Dog Day Cicada: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Dog Day Cicada facts about this periodical Cicada species of North America

Dog Day Cicada (genus Neotibicen) are large insects with dark bodies which have green and black markings on them. Their bodies are twice as long as they are wide. Tibicen canicularis are also known as annual cicadas, dog-day cicada, dog-day harvest fly, or heatbug. These Cicadas have been named Dog Day Cicada as these insects are normally seen during the dog days of summer, which usually falls between late July and early September when the star Sirius is most prominent in the sky.

Dog Day Cicadas (genus Tibicen) are not known to be harmful to humans as Tibicen canicularis do not bite humans or sting. There are some more interesting facts about the Dog Day Cicada which you will find in this article. Afterward, do check our other articles on the flesh fly and Mydas fly as well.

Dog Day Cicada

Fact File

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?

200-400 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.1-0.7 oz (2.8-19.8 g)

How long are they?

1.06-1.09 in (2.7-2.8 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark body with green and black markings

Skin Type

Rough markings on skin

What are their main threats?

Raptors, herons, gulls, cuckoos, bee-eaters, and rollers

What is their conservation status?

Not Listed

Where you'll find them

Mixed and deciduous forests


Great Plains of Canada and the United States





Scientific Name

Neotibicen canicularis





Dog Day Cicada Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Dog Day Cicada?

The Dog Day Cicada (Neotibicen canicularis) is a type of Cicada which is an insect. Cicada insects are quite huge compared to other insects. These Cicadas are solitary and come together only in the mating season.

What class of animal does a Dog Day Cicada belong to?

Dog Day Cicadas (genus Tibicen) belong to the Insecta class of animals, as they are insects.

How many Dog Day Cicadas are there in the world?

Dog Day Cicadas (genus Tibicen) or annual cicadas appear during the long summer days of July and August. These insects of North America are frequently seen during the dog days of summer at the time when the star Sirius is most prominent in the sky.

Where does a Dog Day Cicada live?

These insects of North America live in mixed and deciduous woods in Canada, United States, and Central and Eastern. Neotibicen canicularis get their common name from their peak singing at that time of the year when the star Sirius is most prominent in the sky during nighttime.

What is a Dog Day Cicada's habitat?

The habitat of these insects is mixed and deciduous woods in Canada, the United States of America, and the Central and Eastern. In Canada, Cicada habitats in the Great Plains of Canada and the United States, the Midwestern United States,

Who do Dog Day Cicadas live with?

These periodical Cicadas are solitary creatures. They may live nearby but are hardly found in packs or pairs.

How long does a Dog Day Cicada live?

The lifespan of an adult Dog Day Cicada is five to six weeks. The total Dog Day Cicada life cycle range is two to five years. While the smaller member of the species, Magicicada septendecim (Linnaeus) completes its entire life cycle in a period of 17 years.

How do they reproduce?

Male cicadas rest on tree trunks and branches and sing to attract females. After the mating has been completed, female cicadas insert clusters of eggs into the twigs and small branches using a saw-like egg-laying structure. After the larvae hatch from the eggs, it burrows underground into the earth. During this time they drink fluids from the tree roots. After growing underground, they emerge to the surface. After the nymphs emerge, they molt to become larger and thicker.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN says that these species of Cicadas are not at all endangered, but periodical Cicadas might be at risk in the future.

Dog Day Cicada Fun Facts

What do Dog Day Cicadas look like?

The Dog Day Cicada, also known as Neotibicen canicularis, is a species that is black in color and has green marks on its body. Its wings are interlaced with green veins. They have bulging eyes and semi-transparent wings. They have strong front legs, which are developed to tunnel in the soil. The body size is typically 1.06-1.3 in (27–33 mm). The wingspan can reach 3.2 in (82 mm). They are widespread and vocal insects. Their green markings are identical to those of Linne’s Cicadas, but Dog-Days are noticeably smaller in size.

Dog Day Cicada food sources are juices and sap from various trees.

These species are not found to be cute by people with insect phobias. Although they do not bite or sting and are not harmful to humans they are rarely thought of as cute by them.

How do they communicate?

The vocalizations of the Dog Day Cicada (family Cicadidae) are loud and high-pitched. Male Dog Day Cicadas sit on tree trunks and branches. While resting on them, they sing to attract females which produces a sound. This causes two membranes in the sides of their abdomen to vibrate. The female Dog Day Cicada does not sing.

How big is a Dog Day Cicada?

Dog Day Cicadas are big insects. They are twice as long as they are wide. They are 1.06-1.3 in (27-33 mm) long, and their wingspan is about 3.2 in (82 mm).

How fast can a Dog Day Cicada fly?

They can crawl and fly, but they cannot jump. They have four membranous wings with black or green markings on them. The speed at which they move is not known.

How much does a Dog Day Cicada weigh?

The Dog Day Cicada range of weight is 0.1-0.7 oz (2.8-19.8 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The scientific name given to the male and female Dog Day Cicada is Neotibicen canicularis. Both the male and female Dog Day Cicada get their common name from their singing when the star Sirius is most prominent in the sky during nighttime. In common parlance, they are known as males and females respectively.

What would you call a baby Dog Day Cicada?

A baby Dog Day Cicada is known as a nymph.

What do they eat?

Dog Day Cicadas feed on juices from different and tender twigs of shrubs and plants. Some of their preferred tree species are oaks, willows, and maples. Adult Dog Day Cicadas do not eat much.

Are they dangerous?

These Cicadas are harmless to humans. But an estimated 5-6% of adults and 10% of children suffer from insect phobias, so they might find these Cicadas disgusting. They are not poisonous, but they can cause stomach problems if they are eaten by dogs, cats, rodents, or humans.

Would they make a good pet?

They are unusual pets. While they may not be poisonous, do not sting or bite like wasps, they can be a threat to your other pets if ingested due to their exoskeleton being difficult to digest. Hence, these insects are good in taste, but they give stomach problems to the eater. They are also a nuisance because of their sheer number and loud sounds.

Did you know...

The Dog Day Cicada sound is a whining buzz without pulsations.

How is the Dog Day Cicada a benefit?

Dog Day Cicadas play an extremely important role in the environment as they help with the pruning of trees and aerating the soil. Even after their death, trees get precious nitrogen from their bodies.

Why is the Dog Day Cicada a nuisance?

Although these insects have no stinging or biting issues, they are a nuisance because of their sheer number and very loud piercing call. The sound of Dog Day Cicada is a loud and high-pitched whine which is like a power saw cutting wood.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other insects from our potter wasp fun facts and Cicada killer wasp facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Georgia insect coloring pages.



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