University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Mystery Bug Answers


Mystery Picture #7

(Mystery Picture #7)


This month's novice picture is a cicada. There are many different types of cicadas ranging in size from 25 to over 50 mm in length. Cicadas are known for their ability to produce sound. Each species has a distinct song and some people are able to recognize the species by the song alone. The cicadas are some of the largest homopteran insects in the United States. Some cicadas have very long life cycles requiring up to 17 years to mature.

To read more about the different types of cicadas, see ENT-52 - The Periodical Cicada in Kentucky.


This month's expert picture is an expert in decomposition. It is one of a group of carrion beetles known as the burying beetle. It gets its name from its peculiar habit of burying dead animals, such as mice and other small rodents, to use as larval food. It will dig a trench under the dead animal, lay eggs on or near the animal, and then cover it up. The emerging larvae will have an ample food supply.

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