Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Quesada gigas - Giant Cicada

Cicada - Quesada gigas Giant Cicada - Quesada gigas TX Cicada Species? - Quesada gigas Quesada gigas - female Quesada gigas - female Quesada gigas - male Quesada gigas - male Quesada gigas - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (True Hoppers)
Infraorder Cicadomorpha (Cicadas, Spittlebugs, Leafhoppers, and Treehoppers)
Superfamily Cicadoidea (Cicadas)
Family Cicadidae (Cicadas)
Subfamily Cicadinae
Tribe Fidicini
Genus Quesada
Species gigas (Giant Cicada)
Other Common Names
Chicharra Grande, Cigarra Grande
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Quesada gigas (Olivier)
Orig. Comb: Cicada gigas Olivier 1790
Explanation of Names
gigas (G). 'giant, very large' (1)
1 sp. n. of Mex. (2)
c. TX to c. Argentina (2), this is the widest ranging cicada in the Western Hemisphere
U.S. (Texas) Range Map - Texas Entomology
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)
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)
Life Cycle
spends at least four years underground as immature insects feeding on tree roots.
SONG - 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.)
Print References
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)
Internet References
Giant Cicada / Chicharra Grande - Mike Quinn, Texas Entomology
Works Cited
1.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
2.Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico.
Sanborn, A.F., and P.K. Phillips. 2013. Diversity 5: 166–239.
3.Texas A&M University Insect Collection (TAMUIC)