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Tibicen Cicada from New Salem, MA

Sightings Category: Cicadas

Tibicen Cicada from New Salem, MA

Hello there. I found this Cicada, newly hatched, up at the Federated Women's State Forest a few weeks ago, as it was crawling on my canvas book bag that had been lying on the ground at the campsite. We had never seen one this color before or with blue matter on it's wings. I emailed Jeff about it and he thought it was a newly hatched one and that perhaps the blue matter was blood. My mom and I had touched the matter, as we thought it was gel like and found that instead, it was quite solid.

Very curious about this scenario. Would you have anything to offer?

Thanks in advance,


Date Posted: 2008-09-02 Comments: (2) Show Comments Hide Comments


Posted By: Massachusetts Cicadas | On: 2010-12-17 | Website:

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the very cool photo series of a T. canicularis cicada teneral. Apparently something went wrong during the ecdysis process.

The blue stuff for lack of a better word is blood. The blood in insects is known as "hemalymph" and flows rather freely around the internal body of all insects. The reason it is hard is probably due to age. That it, it has been sitting on the cicada for a very long time and like platelets in human blood that forms scabs, this is probably the hemalymph equivalent.

I'm afraid this cicada will probably never fly due to all the fluid that has dried on it. Thanks for the very cool photos!

Posted By: Karen | On: 2010-12-17 | Website:

Thanks for the quick response. We suspected that it might not be able to fly with the blue matter on its wings. It did climb up a tree but went out of sight by the next hour. My mom had wanted to keep it for observation purposes, (being the entomologist that she is), but I encouraged her to leave it in its natural place, and hence, were unable to find it later on that day.

We were at the Federated Women's State Park off Rt 122 in New Salem, Gate 36 of the Quabbin. Next time I am up there, I will see if I can spot it somewhere on the small tree where it climbed up. If I can find it, I will try to get ahold of it and will contact you afterward.

Thanks again for your scientific information.

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