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August 4, 2005

Jar Fly, Harvest Fly, Locust, Dog Day cicada

Filed under: Folklore | Neotibicen | Pop Culture | Tibicen — Dan @ 6:58 pm

There are many nicknames for cicadas. Periodic cicadas (17-year/13-year Magicicadas) are often called Locusts. Annual, summertime cicadas (primarily Tibicens) are called Jar Fly or Jarfly, Harvest Fly or “Dog Day” cicada depending on what part of the USA you’re from.

I found this site which provides guesses at the entomology of Jar Fly:

One is that when you catch one and hold it in your hand it “jars” or vibrates. The other thought is that the nickname came from the constant singing that might “jar” or unsettle some people’s nerves who are not accustomed to hearing it for hours on end.

My uneducated guess would be that kids catch them and put them in jars, hence “jar fly”.

Thanks to Becky for asking about Jarflies.


  1. Keith Robinson says:

    I think what you are calling cicadas is the same thing we call “July flies”. Last summer. (2020) these July flies made a huge appearance.

  2. Brad says:

    Probably the coolest fly ever it looks real meet and makes a song that any one who grew up in the country can instantly relate that to any child hood summer memory. And it doesn’t bite or bug people in any way feeds nature and I’m sure it does not hurt any trees as well

  3. stacey says:

    Why do they make that noise?I heard it was cause they are wanting rain.

    1. Dan says:

      They make noise to attract mates.

  4. claire born says:


    How does the Cicada’s song differ from the Katydid’s? Do they both sing at the same time?

  5. claire born says:

    I grew up in Georgia (USA) and lately (from Yankees, mostly) I’ve heard quite a bit of debate regarding:


    The yanks seem to think that Locusts and Cicadas are the same bug. Southerners seem to think that Cicada is the fancy name for Julyflies and Junebugs (being the same species). As a child, I believed that the Junebug was the Cicada before he shed his shell on the tree, then he flew off in July, becoming a “Julyfly” and started making a lot of noise in the cool moments of a hot summer day.

    What say you, oh Bugmeister?


    1. June bugs are different and smaller also green. We as kids would catch a June bug and put a sewing thread around it’s leg and leave thread long say a few feet long and go let it fly above us.

  6. MrsB says:

    I was told that Cicadas were “Sewing Bees” and whenever you heard them you were supposed to be very quiet or they would come
    down and sew your lips shut!! I have never heard of anyone calling them Sewing Bees but that is what I told my kids!! lol

    Please remove the above post, #4, from Mobile Audit Club, its not really appropriate for this site.

    Thank you,
    MrsB (Head Start Preschool teacher and mother to three and really I teach Cicada not Sewing Bee)

  7. Although it seems odd, I heard of a myth where a man
    injected his sperm into an insect by letting it crawl
    across his penis after ejaculation or during. Oddest
    enough the women would let the offspring of those insects
    go into their vagina during periods of ovulation.

    It is believed that many humans have wing remnants from
    this being that emerged. There have been myths of winged
    humans, in particular in the Pacific Islands.

    I am not sure, but I seem to have what appear to be at my
    mouth two antannae sockets with hairs, and when I lost my
    hair I noticed some odd hairs of courseness and darkness
    on the top of my head where antannae should be. In additon
    in an X ray of spine in the thoracic area, I noted that
    there are 4 or 5 spinal processes off of the main vertabrae

    I also had abnormal strength and do to this day compared
    to most humans, and I do not exercise.

    Could someone have done experiments on my adopted grandmothers
    family, my fathers family, or whom?

    America is a living Hell today. I am thinking of flying to

    Whats up, aye?

    Never again serve or trust the USA government. They are doing for
    forced experiments and forced injections. It is like
    Hell down here.

    Mobile Audit Club

  8. ashley daltcon says:

    The web site is vey usefull.I like it a lot. I use the web site a lot. So
    that is all of my comments.

  9. STARGUIDE says:


  10. colin says:

    hi my name is colin and ilive in canada.i caut a dog day cicada in my own back yard i was just wondering how do u tell male from female?and is it possible to breed cicadas in mating seeson?

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