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April 13, 2020

Okanagana bella Davis, 1919 aka Mountain Cicada

Filed under: Okanagana | Tibicinini | United States | William T. Davis — Tags: — Dan @ 7:32 pm

Okanagana bella Davis, 1919 aka Mountain Cicada.


Okanagana bella Davis, 1919
Photo credit: Okanagana bella (female) by Matt Berger

All Okanagana bella information & images on

Song type: Call

Source: ©Insect Singers | Species: O. bella

Song type: Call

Source: ©Insect Singers | Species: O. bella

Name, Location and Description

From Davis’ key to Okanagana1:

A. Male uncus not hooked at the extremity, sometimes sinuate.

B. Expanse of fore wings more than 50 mm.

C. Base of fore and hind wings orange-red more or less variegated with black.

DD. The outer edge of the front wing of a more continuous curve. Medium-sized species, except schaefferi, which is large.

EE. Legs, especially the front pair considerably blackened.

F. Shining species with rather broad wings, and the hind margin of pronotum orange or reddish.

Of a slightly blueish tint, otherwise colored about as in the last species, but the costal margin of the fore wings to the end of the radial cell often bright orange, the basal cell clouded sometimes blackened. Pronotum usually plainly edged with orange on sides as well as on hind margin. Head not as blunt when viewed from above as in occidentalis, proportionately narrower and with little hair behind the eyes, also less hairy beneath. The last ventral segment of the female not doubly notched, or the second notch but feebly indicated. Expands about 60 mm.

Similar cicadas: Okanagana schaefferi Davis, 1915 and Okanagana occidentalis (Walker in Lord, 1866).


Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadettinae
Tribe: Tibicinini
Subtribe: Tibicinina
Genus: Okanagana
Species: Okanagana bella Davis, 1919

List of sources

  1. Davis, William T. Cicadas of the genera Okanagana, Tibicinoides and Okanagodes, with descriptions of several new species. Journal of the New York Entomological Society. v27. 179-223. 1919. Link.
  2. Full Binomial Names:
  3. Common names:; The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott and Wil Herschberger; personal memory.
  4. Locations: Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips.
  5. Descriptions, Colors: personal observations from specimens or photos from many sources. Descriptions are not perfect, but may be helpful.


  • Some descriptions are based on aged specimens which have lost some or a lot of their color.


  1. Cat says:

    Are these what I’m hearing in Larkspur, CO? They make more of a clicking sound.

    1. Dan says:

      The clicking ones are usually Platypedia. Unlike most cicadas, the males make their sound clicking their wings.

  2. Ben Sharp says:

    There’s a big emergence of these here in southwest South Dakota this year. It’s the wettest spring in recent memory, usually the land is turning brown by now but this year everything is still green and lush, so that may be what stimulated them to emerge.

    1. Dan says:

      Could be, Ben! Thanks for the interesting and informative comment!

  3. Kole says:

    Tibicinini belongs to the subfamily Tibicininae.

  4. Whitney Matson says:

    I am in Jackson, WY and am noticing more this year as well. I’ve been noticing them going nuts for the last 3 weeks: Hoback Canyon, GTNP, Togwotee.

    1. Dan says:

      It’s possible. Many species have peak years, or wait to emerge when weather conditions are optimal.

  5. Homer Luther says:

    Do these (mountain) hatch every year or every so many years like 17, 10, etc?

    We have a massive hatch this year

    And I seem to remember a similar large hatch about 10 years ago

    1. Dan says:

      They don’t emerge in a specific series of years like Magicicada do, but they do have years when they are more plentiful than others. Depends on the species, but weather, like big rains, can be factors.

    2. Kathy haisley says:

      We found a grove full of these today up slaughterhouse canyon in Bellevue Idaho.

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