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enter image description here

I came across a black cicada in northwest Missouri last week. I am only familiar with brown cicadas. What makes this black one different? Is it a different species, or do the brown cicadas change color at some point in adulthood?

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  • $\begingroup$ Is the photo in the question yours, and of the cicada in question? If so, good job. $\endgroup$ – Faheem Mitha Jun 5 '15 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ @FaheemMitha I was really surprised, my phone camera is usually really bad. $\endgroup$ – user137 Jun 5 '15 at 5:14
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A little digging on wikipedia seems to have answered my question. This picture of a 17 year cicada, Magicicada septendecim is pretty close to what I saw. enter image description here

Furthermore, this seems to match the time and place, as the Kansas Brood of 17 year cicadas is scheduled to emerge this year and should appear in the Missouri-Kansas area. It also explains why I'm not familiar with these cicadas, 17 years ago I wasn't paying attention to them.

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    $\begingroup$ Hahah, you posted your own answer 16 seconds before I was going to post mine! I agree with you that it's a periodical cicada. Get ready to get very, very familiar with them $\endgroup$ – C_Z_ May 28 '15 at 17:25
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It's difficult to be sure without seeing the specimen more from the side (or ventrally), but the lack of visible orange color between the eye and the wing articulation suggests that it could be one of two other 17-year cicada species, Magicicada cassinii or M. septedecula (all three species emerge synchronously; their different songs isolate them reproductively). M. septendecim has the lateral orange color. M. cassinii is the most common of the three species in the 17-year brood that came out in 2015.

Cicadas do not change much in appearance during their short adult lives.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome and thanks for your answer.By convention we ask for sources, a verifying image of your ID and additional background info such as the distribution and habitat of your species ID. As of now, it's more of a question comment. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jun 21 '18 at 8:18

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