What is black with orange highlights and hairy? Putnam’s Cicada of Course!

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As I was driving through Spearfish Canyon with the window down, I kept hearing strange clicking noises coming from the ditch or trees. I decided to stop and do a little hiking around with my camera. I didn’t find much to photograph, but I did start hearing the clicking noises again, this time very close by. I located one of the sounds coming from a small oak tree so I stood real quiet right among the low branches. The clicking was right in front of me but I couldn’t see a thing! Finally, I located the culprit. A fairly large winged insect sitting on the branch making sets of four clicking noises with it’s wings. They are a little difficult to photograph up close. Dang thing would move to the opposite side of the branch each time I would attempt to get a picture. It was like he was playing hide and seek. I finally switched to my zoom lens so I could stand back a ways without spooking him. Anyway, I thought they were pretty neat.

Some more information on Platypedia putnami putnami (Uhler, 1877



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