Lately, we’ve received quite a few emails asking for audio samples of cicadas and katydids so folks can A) tell them apart, and B) tell what species they are. There’s plenty of sites on the web that feature cicada sounds; look for links tagged AUDIO on my cicada links page. Two particularly good sites for sound files Massachusetts Cicadas and Cicada Central.
In my search for good cicada and katydid sounds, many people recommended the book “The Songs of Insects” by Lang Elliott and Wil Hershberger. I ordered it immediately, and it arrived today. I am truly amazed by this book (and audio CD). The book profiles 75 North American singing insects including cicadas, katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers. Each profile features two excellent color photos of each insect, a map of where you can find them, a description, and the audio CD that includes the insect’s song. The book is over 225 pages long, and a high-quality paperback. If you or your kids are interested in signing insects, there’s no better book to buy. All my nieces and nephews are getting this book for Christmas.
The authors of the book have a webpage featuring the songs of the insects featured in the book. Note that the book is lacking in species found in the western U.S. — if you live east of the Rockies this book is awesome.
Listing for bugs is a fun thing to do in these hot summer months — buy this book before the summer ends.