Archived content - Cicada (37 of 46)

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C. A Fascinating Fauna (Continued)

Cicada species occurring in more than one region of the world are marked with an asterisk (*).

10G. *Painted Cicadas (Neocicada)


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Neocicada hieroglyphica

Painted Cicadas (genus Neocicada): head 6.5-7 mm wide, slightly narrower than thorax but with eyes prominent (thorax has no flanges before the wing bases); front leg with 3 small spines, as in Magicicada; marked with black bars on two crossveins near tip of each forewing; tymbals concealed; opercula, short and rounded, widely separated, with tymbals plainly visible just above their sides; male terminal segment stout, closed by uncus forked on upper end; theca slender, ending in single spine on upper side just before broad, flat tip. The male abdomen is hollow, translucent and keeled on the underside, making a rigid resonating chamber. Nymph slender, banded with dark brown, as in Okanagana.

Only a single southern species is known in North America. Four other species Footnote 1 are found further south.

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Photo of the underside of Neocicada.


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Drawing showing the male opercula and male terminal segment (theca).

Neocicada hieroglyphica (Say), (= Cicada characterea Germar, C. johannis Walker), * Painted Cicada

Neocicada hieroglyphica

Adults: Head 6.5-7 mm wide; overall length (wings folded) 3-3.3 cm. Adults are a beautiful patchwork of orange and lime green on the head and thorax, with the orange abdomen showing through the pale green wing veins, and the lower side is usually covered with a silvery dusting of wax; but dried specimens turn pale yellow, making the black hieroglyphic marks stand out.

Song: An individual starts with a sequence of progressively softer whiney bursts then sounds like a remote controlled aircraft revving up, but adults usually sing together, making a continuous ringing sound during the day, from June to early August.

Range: Pine barrens, from Texas to Florida, north along the Atlantic coast to Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

See The North American Genera and Picture Guide.

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