Australian Cicadas by M.S. Moulds was first published in 1990 by the New South Wales University Press. It is the best reference for Australian cicadas that I’ve found, and I use it at least once a week.
The book covers common names of cicada, life history, predators & parasites, distribution, anatomy, sound production & reception, and classification. The book also features an extensive catalog of Australian cicadas including photos, maps, and descriptions of their behavior.
I found my copy used. It was expensive but well worth the price.
I collect virtually every cicada book I can get my hands on, including books written for children. They often contain some of the best photos and illustrations, and for that reason alone they’re nice to have.
One bittersweet thing about cicada books is people often resell them after a periodical cicada emergence is over, but that also means you can get them for a low price if you don’t mind a used book. Before Amazon.com was invented, people went to a place called the library, and an entire town essentially shared a single used book.
Cicadas Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle illustrated by Meryl Henderson
This is a recent book and features page after page of color illustrations of cicadas, and cicada-related information. The book is factually accurate and the illustrations are excellent. The reading level is 4 to 8, but I think cicada fans of all ages would enjoy this book.
Cicadas, A True Book, by Ann O Squire
The Visual Book of Australian Cicadas by Peter Leyden
This short book is packed with excellent illustrations of Australian cicadas. It is likely out of print, but I recommend it for the quality of the illustrations and the collectibility factor.
Cicadas and Aphids What They Have in Common by Sara Swan Miller
This book features photos (not illustrations) of cicadas and other members of the order Hemiptera (true bugs). I recommend this book for kids who want to expand their interest in insects beyond cicadas. The reading level is 8 or above.
The next three books are very similar in that they all feature photos of mostly periodical cicadas (Magicicadas) with easy-to-understand explanations. The reading level for all three is 4 to 8.
Cicadas by Helen Frost Gail Saunders-Smith Ph.D. Consulting Editor
The Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha) by Allen F Sanborn weighs about six pounds. It’s also one of my favorite cicada books, and it usually can be found on my desk. I use it mostly to verify the names of cicadas.
Here’s a description from the publisher:
This is the third in a series of catalogs and bibliographies of the Cicadoidea covering 1981-2010. The work summarizes the cicada literature, providing a means for easy access to information previously published on a particular species or to allow researchers the ability to locate similar work that has been published on other species. A total of 2,591 references are included in the bibliography. The book is a source of biological and systematic information that could be used by zoologists, entomologists, individuals interested in crop protection, and students studying entomology as well as anyone interested in cicadas or who require specific information on the insects. Each genus/species is identified with the reference, the page number, any figures (if applicable), the topics covered by the reference, any synonymies, and any biogeographic information mentioned for the species in the individual reference. An added benefit to the catalog is that it is the first complete species list for the Cicadoidea, including all synonymies and new combinations through 2012.
Over 3,390 varieties of cicadas (yeah, I manually counted the species).
Every now and then I treat myself to a cicada book from Japan. Cicadas are called semi in Japan, which seems to be spelled ã‚»ãƒŸ or è‰. Enter ã‚»ãƒŸ or è‰ into the Amazon.co.jp search box and you’ll find a bunch of cicada books (amongst other things).
I’ve already written about Dr. M. Haysashi and Dr. Yasumasa Saisho‘s fantastic The Cicadidae of Japan book. Here are some others:
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This book features huge photos of cicadas through all phases of their lives. It also features diagrams of their lifecycle and underground tunnels.
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Only the first eleven pages of this book are about cicadas, but they are excellent, featuring large photos of common cicadas. The book features two pages that match nymph exoskeletons to adult cicadas.
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This book also features many large photos of cicadas throughout their life cycle. The photos of eggs and first instar nymphs are particularly nice.
Note that these books are not written in English.
It looks like a new sub-tribe, genus and species of cicada has been identified by Michel Boulard and Stéphane Puissant. Cicadmalleus micheli. The cicada has a head that looks like the head of a hammerhead shark! Cicadmalleus means “cicada hammer”, and micheli refers to Bruno Michel who found the cicada (thanks David Emery).
I heard the cicada was discovered in Thailand, which makes sense because that is where Michael Boulard does most of his research.
This is a photo of one of my displays at home. Some of the specimens aren’t in the best shape, but it is good enough to distinguish the species.
Angamiana floridula, Becquartina electa, Gaeana cheni, Gaeana festiva, Platypleura mira, Tacua speciosa, Tosena albata, Tosena melanoptera, Tosena paviei, and Trengganua sibylla are featured in the image.
A co-worker went to France, and brought me back some cicada souvenirs! Cicada salt & pepper shakers, and a refrigerator magnet!
They love cicadas in France.
A few weeks ago someone asked me what species of cicada the Cicada 3301 logo represented. At the time I did not know what Cicada 3301 was. Later on I learned that Cicada 3301 is some kind of international organization that uses puzzles to recruit people who are really good at figuring out puzzles … or something like that. This sounds very interesting, and it might be something I would be into if I had more free time.
Here is the 3301 logo (which is presumably copyrighted by the Cicada 3301 organization):
The logo appears to be a photo of a cicada processed with an emboss filter. (I’ve seen other versions of the logo, which look like the embossed logo run through an ASCII filter that makes it look like the green alphanums on a black background like the Matrix or the Homebrew setting for Terminal windows on the Mac.)
The interesting thing about the 3301 logo is that the cicada appears to be a collage. The veins of the right hind wing are different than the left hind wing. Either the wing was taken from a different species, or the lines that appear in the anal lobe were cloned/copied to cover the entire hindwing.
Interesting. When I have more time I’ll try to ID the actual cicada — or at least the primary species the image was made from.
I wonder what 3301 stands for? Entomologists Enjoy Only Insects?
David Emery is an Aussie cicada expert. His image of 10 common Aussie cicadas is an excellent visual guide to cicadas found in Australia.
Also, check out L. Popple’s Australian cicadas: The cicadas of central eastern Australia for dozens more, including sound files as well as images.
And, here’s more images of Aussie cicadas and their interesting names.