Cicada Mania

Dedicated to cicadas, the most amazing insects in the world.

January 11, 2011

Greek Entomythology by Artemis Ippotis

Filed under: Books | Pop Culture — Dan @ 9:55 pm

Here’s something fun for fans of entomology, Greek mythology and creativity: Greek Entomythology by Artemis Ippotis. Artemis (Diana Knight) has created a fun and whimsical book that tells Greek myths using photos of insects. The book is truly one of a kind! Artemis is also planing on offering the book as an iPad/iPhone app.

If you’re interesting in obtaining the book, write Diana at:

Diana Knight
The Manor,
Barton Mills,
Suffolk IP 28 6BL

The book features some of my Tibicen photos. I laughed out loud when I saw the Tibicen playing a lyre.

Greek Entomythology by Artemis Ippotis

New, here’s a video promo for the book:

Mecklenburg County Brood XIX Magicicada Monitoring Project

Filed under: Brood XIX | Magicicada — Dan @ 9:29 pm

Brood XIX 13 year cicadas will be emerging this year in the USA, and folks are already making plans for the emergence.

Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator for the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Conservation Science Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, is organizing a “Cicada Watch” / Brood XIX Magicicada Monitoring Project. Read an article about Cicada Watch in the Charlotte Observer: Cicadas return – and you can make it count.

If you live in the Mechlenburg County area, and are interested in participating in Cicada Watch, here is more information:

Cicada Watch
Mecklenburg County Brood XIX Magicicada Monitoring Project

Brood XIX, a 13-year brood (or year-class) of periodical cicadas, is set to emerge in 2011. Known as the “Great Southern Brood”, this emergence of cicadas is expected to appear in portions of 15 states. In North Carolina, the cicadas should emerge across much of the piedmont region, including the greater Charlotte

Periodical cicadas appear to be declining in parts of their range throughout the eastern United States, and some broods are now thought to be extinct. Impacts such as development, habitat changes and climatological factors may be contributing to these declines.

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s Division of Nature Preserves and Natural Resources will be collecting data on the emergence of Brood XIX in Mecklenburg County in the Spring of 2011. The help of volunteers and local residents is needed to obtain baseline data on emergence locations and areas of activity within the county. Some of these areas will be monitored throughout the emergence period and can be re-visited in future emergence years to determine whether or not local populations are stable. Data collected during this Cicada Watch will help us to understand the status and future of Brood XIX in Mecklenburg

Volunteers Needed!

Cicada Watch volunteers can assist in any of the following activities:

1. Observe their property and neighborhood for periodical cicada activity and report findings to staff
2. Survey areas of the county where emergences may be expected
3. Collect routine monitoring data from active locations throughout the emergence period
4. Follow up on leads of periodical cicada activity, such as reports of exit holes, emerging nymphs, shed skins, or active adults

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, please contact :
Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator
Phone #: 704-432-1390 E-mail:

Cicadas from Japan

I re-scanned some old (10+ years old) photos from Osamu Hikino.

Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata:

Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata

Platypleura kaempferi (Fabricius, 1794):

Platypleura kaempferi (Fabricius, 1794)

Amazing camouflage!

A male Tanna japonensis:

A male Tanna japonensis

A male Auritibicen japonicus:

Male Auritibicen japonicus (formerly Tibicen japonicus, Lyristes japonicus)

A male Auritibicen japonicus:

Male Auritibicen japonicus (formerly Tibicen japonicus, Lyristes japonicus)

December 31, 2010

Cicada Mania: Z

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 6:47 pm

Z is for Zeno P. Metcalf. Dr. Metcalf is famous for his study of cicadas and other Auchenorrhyncha. Read more about Zeno P. Metcalf.

Zouga is an easy to hear, but difficult to catch genus of cicada that exists in South Africa. Read more about Zouga cicadas.

Zammara is a South American genus of cicadas, “with with really interesting morphology, including Dracula-like pronotal collars”. Have a look a this pretty blue Zammara.

Thanks to David Marshall of Insect Singers for Zeno, Zouga and Zammara.

Cicada Mania: Y

Filed under: Australia | Cicada Alphabet | Cyclochila — Tags: , — Dan @ 6:46 pm

Y is for Yellow Monday Cicada. The Yellow Monday cicada is the yellow form of the Cyclochila australasiae (the green form is the Green Grocer). Yellow Monday Cicadas lack a turquoise pigment that normally combines with the yellow pigment to form a green color. Visit the Scribbly Gum website for a photo and more information about Yellow Mondays.

A Yellow Monday photo by Tom Katzoulopolopoulous:

Yellow Monday (Cyclochila australasiae) photos by Tom Katzoulopolopoulous.

Cicada Alphabet: X

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 6:44 pm

X is for xylem sap. Xylem sap is what cicadas eat. Cicadas suck the xylem sap from the xylem of a plant root. Xylem sap contains water and nutrients, which benefit both the plant and the cicada. Visit Wikipedia for more information about xylem and xylem sap.

Cicada Alphabet: W

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 6:42 pm

W is for wing clicking. Wing clicking or wing clapping is how female cicadas communicate with male cicadas. Females lack the organs males use to make sounds; instead they click their wings together.

Walker’s cicada, or Tibicen pronotalis, is a Tibicen cicada found in mid-western and southern States. This cicada was formerly known as both Tibicen walkeri & Tibicen marginalis. BugGuide has many photos of Tibicen pronotalis. Walker’s cicada is known for its crisp, well-defined markings.

The Whiskey Drinker aka Cherry Nose cicada (Macrotristria angularis) can be found in eastern Australia. It gets its name from its red clypeus, which resembles the red nose of someone who drinks too much whiskey.

Cherry Nose cicada (Macrotristria angularis). Photo by David Emery.
Cherry Nose cicada (Macrotristria angularis). Photo by David Emery.

The White Drummer (Arunta perulata) is a cicada than can be found along Australia’s east coast. Here is a photo of a White Drummer, which features large areas of (white) pruinose on its abdomen:
White Drummer cicada (Arunta perulata). Photo by David Emery.
Photo by David Emery.

Cicada Alphabet: V

Filed under: Australia | Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 6:39 pm

V is for Venustria superba, a species of cicada found in Queensland, Australia. The V. superba’s call sounds more like a frog than a cicada.

Read more about the Venustria superba in M.S. Mould’s fantastic book Australian Cicadas.

Cicada Alphabet: U

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 6:38 pm

U is for Urabunana, a genus of tiny cicadas that inhabit eastern Australia. Read more about Urabunana cicadas in M.S. Mould’s fantastic book Australian Cicadas.

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.

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