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July 5, 2017

The Dusk Singers

The Dusk Singers

Dusk is the time of day between sunset and night. Many species of Megatibicen & Neotibicen (formerly Tibicen) sing at this time. I’m not sure why they sing at this time — perhaps it helps them avoid audio competition with other singing insects, or perhaps it helps them avoid predators by calling at this specific time of the day.

If you find yourself outdoors in the eastern half of the U.S. after sunset and hear a cicada call, it is likely one of the following Megatibicen or Neotibicen species:


Megatibicen are LARGE and LOUD cicadas.

Megatibicen auletes aka the Northern Dusk Singing Cicada. This cicada can be found in these states: AL, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MS, MO, NE, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, WI. Season: July to Fall.

M. auletes Call*:

Megatibicen figuratus aka the Fall Southeastern Dusk-singing Cicada. Found in: AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA. Season: July to Fall.

M. figuratus Call*:

Megatibicen resh aka Resh Cicada aka Western Dusk Singing Cicada. Found in: AR, KS, LA, MS, NE, OK, SC, TN, TX. Season: July to Fall.

M. resh Call*:

Megatibicen resonans aka Southern Resonant/Great Pine Barrens Cicada aka Southern Dusk Singing Cicada. Found in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA. Season: July to Fall.

M. resonans Call*:


Medium-sized, green cicadas with calls that sound like the rhythmic grinding of a scissor on a sharpening wheel (not a common tool in the 21st century).

Neotibicen pruinosus pruinosus aka Scissor(s) Grinder. Found in AL, AR, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WV, WI. Season: June – September. Neotibicen pruinosus fulvus aka Pale Scissor(s) Grinder Cicada. Found in: KS, OK. Season: June – September.

N. pruinosus Call*:

Neotibicen winnemanna aka Eastern Scissor(s) Grinder. Found in AL, DE, DC, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV. Season: June – Fall.

N. winnemanna Call*:

*Audio files are Copyright of Season information gathered from


  1. Steve says:

    Have them in central FL now and they don’t quite match any of these sounds. These sounds like high-pitched chirps in almost a sleigh-bell rhythm.

  2. TiffYG2133 says:

    I found one in my yard in Northern Colorado in 2018 got pics to prove it, isn’t that odd to find one in Colorado?

    1. Dan says:

      Maybe — depends on the species.

  3. John says:

    Will the cicadas still emerge even when it’s a cooler than normal evening? Like the 60s?

    1. Dan says:

      Hi Cameron,

      I wouldn’t bother looking unless it was in the 70s, and if you want the best chance, and night in the 80s.

    2. Dan says:

      Since we’re headed for a relatively cold August, try for nights in the 70s, not 80s like I said.

  4. Cameron says:

    Hey Dan, I’m planning a day one day next week to travel to south Jersey around the pine barrens to search for Neotibicen Auletes nymphs. Where do you think would be the best place down there to look?

    1. Dan says:

      I’ve heard them as far north as Rumson all the way south to Cape May. That said, I’ve only went looking for them and found them in Manchester.

  5. Shan says:

    I live in Arizona and the annual cicadas “sing” all day during Monsoon season (June 15-September 30). They seem to get louder the more humid it gets. Is that odd?

    I was born and raised in Southern California and never once heard or saw a cicada.

    1. Dan says:

      Arizona has a lot of cicadas, in particular: Cacama, Diceroprocta, Hadoa, and Okanagana are common. Here is a list:

      1. Dave says:

        Megatibicen (formerly Tibicen) cultriformis is also active in the later summer, and tends to sing from tall trees along rivers.

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