Cicada Mania

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October 24, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: L

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 10:33 am

L is for locusts. Locusts are not cicadas. True locusts are grasshoppers (Wikipedia page for Locust).



17-year cicada:

17-year cicada

People call Periodical Magicicadas locusts because they emerge in massive numbers, but they are not true locusts.

Labrum. The labrum is the structure that connects a cicada’s clypeus to their stylus. The labrum is also know as the anteclypeus.

Labium. The labium form the outside of the beak of the cicada; inside the labium is the stylet which is comprised of the mandibles and maxillae, which the cicada uses to pierce plants and drink their sap. The Latin root of both Labi and Labr is “a lip”, which makes sense when think about it.


Larvae. Cicadas larvae do not look like a grubs or maggots as you might expect; instead they look like tiny termites or ants, with 6 legs and antennae. View a video of a cicada larva.

Lembeja paradoxa, a.k.a. Bagpipe Cicada, is a cicada native to Northern Queensland Australia known for it’s massive abdomen. Here is a photo of a Lembeja paradoxa:
Timothy Emery from Thursday Island, Torres Strait off Cape York, Queensland. Bagpiipe.
Photo by Timothy Emery.

Linne’s cicada, a.k.a. Tibicen linnei, is a cicada native to most mid-western and eastern states. View a photo of Linnie’s cicada:
Tom Lehmkuhl send us this photo of an uninvited house guest (Neotibicen linnei).
Photo by Tom Lehmkuhl.

The Lyric cicada, a.k.a. Tibicen lyricen, is a cicada native to most mid-western and eastern states (similar to the Linne’s cicada). View some photos of a the Lyric cicada:
Lyric cicada

The Insect Singers website has audio files of the songs of both Linne’s cicada and the Lyric cicada.


  1. Dave says:

    Hi Dan –

    Interesting post — one possible correction: I think that the stylets are the piercing parts, and that they are normally hidden behind the labium (if you pulled the halves of the labium aside you would see the long stylets). I’m not certain, though…

    1. Dan says:

      You’re too kind. I corrected it, after studying this article a little closer

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