Other Common Names
Chicharra Grande, Cigarra Grande, Rain Birds
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Quesada gigas (Olivier)
Orig. Comb: Cicada gigas Olivier 1790
Explanation of Names
- Greek for 'giant, very large' (1)
c. TX to c. Argentina (2)
, this is the widest ranging cicada in the Western Hemisphere
It appears to have a generalist approach to host plants that facilitates its use of multiple plant communities. (2)
primarily June-Sept in s. TX based on 132 spmns in the TAMUIC (3)
June-July in central Texas (MAQ, pers. obs.)
Immatures feed on tree roots, mostly Huisache and other members of the Legume family.
In a single park in Brazil, the species was found to use 17 different families as host plants. (2)
spends at least four years underground as immature insects feeding on tree roots.
- Loudest insect in the Western Hemisphere!
At the height of the season in s. TX, sings all day (and occasionally through the night).
In c. TX, sings primarily at dusk (between 8:37 and 9:04), and less often at dawn (between 6:15 and 6:25). (MAQ, pers. obs.)
Davis W.T. 1944. The remarkable distribution of an American cicada: a new genus, and other cicada notes. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 52: 213-223. (Full PDF
Martinelli, N.M.; Zucchi, R.A. 1997. Primeiros registros de plantas hospedeiras de Fidicina mannifera, Quesada gigas e Dorisiana drewseni (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). Revista de Agricultura 72: 271-281.
Sanborn A.F., Heath M.S., Heath J.E., Noriega F.G. 1995. Diurnal activity, temperature responses and endothermy in three South American cicadas (Homoptera: Cicadidae: Dorisiana bonaerensis, Quesada gigas and Fidicina mannifera). Journal of Thermal Biology, 20(6): 451-460.
Zanuncio, J.C., Pereira, F.F., Zanuncio, T.V., Martinelli, N.M. Pinon, T.B.M., Guimarães, E.M. 2004. Occurrence of Quesada gigas
on Schizolobium amazonicum
trees in Maranhão and Pará States, Brazil. Pesq. agropec. bras., 39(9): 943-945. (Full PDF
Giant Cicada / Chicharra Grande
- Mike Quinn, Texas Entomology