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Field Guide



Here's an easy reference guide you can print out if you encounter a cicada in the Great Lakes region.



 Cicada ("Si-Kay-Duh")


Common Name: Periodical Cicada     

Scientific Name: Magicicada

Aliases: 13 or 17 Year Cicada; 13 or 17 Year Locust; Satan's Parakeets

Size: 1" to 1 1/2" inches      

Occurrence: Late spring during certain years. (See Brood Maps) Mid-May to mid-July (Northern areas)

Mid-April to mid-June (Southern areas - 13 year species)

Range: Eastern U.S. - west to Iowa & Texas

Habitat: Deciduous Forests - prefers forest edges.  Occasionally occupies urban dwellings.

Characteristics: Appear every 13 or 17 years in enormous numbers to satiate predators.  Males congregate to form loud mating choruses that can be deafening.  Females deposit eggs in the twigs of trees, often killing the host branches.

Distinguishing Marks: Red eyes, black bodies, orange wing veins & legs, "W" shape on fore wings.




Common Name: Annual Cicada

Scientific Name: Neotibicen

Aliases: Locusts, Harvest Flies, Harvestmen, Jar-Fly, Dog-Day Cicada

Size: 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" inches

Occurrence: Mid to late Summer; Appears in late June through early September and often into October.

Range: Throughout the Eastern and Central U.S. & Southern Canada.

Habitat: Conifer, & deciduous Forests; Inhabits rural & urban areas & city parks.

Characteristics: Seldom appears in large numbers.  Males produce a loud buzz-like sound.  They are quick to take flight if threatened.  Other habits are similar to the Magicicada.

Distinguishing Marks: Robust black bodies with whitish undersides.  Body & wing veins are often decorated in green, brown, & gray colors.




Common Name: Say's or Canadian Cicada

Scientific Name: Okanagana

Aliases: Locusts (Often mistaken for the Periodical Cicada)

Size: 1" to 1 1/4" inches

Range: Central to Western U.S. & Southern Canada.  Some species are desert dwellers.

Habitat: Deciduous forests

Occurrence: Early summer - Late May through mid-July.                                   

Characteristics: Can sometimes appear in large numbers.  Habits are similar to Neotibicens.

Distinguishing Marks: Black bodies with orange (sometimes reddish) or beige undersides & legs.  Bodies have similar markings like the Neotibicens but with different colors.



Photo information: 1. Magicicada septendecim - Taken 06/99: F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, Summit County, Ohio

2. Neotibicen lyricen lyricen - Taken 08/00: Fremont, Sandusky County, Ohio

3. Okanagana canadensis - Taken 06/98: St. Ignace, Mackinac County, Michigan

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