Cicadas of Aotearoa New Zealand and their sounds

Once the cicadas have become adults, the males soon start their chorus to attract females. Each cicada species has its own song and the females recognise the songs of males of the same species.

What’s more, species that are closely related have similar songs. For example, the three species in the clapping cicada group all clap their wings as they produce their song. Similarly, the three species of the redtail cicada group all produce continuous “zit zit zit” songs, but the speed of the zits varies depending on the species. 

Listen to the sounds below to see if you can distinguish each species by how they sound.