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Cicada; Cigarra

Cicada barbara lusitanica


Life and Mathematics. Cicadas only emerge after a prime number of years cycle. African cicada Magicicada septendecim has a 17 years cycle. A close relative has a 13-years cycle. Others a 7-years cycle. C. barbara, shown here, has a 5-years cycle. Why do they do it?. To avoid to coincide with predators life cycles peaks. In Stephen Gould’s example, a cicada that emerges every seventeen years and has a predator with a five-year life cycle will only face a peak predator population once every eighty-five (5 x 17) years, giving it an enormous advantage over less well-adapted cicadas. C. barbara is a big cicada, up to 2.5 cm long with a wingspan of 7 cm. It can be distinguished from its closest relative Cicada Orni by the continuous singing of the first from very similar C. orni by the song, a continuous singing in the first against discontinuous chirps in the second. The decoration of the wings with black points is typical of C. barbara. C. barbara is considered a plague for olive trees since they suck the olive sap. When nymphs they go underground where they live for 5 years from which emerge to become adults after the last molt.


Spotted at a pine tree and evergreen oak forest. Dehesa de Valdelatas


Camera Model: NIKON D500. Exposure Time: 1/160 sec.; f/22; ISO Speed Rating: 2200. Focal Length: 90.0 mm. No flash fired. DSC_2993, 2977, 2969, 2967

No species ID suggestions


arlanda 4 months ago

Thanks Leuba

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 4 months ago

Handsome cicada & great shots - so deserving of an SOTW - Congratulations arlanda !

arlanda 4 months ago

Thanks Neil

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 months ago

Congratulations, arlanda. Cool spotting.

arlanda 4 months ago

Thanks António. You are right, cigarras (cicadas) are amazing insects !!!

Awesome series Angel,great info,i love Cicadas,they have such a amazing life cicle,congrats on the well deserved SOTW and thanks for sharing.

arlanda 4 months ago

Thanks Bernadette

Bernadette S
Bernadette S 4 months ago

Fascinating info and gorgeous photos! Congrats!

arlanda 4 months ago

Thanks Mark, right now we have no cicadas singing in Spain but they will never sound the same again. I listened to them in Australia many years ago and they really sound impressive!!!

arlanda 4 months ago

Thanks Daniele, it is a great joy to be the SOTW. I have been also enchanted by the interesting life and patterns of the cicadas.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 months ago

Congrats. Great notes.. magical patterns on this species. We are currently listening to ours in Melbourne which contributes to the atmosphere.

DanielePralong 4 months ago

You are enchanting us again arlanda! Your cicada has been voted Spotting of the Week. The beauty of the species, quality of your multiple images and interest in the information your provided won you the vote.

"This beautifully detailed cicada (Cicada barbara lusitanica) has been voted Spotting of the Week! Cicadas have a fascinating life cycle, where nymph stages develop underground for several years until they emerge and molt into winged adults. These only live for a few weeks to reproduce during the hottest season of the year. The subspecies Cicada barbara lusitanica is found in the Iberian peninsula, while Cicada barbara barbara is found in North Africa and in some Western Mediterranean islands. Both are morphologically similar to Cicada orni (found in Southern Europe, West Asia, and the Middle East) and live in open woodlands; they can be distinguished from C. orni by their calling song.
Can you see a face? 😄 The anatomical part of the cicada where these markings are located is called mesonotum".



arlanda 4 months ago

Thanks AshleyT. It is great be nominated for the SOTW

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 months ago

Yes the prime number solution is truly fascinating. Nice looking cicada too.

Maria dB
Maria dB 4 months ago

Interesting information and a cicada with a beautiful pattern.

AshleyT 4 months ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid, Spain

Lat: 40.53, Long: -3.68

Spotted on Jul 6, 2018
Submitted on Nov 6, 2018

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