Songs of Insects

Celebrating our Singing Insects of North America

Cicadas singing – early?

On July 6, 2007 I and several people heard cicadas singing from wooded areas in eastern West Virginia.
Among the singers were Swamp cicada, Tibicen chloromera, and Davis’s Southeastern Dog-day Cicada, Tibicen cannicularis.

This seems early to us. Are you hearing cicadas? Let us know when, where and what species.
Click on the species names above to hear these cicada’s songs.
Thank you,

Davis’s Southeastern Dog-day Cicada

Davis's Southeaster Dog-day Cicada
Swamp Cicada
Swamp Cicada


July 7, 2007 - Posted by | Cicadas


  1. My children called me into their rooms about 11:30 tonite to hear a strange sound. I researched the song and came up with swamp cicada. It was amazing.

    Comment by Sue G | July 9, 2007 | Reply

  2. Thanks Sue. Great to hear that you identified the singer! What area are you from?
    Thanks again,

    Comment by songsofinsects | July 9, 2007 | Reply

  3. I live in Davis, Calif., and my husband and I went looking in the backyard with a flashlight a few nights ago for a loud, incessant chirping whatever — cricket? frog? We found the noise-maker and actually watched it rub its wings together. Then I found your wonderful site, hunted through your photos and recordings, and came up with snowy tree cricket as the identify of our night singer. Didn’t even know there were ‘tree’ crickets… Thank you so much for putting this material online and free.

    Comment by Sylvia | August 3, 2007 | Reply

  4. Thank you Sylvia. Great find and you are certainly welcome. I love snowy tree crickets. I think that their song is one of the most soothing in the insect world. It is so easy to get lost in the cadence of the chorus. I certainly hope that you enjoy your new found friends.

    Comment by songsofinsects | August 3, 2007 | Reply

  5. Just heard a swamp cicada today, actually, here in Michigan.
    Great site! Will you guys be putting out a CD?

    I have an old LP from the Borror lab, but it’s showing it’s age.

    Comment by Bug Girl | August 3, 2007 | Reply

  6. Hi Bug Girl,
    The book, “The Songs of Insects” has a CD included in it. The audio CD covers the songs of all of the species covered in the book with longer examples than are found on the website. We are also offering a relaxation audio CD with no narration that is available starting Monday, August 6.
    Please see the following web page for more details.

    Thank you,

    Comment by songsofinsects | August 3, 2007 | Reply

  7. Hi,
    Just open door for fresh air, hear the singing of Swamp cicada’s in Fredericksburg, Va. Don’t know when they showed up. Your demo helped to know which kind.

    Comment by Sandy | August 27, 2007 | Reply

  8. It is mid March and on he 17th I heard Cicadas in the woods on the outskirts of Tell City, IN. I was really shocked to hear them, it was the middle of the afternoon on a unseasonably warm day (it was about 60 degrees by nightfall) Any Ideas? I was with my friend and she heard them too, we thought it was weird.

    Comment by Beckie | March 20, 2008 | Reply

  9. I live in northern Delaware, just north of Wilmington. I have keep a botanical log and I have become more interested in Summer insects during the past few years. Thank you for all the information on your website and your CD which helps amateurs learn the sounds of the insects. I’ll give you the info I have on cicadae and Katydids since 2005 here in northern Delaware if anyone is interested. ..not much info as I don’t know so much yet.
    Wednesday, July 13th2005: at 8PM and heard my first Katydid

    Wednesday. July 19th, 2006: heard my first Katydid

    Thursday, July 19th 2007: heard my first Katydid

    Sat, July 5th 2008- Heard the first scissor-grinder(?) cicadae of the season about 4PM route 92 in northern Wilmington. It was the first insect sound other than chirping crickets.

    July 7th, 2008: saw what looked like some sort of cicadae that was perched on top of it’s shell which was attached to the bark of the tree

    July 8th -went out for a walk at night and saw one cicadae on the sidewalk curb. No noise came from this insect. No noises from the Katydids yet. Crickets seem to be getting louder.

    July 17th, 2008: heard my first Katydid

    Comment by Elmer | August 9, 2008 | Reply

  10. I got up this morning to hearing a loud humming sound, and I said to my 10 yr. old son; let see if we can find what kind of insect that makes this sound..after researchng a little I found your site and it sounds to me like it’s the Dog-day Cicada. We live in Southeastern MA. and it’s the 16th of Aug. A nice sunny day around 80ish. For some reason I don’t recall hearing this sound all summer long….maybe the cicada is happily singing because we had a few days of rain…

    Comment by Lynn | August 16, 2008 | Reply

  11. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, and have been fascinated as lately I have been observing the exact time and conditions that the local cicada males begin to sing each morning. First, the native tui bird usually sings his haunting call. Then, almost always at about 6 a.m. the cicadas begin to sing. It sometimes starts with a small gust of wind, or their volume just starts low and increases until it’s extremely loud! Some mornings have been brighter than others, although never rainy so far. Sometimes a lone cicada sings in one area, to be followed by a chorus in another area. It doesn’t seem to have a specific pattern, but they alway start at about the same time each day, + – 5 minutes. Amazing! Is there any other information on exactly “what” starts them into their chorus of song?

    Comment by Lorna | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  12. Lorna,
    It appears that cicadas use the ambient temperature to govern singing. Once the temperature reaches a certain level they will start to sing. From your description there might be a light level clue that the cicadas in NZ are using to begin singing. Your observations are very interesting.
    Thank you for posting,

    Comment by songsofinsects | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  13. I have a question and would certainly appreciate your answer. Part of a novel I am writing takes place in Savannah. What month would I be safe in commenting on the night singing of insects?

    Comment by Bill | March 23, 2010 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: