Cicadas of Columbia County, Oregon

Cicadas are a superfamily of True Bugs (order Hemiptera), related to leafhoppers, planthoppers, and spittlebugs. They are famous for loud grating calls that adults make while perched in trees, as well as their extended underground nymph stage (as long as 17-19 years in the periodic cicadas of the eastern US). Cicada use their piercing mouthparts to drink the sap from trees. They tend to prefer drier habitats and are only rarely seen in our region.

The “pronatum” is the shield directly behind the head – it has a colored back edge that gives a collar to most species. The “mesonotum” is the shield behind that, it has a circle of colored markings in about half of our species.

Salmonfly Cicada Platypedia areolata columbia county northwest oregon
Salmonfly Cicada (Platypedia areolata) – 0.8″. Collar and other borders can be yellowish, tan, or greenish, legs are red-brown. “Hairy” towards front and below. Makes clicking call. Found in alder, sumac, and fruit trees. (photo © icosahedron)
Putnam's Cicada Platypedia putnami columbia county northwest Oregon
Putnam’s Cicada (Platypedia putnami) – 0.9″. Black with bright orange borders, legs are black with orange joints. Hairy front and below. Clicking call like coins striking. Native to scrubland but found in orchards too. (photo © Randy Floyd)
Rocky Mountain Cicada Okanagana occidentalis columbia county oregon
Rocky Mountain Cicada (Okanagana occidentalis) – 0.9-1.1″. Black body with orange margins and a circular marking on mesonotum. A thick, stout cicada, pronatum does not narrow as much as Mountain Cicada. Call is a slow buzz. Found in forest and brush. (photo © Jeff Cole)
Mountain Cicada Okanagana bella columbia county oregon
Mountain Cicada (Okanagana bella) – 1.0″. Very shiny black body with orange markings and little hair. Pronatum narrows distinctly towards head. Call is slower than Rocky Mountain Cicada, giving it a rattling quality. Calls from pines. (photo © James Bailey)
Canadian Cicada Okanagana canadensis columbia county oregon
Canadian Cicada (Okanagana canadensis) – 1.0″. Yellowish-orange markings on a duller black body. No orange borders on the abdomen segments. Call is a slow, rattling buzz. Found on pine, cedar, and willow, often perched at the very end of branches. (photo © Joe Walewski)
Rust-spotted Cicada Okanagana ferrugomaculata columbia county oregon
Rust-spotted Cicada (Okanagana ferrugomaculata) – 1.3″. Black with orange collar and a large rust-orange spot on each side of the pronatum. Pronatum less tapered than in previous species. Rarely seen as it calls from the top heights of trees. (photo © Elliott Smeds)
Oregon Cicada Okanagana oregona columbia county northwest oregon
Oregon Cicada (Okanagana oregona)– 0.7″. A small species. Black with orange collar but no orange markings on the mesonotum. Distinct orange ribbing on abdomen and orange underneath. Wings have yellow-orange veins. Call is high-pitched buzz. Found in forest. (photo © Tyson Ehlers)
Gloomy Cicada Okanagana tristis columbia county northwest oregon
Gloomy Cicada (Okanagana tristis) – 1.1″. A large species. Matte black and usually lacks orange collar, though it has a bright orange/rust belly, wing base, and other highlights. Call is a low-pitched buzz. Found in forest. (photo © James Bailey)
Two-spotted Cicada (Okanagana vandykei) – To 1.3″. Large, black with yellow or orange markings, including entire pronotum in some. The only cicada in our region with a pair of half-oval markings on the mesonotum. (photo © James Bailey)

Return to Insects guide

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: