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Temporal range: Paleocene–Present
Annual cicada (Cicadidae, Neotibicen sp.) (28934344001).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
Superfamily: Cicadoidea
Family: Cicadidae
Latreille, 1802

See text

Tibicen linnei

Cicadidae, the true cicadas,[1] is the largest family of cicadas, with more than 3,200 species worldwide. The oldest known definitive fossils are from the Paleocene, a nymph from the Cretaceous Burmese amber has been attributed to the family, but could also belong to the Tettigarctidae.[2]


Cicadas are large insects characterized by their membranous wings, triangular-formation of three ocelli on the top of their heads, and their short, bristle-like antennae.[3]

Life cycle[edit]

Cicadas are generally separated into two categories based on their adult emergence pattern. Annual cicadas remain underground as nymphs for two or more years and the population is not locally synchronized in its development, so that some adults mature each year or in most years. Periodical cicadas also have multiple-year life cycles but emerge in synchrony or near synchrony in any one location and are absent as adults in the intervening years. The most well-known periodical cicadas, genus Magicicada, emerge as adults every 13 or 17 years.[4]



Cicadas are known for the loud airborne sounds that males of most species make to attract mates. One member of this family, Brevisana brevis, the "shrill thorntree cicada", is the loudest insect in the world, able to produce a song that exceeds 100 decibels.[5] Male cicadas can produce four types of acoustic signals: songs, calls, low-amplitude songs, and disturbance sounds.[6] Unlike members of the order Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids), who use stridulation to produce sounds, members of Cicadidae produce sounds using a pair of tymbals, which are modified membranes located on the abdomen. In order to produce sound, each tymbal is pulled inwards by a connected muscle, and the deformation of the stiff membrane produces a 'click.'[7]


Newly emerged cicadas climb up trees and molt into their adult stage, now equipped with wings. Males call to attract females, producing the distinct noisy songs cicadas are known for. Females respond to males with a 'click' made by flicking their wings. Once a male has found a female partner, his call changes to indicate that they are a mating pair.[8]


Cicadidae is one of two families within the superfamily Cicadoidea. This superfamily is in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, containing cicadas, hoppers, and relatives, within the order Hemiptera, the true bugs. There are five subfamilies within Cicadidae: Cicadettinae, Cicadinae, Tettigomyiinae, Tibicininae,[9] and Derotettiginae.[10]

Subfamily Cicadettinae Buckton, 1890

Subfamily Cicadinae Latreille, 1802

Subfamily Tettigomyiinae Distant, 1905

Subfamily Tibicininae Distant, 1905

Subfamily Derotettiginae Moulds, 2019 [14]


