Putnam’s Cicada – Platypedia putnami

Putnam’s cicada (Platypedia putnami)

Latin Name: Platypedia Putnami

Common Name: Putnam’s cicada


Platypedia Putnam (Putnam’s Cicada) is the best known of the Platypedia genus. They have a dark color scheme with a touch of orange. The clicking sound of Putnam’s cicada is comparable to two dimes hammered together. Because of its vast size and propensity for making noise, many people are concerned about this bug. They’re enormous, dark-colored insects with protruding eyes and membranous wings that wrap over the body in a tent-like fashion.

  • Egg:

The egg is about rice-shaped

  • Larva /Nymph:

Larva/Nymph is 2-18mm long. Brown-colored front legs with soil-dwelling capabilities. They start tiny, but as the instars continue, they get bigger.

  • Adults:

Adults are 20mm long. They have two pairs of wings that aid in flying the heavy, square-shaped body—Black with orange highlights, hairy.


They have a variety of hosts in shrublands and mountains. These hosts include but are not limited to crabapples, honey locusts, and species of maple, mountain ash, and oak.

Territory:  Found in North America.

Damages caused by Putnam’s cicada:

Damage is caused by the females inserting eggs into twigs rather than by eating (oviposition wounds). This results in twigs being gouged and splintered, causing them to break and produce visible “flagging” of wilted foliage. For this or any other regional cicada species, nymphal harm from root eating is not thought to be severe.

Life history and Habits:

The life cycle of Putnam’s cicada is undetermined; however, it is expected to take three to five years. The nymphs feed on the plant roots during their whole immature period, which occurs underground. When the larvae reach adulthood, they emerge from the earth and become adults, leaving their cast nymphal skins on their host’s lower trunk. Adults are present from June through early July for around four to six weeks. Adult females deposit eggs in slits in the twigs of various hosts after mating. Nymphs descend to the ground after hatching, burrow beneath the soil surface, and spend the following two to five years feeding on plant roots.