Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Cicada are Calling

 From my front porch:
 The molted exoskeleton of an immature Cicada
It is fascinating, or at least it is for me, to watch these big ugly bugs hatch. The grubs live in the soil for several years until they emerge looking like this!
Taking several hours during the night, the Cicada emerges from this nymph as a beautiful soft shimmering insect.  The outer shell hardens over the next few hours, the wings open and become larger and larger, their huge eyes develop, and the Cicada turn into a giant flying noisy aggravating BUG!

According to Wikipedia "Cicadas like heat and do their most spirited singing during the hotter hours of a summer day. Although only males produce the cicadas' distinctive sound, both sexes have tympana, which are membranous structures used to detect sounds and thus the cicadas' equivalent of ears. Males can disable their own tympana while calling".
Which is probably a good thing for him or he would go deaf while creating his loud song.
The Cicada are so loud in the evenings we can't hold a normal conversation while sitting on the porch!
When I was younger, we called these Jar Flies, I guess because of the 'jarring' sounds they make?!?
The line of nymphs reminds me of a herd of elephants trying to climb a mountain!  
My yard is littered with the empty exoskeletons, but the ones on this tree limb are the most noticeable...Cicada are also called the 17 year Locust.
  Last year was an 'official' year, but I guess these didn't get the memo:)


Daryl said...

ewwwwwwwwwwwww... there are many that live in Riverside Park and on warm evenings when its not so hot we need the AC we have the windows open and you can hear them .. the sound comes like a wave slowly building and then ebbing ... and apparently the sound is not within ToonMan's range of hearing ..

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

We have those here as well but I did not see as many as I did last year. They sure are some noisy little critters!

Average Girl said...

Oh hey, I have never seen those before... heard about them from a lot of people... but we don't actually have them here... We have tons of grasshoppers and crickets who rub their back legs together all making that high pitch whine and that happens all summer long... but I always did wonder what they looked like!