Seen frequently on the hottest days of the summer, the Dog-Day Cicada is a truly harmless insect that happens to be a delightful food item for many other animals. Racoons, wasps and other insects feast on the cicada when it is abundant. Adult cicadas have a call that sounds like a circular saw tearing through wood and in large numbers, the noise can become quite loud during the day and at night.
The adult cicada will breed, laying eggs on branches in trees and then die. Larvae hatch from the eggs and fall to the ground, burrowing down to mature in the deep earth. They are thought to suck out the juice/water out from tree roots.
After growing underground for a time, they resurface and the young nymphs will molt (shed) their exoskeleton in order to become larger, plumper and, eventually, harder. The cicada bursts out the back of its exoskeleton which then dries out in place. These dried-out, crunchy brown 'shells' of the younger nymph look just like a cicada and it's not uncommon to see them clutching onto tree trunks, on plant stems, soffits, gutters, window screens and even blades of tall grass.
This particular species seems to prefer pines and its presence will completely disappear from an area once all pines are gone/dead. It takes 3 years for nymphs in this species to become an adult. Adults are not known to eat. Instead, they focus their energy on reproducing during their short lifespans.
Category: Cicada and Similar
Common name: Dog Day Cicada
Scientific Name: Tibicen canicularis
Adult Size (Length): 27mm to 33mm (1.06in to 1.30in) COMPARE
Identifying Colors: green; black; yellow; gold
North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania,
* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.