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June 28, 2015

How many kinds of cicadas are there?

Filed under: FAQs | Identify — Dan @ 12:46 pm

How many kinds of cicadas are there? That depends on what you mean by kinds.

There are over 190 species in the U.S.A. and over a dozen in Canada. Australia has hundreds of cicadas and you can find a list of them here.

World wide, there are over 3,390 species, with new species described every year (I counted them all in this book)!

A good source of papers about new cicadas is Zootaxa.


  1. Jason says:

    Any research on Why there are so many Species of Cicadas?

    1. Dan says:

      Compared to other insects, there are relatively few genera and species of cicadas.
      Looks like there are ~17,500 butterflies, ~12,000 ants, and ~350,000 beetles (wow!)

      There are a lot of factors that can cause an animal to develop into a unique species. In the case of cicadas: the variety of tree and host plant species, soil types, local climates, climactic events, geological events, and predators all play a part in causing cicadas to separate into different species.

    2. MikeAdamson says:

      I was wondering the same. Especially since they aren’t always about.

  2. This year I heard one or two Magicicadas in our yard in May, and the usual yearly cicadas started singing in June which is VERY early! What’s going on?

  3. Dave Marshall says:

    Thank you for counting them! Very useful number. That is more than I had thought were described.

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