Scientific Name: Psaltoda moerens
Size: Body Length 40mm
What does it look and sound like?
The Redeye Cicada has a dark brown to black body, grey-silver patches either side of abdomen, with striking bright red eyes. Wing veins black with clear membranes.
The song is complex, a continuous rattling starting low and increasing in volume before breaking into a ‘yodeling’ sequence.
Where is it found?
The Redeye occurs in south-eastern Australia from SE QLD to South Australia, Tasmania.
What are its habitats & habits?
The Redeye, or Cherry Eye, occurs in sclerophyll forest and open scrubland, where it feeds primarily on eucalypts, preferring smooth-barked species. In high population concentrations the honeydew expelled from these insects in tall trees can seem like rainfall. Adults are encountered from November through to March, though population sizes vary from year to year.
This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Insects of Australia