Cicada Outside My Window

Scissor-grinder cicada outside my window, 27 Aug 2021, 8pm (photo by Kate St. John)

28 August 2021

Last night at sunset I heard a bug outside my window and found a scissor-grinder cicada (Neotibicen winnemanna) perched on the bricks outside the glass. He sang his courtship song to attract a mate, a repetitive WEEE ah, WEEE ah, WEEE ah, WEEE ah that tapers at end. It’s a sound so unique that he can be identified by song. Click here to hear.

When the cicada left he flew directly at my window and bounced off the glass, over and over again. I imagine his 5 eyes were fooled by a reflection of the sky.

Cicada closeup (photo by Dana Nesiti)
Cicada closeup (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Don’t confuse our annual cicadas with the 17-year periodical cicadas that emerged in D.C. last May and disappeared in July. Scissor-grinders emerge every year in July and peak in September and they look different from each other.

Annual cicada in Pittsburgh, probably scissor-grinder.
Annual cicada, 5 Aug 2019 (photo by Kate St. John)
17-year cicadas are not in Pittsburgh this year. See the red eyes!
Magicicada sp. is not in Pittsburgh in 2021 (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

(photos by Kate St. John, Dana Nesiti and from Wikimedia Commons)

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