Cicada Mania

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December 31, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: T

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 6:37 pm

T is for tymbal. Tymbals are the organs male cicadas use to produce their calls. Sound is produced when muscles pull on the ribs of tymbals. The speed and rhythm of the pulls creates the unique songs of each species. The ribbed structure in the center of this photo is the tymbal:
Santisuk Vibul' s Cicada Photos of Genus Dundubia from Bagkok, Thailand
Photo by Santisuk Vibul.


Tailanga is a genus of cicada found in Asia. Here is a photo of a pretty black, red and white Tailanga binghami:
Tailanga binghami
Photo by Michel Chantraine.

When adult cicadas have eclosed (emerged from their nymphal skin) their bodies are soft and vulnerable, so we say these cicadas are teneral. The root of the word teneral is the Latin word tener, which means soft or tender.

Thirteen-year Cicadas are periodical cicadas that belong to the genus Magicicada, and emerge every 13 years. There are 4 species of 13-Year Cicada: M. neotredecim, M. tredecim, M. tredecassini and M. tredecula.

The Thopha saccata aka the Double Drummer is the largest cicada in Australia. Look at this photo to get an idea of how big a Thopha saccata is:
Double Drummer (Thopha saccata)
Photo by Kevin Lee.

Tibicen is a genus of cicadas that exist on several continents including North America and Europe. Tibicen means “a flute player” in Latin.

Tosena is a genus of cicadas that are found in Asia and are know for their beautiful wing coloration, such as the turquoise, white and black, or the orange, red, yellow and black.
Tosena dives (Westwood, 1842)
A Tosena dives (Westwood, 1842).

Tunnels. Cicadas spend most of their lives in the tunnels they dig so they can travel from one plant root to another.

Both male and female cicadas have Tympanum, which allow them to hear sound. A tympanum is not externally visible, and is covered by the operculum. Tympanum means drum in Latin. The Tympanum of the cicada is similar to a human’s ear drum.


  1. judy long says:

    How long does this noise last? It is so annoying. If you’re outside it sounds like a power tool and if you are inside it sounds like water is running somewhere in the house.

    1. Dan says:

      About 2 to 3 weeks.

  2. Cigale says:

    Yuck! Cicada carcass! It feels so wrong to look at the corpses of such beautiful vibrant creature.

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