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April 4, 2020

Megatibicen dorsatus (Say, 1825) aka Giant Grassland Cicada

Filed under: Megatibicen | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) | Thomas Say | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 8:57 am

Megatibicen dorsatus (Say, 1825) aka Giant Grassland Cicada aka Bush Cicada.

Neotibicen dorsatus from Bill Reynolds collection
Fully sclerotized M. dorsatus from Bill Reynolds’ collection.

M. dorsatus; teneral; copyright Greg Holmes
Teneral M. dorsatus by Greg Holmes.

See all Megatibicen dorsatus images & information on

Song type: Call

Source: ©Insect Singers | Species: M. dorsatus

Video Playlist

Playlists contain multiple videos found on YouTube.

Name, Location and Description

Habitat notes from ANNOTATED LIST OF COLORADO CICADAS by Wm T. Davis 1

Dr. Raymond H. Beamer, in an account of his collecting trip in Kansas in 1916, writes that dorsata was the most widely spread and abundant species taken. It was commonly found on low shrubs or weeds and grass, often on barren hill tops.


Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cryptotympanini
Subtribe: Cryptotympanina
Genus: Megatibicen
Species: Megatibicen dorsatus (Say, 1825)

List of sources

  1. Davis, W.T. 1921. ANNOTATED LIST OF COLORADO CICADAS. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, Vol. XXIX, No. I.
  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.

Photos of teneral Megatibicen dorsatus by Greg Holmes

Megatibicen dorsatus is arguably the most beautiful cicada in the United States. Even it its teneral (meaning soft) form right after molting, in is visually impressive.

These three photos were taken by Greg Holmes of a Megatibicen dorsatus in its post-molting, teneral state.

M. dorsatus; teneral; copyright Greg Holmes

M. dorsatus; teneral; copyright Greg Holmes

M. dorsatus; teneral; copyright Greg Holmes

March 24, 2020

Neotibicen superbus, Megatibicen dorsatus, Megatibicen resh

Left to Right: Neotibicen superbus, Megatibicen dorsatus, Megatibicen dorsatus, Megatibicen resh from the collection of Bill Reynolds.

N. superbus, N. dorsatus, N. resh from the collection of Bill Reynolds

Megatibicen dorsatus

Filed under: Bill Reynolds | Megatibicen | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 9:04 pm

Megatibicen dorsatus from Bill Reynolds’ collection.

Neotibicen dorsatus from Bill Reynolds collection

March 15, 2020

Bill Lesar’s 2005 Megatibicen dorsatus Gallery

Filed under: Megatibicen | Photos & Illustrations | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) — Tags: — Dan @ 10:58 am

Bill Lesar’s 2005 Megatibicen dorsatus Gallery. The genus of this cicada changed from Tibicen to Neotibicen, and not it is Megatibicen (circa 2020).

Bill Lesar's 2005 Megatibicen dorsatus

Bill Lesar's 2005 Megatibicen dorsatus

October 24, 2009

Tribute to Ace Jackalope

Filed under: Video — Tags: , — Dan @ 12:03 pm

Many things in this life
Are not what they appear
Yeah I look like a hare
But if you stop and you stare
I’m related to a deer

– Supersuckers “Creepy Jackalope Eye”

So what does that have to do with a cicada, well, there’s a person on YouTube named acejackalope that has been posting dozens of videos of cicadas. Lots of them feature good shots of the cicada, the species name and their song (which is important, since a lot of cicadas look the same, so you need to hear their song to identify them). All of them are great quality too.

Here’s some samples:

Tibicen auriferus singing:

Underside of T. dorsatus:

March 2, 2008

New Cicada Photos from Adam Fleishman / ID this cicada

Here’s some new photos from photographer and cicada enthusiast Adam Fleishman. As always, they’re great photos. If you can help ID the first two photos, we’d appreciate it.

Neotibicen dealbatus:


Neotibicen dealbatus:


Neotibicen dorsatus (formerly T.dorsata):

T. dorsatus (formerly T.dorsata)

T. dorsata

Neotibicen superbus (formerly T. superba)

T. superba

Visit Adam’s website Cometmoth Sight and Sound

August 25, 2007

ID the Tibicen

Filed under: Megatibicen | Neotibicen | Tibicen — Tags: , , — Dan @ 10:18 am

Brian Baldwin sent over some cicada photos for an ID. Here’s my guesses (below). If you have a more accurate guess, post it in the Comments.

Megatibicen dorsatus (formerly T. dorsata):

Megatibicen dorsatus by Brian Baldwin

At first I thought T. walkeri, but now I’m leaning towards Brain’s guess of N. superbus. This would be the first superbus with a brown mesonotum that I’ve ever seen.:

Brian Baldwin's Neotibicen superbus

Megatibicen dealbatus (formerly dealbata):

Megatibicen dealbatus by Brian Baldwin

August 26, 2006

“Bush Cicada” (Neotibicen dorsatus)

Filed under: Neotibicen | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) | Tibicen — Tags: — Dan @ 11:20 am

This excellent photo of a Neotibicen dorsatus (formerly T. dorsata) was taken in Oklahoma by Vic Fazio.

Bush Cicada Tibicen dorsatus (formerly T. dorsata)

August 21, 2006

Auletes (no Megatibicen grossus) IS the biggest USA cicada!

Cicada researcher Kathy Hill took this unbelievable photo of 18 different USA Neotibicen & Megatibicen specimens, plus a Quesada gigas (upper right) for comparison.

Kathy Hill. Auletes is the biggest Tibicen

Click/tap the image for a much larger version. Contact Insect Singers for more information about the image.

I just took a photo of all the “eastern USA” Tibicens except
latifasciata, which we haven’t got yet (I didn’t include the “little
western” Tibicens like T. texana that are more centrally located
either). But I did also add T. duryi from the west coast and Q.
gigas, just for comparison.

I just wanted to prove that auletes IS the biggest USA cicada 🙂

Note that the these cicadas were reorganized into two new genera: Megatibicen (larger USA Tibicen) and Neotibicen (smaller USA Tibicen) since this original announcement in 2006.

* Note as of 2023 the name of this cicada has changed to Megatibicen grossus. You can also call it a Northern Dusk-Signing Cicada. Cicada names change a lot.

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