when we were kids.

  13. Michelle D. says:

    Hi, I live in Ontario Canada and in the summer we have thousend of cicada’s coming and going in my back yard! i think its cool that u put up this website!!! hope u put up more picts. of these cool bugs!!!

  14. johnny barrett says:

    went to my freaked out friends house in manchester, n.h. after midnight only to discover a rare and beautiful cicada in our midst…very cool.she did’nt know about them..seen them in jersey and cal…not N.H.aug 22. 2009.

  15. miruko says:

    hello we have so many of them! I belive there the ones eating my punkins and the leafs of my maple tree!
    I keep tring to kill the but there mutipling! I’m starting to get worried. Also when my friend Inu came
    over there was on in his hair!(of course it was nightime and we were just looking into the sky.
    since i just move there and owner didnt tell me about the swram!. they also found a way in!
    so im on the move again. very sad because that house had a huge bedroom and bathroom!I’ll eventually
    find a new home.with the help of my buddies Sword and Inu.(my friends have weird names)

  16. Dan says:

    Eric, they’re part of the ecosystem and aren’t posing any threat.

  17. Eric Hollenducchi says:

    Im a senior at UC San Diego in La Jolla, Ca my niece and I were hiking in a canyon behind our house and we found a Cacama Valata Cicada on a licorice plant…. it seemed to be in the final stage of its life cycle. I am not an entemologist by any means but I have never seen one in the wild and was wondering if this is unusual? Do these insects pose any threat to the ecosystem in this area/

  18. Leanne says:

    I photographed one of these in Tucson, AZ this afternoon. They look identical, but I’m not an expert. I wish I had a better lense to do close ups. Yours is a far better photo than mine is.

  19. Diane Murphy says:

    I just spotted one out in our yard in northeast Ohio and had never seen anything like it here before. It, in fact, reminded me of some of the insects I had seen in Tucson, Arizona. I looked it up online and discovered a photo of a Cacama valvata, which looks exactly like what I saw.

  20. Michele Gilbert says:

    Hi! We live in New Hampshire and have had cicada killer wasps nesting in our yard for the past two year We have also spotted cacama valvata cicadas in flight for the last week. Is it unusual for them to be this far North? I did not see New Hampshire on the cicada emergence calendar. Are we witnessing a migration to a new area? That would be so cool! We are avid nature-lovers and bird watchers. I am very conscious of the plants I buy so to choose ones that will attract and sustain birds, butterflies and bees.


  21. scooby doo says:

    i thought this picture is very good but maybe you could downsize it a little bit. thought your website is very good and lacks no information.

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