Red Eye Cicada, Psaltoda moerens Click to enlarge image
Red Eye Cicada, Psaltoda moerens Image: David Gray
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    moerens
    Genus
    Psaltoda
    Subfamily
    Cicadinae
    Family
    Cicadidae
    Super Family
    Cicadoidea
    Suborder
    Auchenorrhyncha
    Infraorder
    Cicadomorpha
    Order
    Hemiptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    11 cm - 12 cm

Introduction

The Red Eye cicada can be very common one year, with thousands of individuals in a few trees, but then completely absent the next year.

Habitat

The Red Eye lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands.

Distribution

The Red Eye is found from southern Queensland to Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

Feeding and diet

The Red Eye prefers eucalypts and large Angophora trees in open bushland, but it can also be found on other trees in suburban areas. It is not advisable to stand under trees with high populations of Red Eyes. As the cicadas feed on the tree sap, they expel small droplets of clear waste fluid, which can fall to the ground in a constant spray when numbers are high.

Communication

The song of the male Red Eye is distinctive with two parts - a slow revving sound and a continuous call with a mild rattle. It sings at any time, and on hot days almost continuously.