Large Brown Cicada in Japan

2023 October 15

Here’s one of the cicadas that were screaming loudly in the trees when Sandy and the girls visited Japan. They found a couple of them dead on the ground, and sent me pictures on August 16, 2023. These were really big cicadas, as we can see by comparing one of them to Sam’s index finger.

They are rather bigger than the cicadas that we have at home, and are also different in that their wings are kind of a mottled brown rather than being transparent, as is more typical for cicadas.

(this one has been dead for a while, and has been hollowed out by something. Probably ants.)

There are several cicada species found in Japan, these are Aburazemi, Graptopsaltria_nigrofuscata. I am not sure what the exact translation of “Aburazemi” might be, but the English name for it is “Large Brown Cicada”. They are extremely loud, and quite numerous around Nikko, to the point that when they all get screaming it can be difficult to talk over them.

It apparently wasn’t even particularly an outbreak year. They take about 3 years to mature and some of them emerge every summer.

Like other cicadas, the males call to attract the females, and after they mate the females lay their eggs in tree twigs. Once the eggs hatch, they fall to the ground and burrow in until they find a root, and then they settle down to feed on plant juices for some years until they are ready to crawl back up and molt to adults.

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