Usually smaller than M. septendecim. No orange coloration in front of the wing insertion behind the eye. Abdomen entirely black except in some locations where individuals may have weak ventral yellow-orange marks; if present, these tend to be faded and rarely form complete stripes. Sometimes such individuals may be difficult to distinguish from M. septendecula if the calling song is not available. Calling song phrases consist of a series of ticks followed by a shrill buzz. Males of M. cassini and its close 13-year relative M. tredecassini sometimes synchronize their calls and flights all at once, a display that has been likened to a “giant game of musical chairs”. Scale is 1 cm long.
Fisher (1851) spelled the species epithet “cassinii” while Alexander and Moore (1962) spelled it “cassini.” While “cassinii” is the original spelling, usage of the “cassini” spelling appears to be more prevalent, especially in the past 50 years. ICZN 33.3.1 provides direct instructions upon how to act in cases of prevailing usage, and “cassini” is an acceptable spelling.
Magicicada cassini chorus:
Magicicada cassini songs:
Courtship I/Calling song
Courtship II song
Courtship III song
In the map below, cicada symbols are verified records in our database as of February 2021. This map may not be reproduced without written permission.
Marlatt, C. L. 1923. The Periodical Cicada. United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology Bulletin 71:1-183.