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Species Page - Okanagana canadensis
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scientific name    Okanagana canadensis    

common name     Canadian Cicada

Dry woodlands and shrubby, south-facing slopes; prefers pine woods.

Peak adult emergence is in June (Strickland 1953).

A moderate-sized, predominantly black cicada with yellowish-tan markings. The combination of both narrow forewings (width:length 0.29 - 0.31) and primarily boreal distribution will segregate the Canadian Cicada from all others except Say's (O. rimosa), which is superficially very similar; to reliably separate specimens of canadensis from rimosa the structure of the tymbal must be examined, which has 10 to 11 ribs in canadensis and 7 to 8 (rarely 9) ribs in rimosa (Alexander et al. 1972). In Michigan, rimosa is marked with a brighter orange compared to the tan markings of canadensis (Alexander et al. 1972), but it is not clear if this trait holds up for Alberta populations since museum amterial is limited. There are likely habitat and song differences as well, but this data is also lacking for Alberta populations.

life history
O. canadensis prefers conifer tree habitats such as pine woods in Quebec and Michigan (Davis 1919, Cooley 2001). Adults lay eggs into tree and shrub twigs. Length of immature stage unknown, but probably several years. Males perch in trees (typically one male per tree) to attract mates, with the song consisting of a broad-frequency, slightly metallic buzz (Cooley 2001). A detailed account of mating behaviour in O. canadensis is given by Cooley (2001). A portion of the male song can be heard at: http://insects.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/fauna/Michigan_Cicadas/Michigan/Index.html

A widespread species, no obvious concerns.

diet info
Plant fluids. Specific hosts unknown.

In Alberta, this species occurs in the boreal region from Edmonton northward, and possibly also further south. This is the northernmost cicada in the world, occurring as far north as the Mackenzie River basin, NWT (Maw et al. 2000). Found from British Columbia east to New Brunswick and Quebec, south to Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania (Maw et al. 2000, Davis 1919).

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Comments (7)Add New Comment

Ingrid Schmidt (2013-07-01)
Just thought I'd let you know that I have cicadas in my back yard. (Cochrane, Alberta) My 1/4 acre property is heavily planted with coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs, a lot of which are indigenous to the area.

J.Loome (2013-07-10)
We have them (or at least one quite loud one) in a pine tree in our front yard in Edmonton this year. Reminds me of growing up in Africa. He's very loud, by the cicada standards I remember.

David Winkler (2013-07-15)
My boys just captured a cicada at Sandy Beach in Calgary in a deciduous tree.

Albert Bourque (2014-06-24)
My son and I collected a specimen near along the Mackenzie Highway near Trout River in the NWT on June 22, 2014.

Hubert Taube (2015-06-11)
On May 6, 2015, we found several on a field trip of the Edmonton Nature Club to the Battery Creek Ravine in Devon, AB, perching on stems of young aspens

Romana Prokopiw (2015-06-22)
seem to be quite a few of them at Nose Hill this year

Ken Soehn (2016-06-13)
I just found a cicada (June 13/2016) of this species on 102 Ave, downtown Edmonton. Didn't know cicadas ranged this far north. Took it into the library on a Metro, and asked them to google it. People get a little nervy over a harmless bug. I put it in a planter outside, and might be able to find it again. Sounds like the Strickland doesn't have a lot, but I don't know if anyone would want it collected.

Comments are published according to our submission guidelines. The EH Strickland Entomological Museum does not necessarily endorse the views expressed.

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Related Species Info
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References (6)
Specimen Info
There are 20 specimens of this species in the online database
Map Distribution
Adult Seasonal Distributioncreate a collection histogram with specimens
Specimen List (20)


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