The small ones are 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) long; the large ones grow up to 18 inches (45cm.) Both are very rare now; the large ones (“Grandes cigales”) are even a protected species. Even where they can be found, locals consider them now a great treat.
Hélas, their rarity both in terms of geography and quantity means that Francophiles in the UK or North American cannot ever hope to make a truly authentic Bouillabaisse, as Cigales de mer were an essential part. Be sure to share this information with your condolences the next time you hear someone droning on about Bouillabaisse.
Cigales literally means cicadas, or locusts.