Cicadas – Their Stimulating Summer Song
Submitted with photographs by Hiltrud “Sam” Webber
Last night I collected a Cicada near our backdoor light. I know all of us have heard the males sing during an afternoon or on a warm summer evening just before sunset. Most males produce the song by stimulating (called stridulation) the sound producing organs on the base of the abdomen. Some males and females produce a sound by tapping the front wings. I was going to write a blog about the strange life cycle of this insect which belongs to the order Homoptera, but instead I checked “YouTube” and found a very nice video showing the metamorphosis of this insect clearly.
Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYLxxALT … re=related
Other insects belonging to this order are: Leafhoppers, Treehoppers, Aphids and Scale Insects. All insects in the order Homoptera (homo meaning “same” and pteron, “wing”) have piercing-sucking mouthparts. They are plant-juice feeders.
All Cicada species have long life-cycles. Most of us have heard of the 17 year Cicada and the 13 year Cicada. This means that the nymphs of these species live under ground, in the soil, feeding on the roots of trees, for 17 or 13 years. The adults live only 4 to 5 weeks.
Enjoy the video! Sam
Photographs by Hiltrud “Sam” Webber
For additional informative information:
Dog-Day Cicada Revisited
Blog entry by Dr. Bob Kipfer
Springfield Plateau Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalist
Thanks to Hiltrud “Sam Webber for the video suggestion. I just added it to the August 2nd Dog-Day Cicada Revisited blog posting. See http://springfieldmn.blogspot.com/ (Scroll down to August 2nd.)