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Cicada Sighting - Marlborough, MA.

Sightings Category: Cicadas

Cicada Sighting - Marlborough, MA.

Attached is a picture I took yesterday, July 26 in Marlborough, MA. I thought you might like it. Can you identify it specifically? I was intrigued by the orange dot on the head. From head to wing tip is 2 inches. I measured the pattern on the umbrella. Larry

Date Posted: 2006-07-27 Comments: (2) Show Comments Hide Comments


Posted By: Massachusetts Cicadas | On: 2010-11-25 | Website:

Hi Larry

What you have there is a Tibicen lyricen female. The females do not make any sounds like the males do. The males sound like a droning air conditioner. Massachusetts has another species that is out now known as Tibicen canicularis. They kind of sound like a high-pitched buzz saw and are a lot smaller.

If you still have the specimen can you provide measurement from wing hinge to tip of wing, and also just the length of the body? Also the width of its head (from large compound eye to compound eye)

Also the orange dot is one of three oscelli (simple eyes) they are placed in the middle of its head in the shape of a triangle. The cicada uses these to detect light and movement. A lot of insects have these three simple eyes.

Thanks for the picture and information.

Posted By: Larry | On: 2010-12-13 | Website:


Thanks for the quick reply. I let it fly away after I took the picture. I was taking pictures of a hummingbird moth on a beebalm when it landed on the umbrella with a clunk that got my attention. I scaled the lengths of the umbrella pattern. The width I had to estimate because of the angle. For a scale I used the thread count. Length 40 threads per inch. Width 24 threads per inch.

Length = 2.00 inch (exact, measured on the curly print pattern)
Wing length = 1.65 inch
Body = 1.33 inch
distance between compound eyes = 0.2 inch (approx.)
width of eye .07 inch

I notice that your pictures do not show the simple eye color as orange. That's why I thought it might be a different variety.


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