Australian Cicadas by M.S. Moulds was first published in 1990 by the New South Wales University Press. It is the best reference for Australian cicadas that I’ve found, and I use it at least once a week.
The book covers common names of cicada, life history, predators & parasites, distribution, anatomy, sound production & reception, and classification. The book also features an extensive catalog of Australian cicadas including photos, maps, and descriptions of their behavior.
I found my copy used. It was expensive but well worth the price.
I collect virtually every cicada book I can get my hands on, including books written for children. They often contain some of the best photos and illustrations, and for that reason alone they’re nice to have.
One bittersweet thing about cicada books is people often resell them after a periodical cicada emergence is over, but that also means you can get them for a low price if you don’t mind a used book. Before Amazon.com was invented, people went to a place called the library, and an entire town essentially shared a single used book.
Cicadas Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle illustrated by Meryl Henderson
This is a recent book and features page after page of color illustrations of cicadas, and cicada-related information. The book is factually accurate and the illustrations are excellent. The reading level is 4 to 8, but I think cicada fans of all ages would enjoy this book.
Cicadas, A True Book, by Ann O Squire
The Visual Book of Australian Cicadas by Peter Leyden
This short book is packed with excellent illustrations of Australian cicadas. It is likely out of print, but I recommend it for the quality of the illustrations and the collectibility factor.
Cicadas and Aphids What They Have in Common by Sara Swan Miller
This book features photos (not illustrations) of cicadas and other members of the order Hemiptera (true bugs). I recommend this book for kids who want to expand their interest in insects beyond cicadas. The reading level is 8 or above.
The next three books are very similar in that they all feature photos of mostly periodical cicadas (Magicicadas) with easy-to-understand explanations. The reading level for all three is 4 to 8.
Cicadas by Helen Frost Gail Saunders-Smith Ph.D. Consulting Editor
The Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha) by Allen F Sanborn weighs about six pounds. It’s also one of my favorite cicada books, and it usually can be found on my desk. I use it mostly to verify the names of cicadas.
This is the third in a series of catalogs and bibliographies of the Cicadoidea covering 1981-2010. The work summarizes the cicada literature, providing a means for easy access to information previously published on a particular species or to allow researchers the ability to locate similar work that has been published on other species. A total of 2,591 references are included in the bibliography. The book is a source of biological and systematic information that could be used by zoologists, entomologists, individuals interested in crop protection, and students studying entomology as well as anyone interested in cicadas or who require specific information on the insects. Each genus/species is identified with the reference, the page number, any figures (if applicable), the topics covered by the reference, any synonymies, and any biogeographic information mentioned for the species in the individual reference. An added benefit to the catalog is that it is the first complete species list for the Cicadoidea, including all synonymies and new combinations through 2012.
Over 3,390 varieties of cicadas (yeah, I manually counted the species).
Every now and then I treat myself to a cicada book from Japan. Cicadas are called semi in Japan, which seems to be spelled ã‚»ãƒŸ or è‰. Enter ã‚»ãƒŸ or è‰ into the Amazon.co.jp search box and you’ll find a bunch of cicada books (amongst other things).
Only the first eleven pages of this book are about cicadas, but they are excellent, featuring large photos of common cicadas. The book features two pages that match nymph exoskeletons to adult cicadas.
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This book also features many large photos of cicadas throughout their life cycle. The photos of eggs and first instar nymphs are particularly nice.
Cicadas of Thailand Volume 2: Taxonomy and Sonic Ethology by Michel Boulard is available now via Siri Scientific Press.
A comprehensive 436 page volume from the leading world expert representing 13 years of work on taxonomy (including several newly described species) and sonic ethology, with supporting audio tracks
I ordered a copy already.
Cicadas of Thailand Volume 1 was a great resource for the cicadas of Thailand and South-East Asia in general (many Asian species are not endemic, so you’ll find them in many countries). I imagine that Volume 2 will be just as amazing.
Here’s his first book Cicadas of Thailand: General and Particular Characteristics. Volume 1:
It isn’t often that cicada celebrities show up on your Mother’s lawn, but when you have a healthy supply of easily catchable singing M. septendecim, and a cicada website, these things happen.
Last Saturday I met up with cicada researcher John Cooley, Japanese cicada researcher Jim Yoshimura, and musician and professor David Rothenberg at Roosevelt Park in Edison NJ. They were looking for male cicadas to perform with David at a World Science Festival event in the Bronx later that night. New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell was also there to interview David and John, and artist Asher Jay was there to lend David support.
The cicadas in the park weren’t performing well enough, so I directed them to my Mom’s place in Metuchen.
The Metuchen location yielded many screaming cicadas. David collaborated with the cicadas on the spot with his Ani-Moog iPad app, and a clarinet. John Cooley dropped some cicada science for Stephen Farrell’s video camera as well. My Mom served refreshments. Once enough cicadas were collected, the cicada celebrities departed — before leaving David left my Mom an autographed book and CD. Very cool!
A beautiful day for enjoying the song of cicadas in the suburbs of New Jersey.
More from David Rothenberg:
David Rothenberg plays Animoog on iPad live with cicadas:
We are excited to announce the availability of a document by Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips titled Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico. This document features distribution maps for North American cicada species! This document is an excellent companion to The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of North America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath (link to that book).
Abstract: We describe and illustrate the biogeography of the cicadas inhabiting continental North America, north of Mexico. Species distributions were determined through our collecting efforts as well as label data from more than 110 institutional collections. The status of subspecies is discussed with respect to their distributions. As we have shown over limited geographic areas, the distribution of individual species is related to the habitat in which they are found. We discuss the biogeography of the genera with respect to their phylogenetic relationships. California is the state with the greatest alpha diversity (89 species, 46.6% of taxa) and unique species (35 species, 18.3% of taxa). Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Utah are the states with the next greatest alpha diversity with Texas, Arizona and Utah being next for unique species diversity. Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are the states with the least amount of cicada diversity. Diversity is greatest in states and areas where there is a diversity of plant communities and habitats within these communities. Mountainous terrain also coincides with increases in diversity. Several regions of the focus area require additional collection efforts to fill in the distributions of several species.
Keywords: cicada; distribution; Diceroprocta; Tibicen; Okanagana; Okanagodes; Cacama; Magicicada; Platypedia; Cicadetta