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 ( – 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 © Platypedia areolata) icosahedron)
– 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 © Putnam’s Cicada ( Platypedia putnami) Randy Floyd)
Rocky Mountain Cicada ( – 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 © Okanagana occidentalis) Jeff Cole)
– 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 © ( Mountain Cicada Okanagana bella) James Bailey)
Canadian Cicada (– 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 © Okanagana canadensis) Joe Walewski)
– 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 © Rust-spotted Cicada ( Okanagana ferrugomaculata) Elliott Smeds)
Oregon Cicada (– 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 © Okanagana oregona) Tyson Ehlers)
Gloomy Cicada (– 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 © Okanagana tristis) James Bailey)
– 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 © Two-spotted Cicada ( Okanagana vandykei) James Bailey)