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Double drummer (nymph case)

Thopha saccata


The Double Drummers are the largest cicadas in Australia, and the loudest insects in the world: at close range they can reach an intensity of 120 decibels! Seen here is an empty nymph case (or exuviae) found on a tree trunk. The split seen on the dorsal shot indicates where the adult emerged from. More information in the notes.


Dry sclerophyll forest.


This specimen had a body length of 45 mm. Only male cicadas can sing, and they do this to attract females. On each side of the males' abdomen there are small pockets called double drums, which are used to amplify the sound they produce. The sound is produced membranes that are flexed by muscle action. These cicadas are more easily heard than seen, and what is usually noticed are exuviae left near the base of large tree trunks. Double Drummers form large local aggregations in tall open, dry eucalypt forests, heathlands and woodland. Different broods emerge in different patches of forest each year. At my old place in Brisbane in the summer at dusk they could be so loud you would have to close your windows! Additional info from the Queensland Museum Wildlife Guide.

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Tiz 7 years ago

I have noticed that your information is from different sources, and I know how long time it cantake to put it all together. But I also enjoy to learn as much as possible about some of the species I spot.

Yes, I am still in Africa, but only for a few more days :) I have booked warm weather for the coming weekend in Sweden, and lots of interesting bugs to photograph :P If it snows after I get home I really dont know what to do!

I hope you get summer now!

DanielePralong 7 years ago

Thanks Satyen!

Wild Things
Wild Things 7 years ago

Nice series and information :)

DanielePralong 7 years ago

Thank you very much again for taking notice Tiz: much appreciated :-) I try to make my notes a mix of researched information and personal observations. Still in Africa? Think twice before coming back to the north hemisphere: it snowed again in my country last night. But then there are other undeniable signs of spring :-)

Tiz 7 years ago

Daniele, thank you (again) for taking the time and write all this interesting information with your nice photos. I thought that it might be good to be reminded, because I know it takes quite a lot of time and effort. I really enjoy reading your notes!

DanielePralong 7 years ago

Thanks for your kind comment Gilma!

Great series and information, thank you for sharing, DanielePralong.

Spotted by

Sydney, NSW, Australia

Spotted on Mar 30, 2014
Submitted on May 6, 2014

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