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About Cicadas

The word bug is often used as a generalization for any small invertebrate, but the word bug is used by entomologists and others to refer specifically to insects in the order Hemiptera. Bugs have sucking mouthparts, the juvenile stages resemble the adult stages, if the adult stage has wings, they have four wings. Most bugs are sap-sucking herbivores, like the cicadas, but some are predators. More about cicadas.


Green Grocer Cicada
Green Grocer Cicada Image: Bruce Hulbert
© Bruce Hulbert

The greengrocer, Cyclochila australasiae, is a common species of cicada. Its loud chorus are a deafening part of the summer soundscape. The greengrocer is normally green in colour, but some individuals lack blue pigment and are yellow as a result- these are known as yellow Mondays. If they lack the yellow pigment, then they are blue as a result and are called blue moons.

Double drummer

Thopha saccata
Double Drummer cicada, Thopha saccata, in Wedderburn, NSW. Image: Dave Britton
© Australian Museum

The double drummer, Thopha saccate, is australias largest cicada species. It gets its name from the enlarged timbals, or sound producing organs on the sides of the male’s abdomen, these allow it to produce a lot of noise.

Razor grinder

Cicadas, Hemiptera Image: Bruce Hulbert
© Bruce Hulbert

The Razor grinder, Henicopsaltria eydouxii, has one of the loudest calls and when chorused can be deafening. The name refers to its harsh call, which has been likened to the noise of a metal grinder. It is one of the larger cicadas with zig-zag markings on its front wings. More commonly encountered in Brisbane, however, they occur from Gladstone, Queensland, along the east coast as far south as Narooma, New South Wales.