Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter


from the August 4, 2008 Newsletter, issued from near Natchez, Mississippi:

Loud, drawn-out, summer afternoon cicada or "jar fly" dronings aren't as noticeable here these days as they are some years, but you still hear and see cicadas from time to time. For example, look at the little one above.

That's a Hieroglyphic Cicada, NEOCICADA HIEROGLYPHICA, partial to oaks and conspicuously smaller than most cicadas we see here. Notice that its body length hardly extends across two finger tips. You can hear the species' song by clicking on the audio link at the University of Connecticut's page on the species.

About 3000 cicada species are recognized. Species of periodical cicadas who emerge every few years in great numbers are recognized by their red eyes and reddish wing-veins. Our Hieroglyphic Cicada, lacking those features, is clearly an annual cicada, appearing yearly and usually in much smaller numbers.