  1. ^ Synonomised with Tacuini Distant, 1904 by Marshall et al. (2018 p. 38).[9] Tacuini has date priority.
  2. ^ Sinosenini Boulard, 1975, is now recognized as a subjective junior synonym of subtribe Dundubiina Distant, 1905.[11]
  3. ^ Orapini Boulard, 1985, is now recognized as a subjective junior synonym of Platypleurini Schmidt, 1918.[12]
  4. ^ Synonomised with Cryptotympanini Handlirsch, 1925 by Marshall et al. (2018 p. 38).[9] Tacuini has date priority.
  5. ^ Lacetasini Moulds and Marshall, 2018, is now recognized as a subjective junior synonym of Iruanini Boulard, 1983.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pons, Pere (December 2020). "True cicadas (Cicadidae) as prey for the birds of the Western Palearctic: a review". Avian Research. 11 (1): 14. doi:10.1186/s40657-020-00200-1. S2CID 218593305.
  2. ^ Moulds, M. S. (22 June 2018). "Cicada fossils (Cicadoidea: Tettigarctidae and Cicadidae) with a review of the named fossilised Cicadidae". Zootaxa. 4438 (3): 443–470. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4438.3.2. PMID 30313130.
  3. ^ "Family Cicadidae".
  4. ^ "Periodical Cicadas".
  5. ^ "Loudest | Science Literacy and Outreach | Nebraska".
  6. ^ Cocroft, Reginald B.; Pogue, Michael (1996). "Social Behavior and Communication in the Neotropical Cicada Fidicina mannifera (Fabricius) (Homoptera: Cicadidae)". Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 69 (4): 85–97. JSTOR 25085708.
  7. ^ Young, D; Bennet-Clark, H (1 April 1995). "The role of the tymbal in cicada sound production". Journal of Experimental Biology. 198 (4): 1001–1020. doi:10.1242/jeb.198.4.1001. PMID 9318802.
  8. ^ "Amazing Cicada Life Cycle."Youtube, uploaded by BBC Studios, 24 Oct. 2008,
  9. ^ a b c Marshall, David C.; Moulds, Max; Hill, Kathy B. R.; Price, Benjamin W.; Wade, Elizabeth J.; Owen, Christopher L.; Goemans, Geert; Marathe, Kiran; Sarkar, Vivek; Cooley, John R.; Sanborn, Allen F.; Kunte, Krushnamegh; Villet, Martin H.; Simon, Chris (28 May 2018). "A molecular phylogeny of the cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) with a review of tribe and subfamily classification". Zootaxa. 4424 (1): 1–64. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4424.1.1. PMID 30313477. S2CID 52976455.
  10. ^ Simon, Chris; Gordon, Eric R L; Moulds, M S; Cole, Jeffrey A; Haji, Diler; Lemmon, Alan R; Lemmon, Emily Moriarty; Kortyna, Michelle; Nazario, Katherine; Wade, Elizabeth J; Meister, Russell C; Goemans, Geert; Chiswell, Stephen M; Pessacq, Pablo; Veloso, Claudio; McCutcheon, John P; Łukasik, Piotr (6 December 2019). "Off-target capture data, endosymbiont genes and morphology reveal a relict lineage that is sister to all other singing cicadas". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 128 (4): 865–886. doi:10.1093/biolinnean/blz120.
  11. ^ Hill, Kathy B. R.; Marshall, David C.; Marathe, Kiran; Moulds, Maxwell S.; Lee, Young June; Pham, Thai-Hong; Mohagan, Alma B.; Sarkar, Vivek; Price, Benjamin W.; Duffels, J. P.; Schouten, Marieke A.; de Boer, Arnold J.; Kunte, Krushnamegh; Simon, Chris (2021). "The molecular systematics and diversification of a taxonomically unstable group of Asian cicada tribes related to Cicadini Latreille, 1802 (Hemiptera : Cicadidae)". Invertebrate Systematics. 35 (5): 570. doi:10.1071/IS20079. S2CID 237857963.
  12. ^ Price, Benjamin W.; Marshall, David C.; Barker, Nigel P.; Simon, Chris; Villet, Martin H. (October 2019). "Out of Africa? A dated molecular phylogeny of the cicada tribe Platypleurini Schmidt (Hemiptera: Cicadidae), with a focus on African genera and the genus Platypleura Amyot & Audinet‐Serville". Systematic Entomology. 44 (4): 842–861. doi:10.1111/syen.12360. S2CID 133591262.
  13. ^ Sanborn, Allen F.; Marshall, David C.; Moulds, Maxwell S.; Puissant, Stéphane; Simon, Chris (2 March 2020). "Redefinition of the cicada tribe Hemidictyini Distant, 1905, status of the tribe Iruanini Boulard, 1993 rev. stat., and the establishment of Hovanini n. tribe and Sapantangini n. tribe (Hemiptera: Cicadidae)". Zootaxa. 4747 (1): 133–155. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4747.1.5. PMID 32230121. S2CID 214750328.
  14. ^ Simon, Chris; Gordon, Eric R. L.; Moulds, Max S.; Cole, Jerrrey A.; Haji, Diler; Lemmon, Alan R.; Lemmon, Emily Moriarty; Kortyna, Michelle; Nazario, Kathrine; Wade, Elizabeth J.; Meister, Russell C.; Goemans, Geert; Chiswell, Stephen M.; Pessacq, Pablo; Veloso, Claudio; McCutcheon, John P.; Lukasik, Piotr (2019). "Off-target capture data, endosymbiont genes and morphology reveal a relict lineage that is sister to all other singing cicadas". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Oxford University Press. 128 (4): 865–886. doi:10.1093/biolinnean/blz120.

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