More Cicadas

I’ve seen and photographed more adult cicadas this year than I ever have before. The spent larval husks are easy to find, just look on tree trunks… and leaves. This quartet, plus another that fell by the wayside, were on a single horse chestnut.
Of course, most trees I look at don’t have any of these exuvia on them. But they also show up in more surprising places, like this Asteraceae less than a foot off the ground.
Some of the adults have been in the tall meadows in Green-Wood. They’re pretty skittish, giving a zzzt sound when they’re spooked.
This one flew away and then back, into this tree.

All of the above are side-views, the best available for these individuals. Makes them hard to figure out as to species.This one, however, is iNaturalist approved as a Swamp Cicada (Neotibicen tibicen tibicen). The vocalization of Swamp (also called Morning) Cicadas are similar to Linne’s Cicada Neotibicen linnei.
Might this be a Linne’s Cicada?
I think so.
This one made a couple of buzzing attempts to get out this mesh fencing. The fencing had rolled over, off the ground, so I gently tapped the creatures so that it fell down, as far as the reach of the mesh. It zooming out of the trap and across the street. (Note the chalky white of the underside. We’ll return to this later in the week.)
Do I think there are more cicadas in Brooklyn this year than, say, last year? Not necessarily. But I have gotten much better at spotting them.

11 Responses to “More Cicadas”


  1. 1 alaspooryorick August 19, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Matthew,
    when i was a child in Chicago–1950’s-there were dead cicadas covering the sidewalks downtown. Biblical in proportion. have never heard or seen that again. any comment from you on this vivid memory?

    • 2 mthew August 19, 2019 at 1:54 pm

      That was probably an emergence of periodic cicadas, also known as seventeen-year cicadas. They’re a different genus (Magicicada); different “broods” around the country pop out in 17 year intervals (there are some thirteen-year ones, too, in the south) after having spent all that time underground sucking on tree roots. Periodic emergences are a great spectacles (of sight and sound) and leave a lot of crunchy bodies around when it’s all over. This page details the broods, where they are, when they emerge (and have emerged in the past): https://www.cicadamania.com/where.html.

      Periodic cicadas look different from the ones pictured here — notably they have red eyes — and emerge in late spring and early summer, not later summer like the cicadas I’m displaying here. These are annual or dog day cicadas. Now, they actually spend 3-5 years underground, but there is a generation or brood every year, so it seems like they return every year.

  2. 3 Ellen August 19, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love cicadas! Such interesting and beautiful insects. Plus their sound says “summer” to me.

  3. 5 Sherry Felix August 20, 2019 at 5:24 am

    I read in this year’s farmers alminac that they are very tasty. Cook over an open fire and sprinkle with salt.

  4. 8 Noellie September 3, 2019 at 7:40 am

    This was a great post with wonderful pictures of ‘the sound of summer’. I too found a lot of them this year https://noelliesplace.com/2019/09/02/cicadas/


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