Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I love cicadas!

DSC_0140And that’s why I’m so excited -- it’s once again time for a brood of 17 year cicadas to emerge in my neck of the woods.  Sorry, but I’m sick of people who say “ewww” and “yuck” when they’re looking at one of nature’s amazing events.  Here’s why they’re so incredible and why we should be impressed, rather than grossed out:

  • Cicadas actually communicate with one another – males use one call, females another
  • The adult stage cicadas breed in trees after emerging from underground, changing from nymph to adult stage, and then finding another adult
  • The nymphs live underground for 17 years and all emerge at the same time – how do they do it?
  • There are 12 known broods, or cohorts, of cicadas.  These populations are all the same ages and emerge at the same time every 17 years.
  • Ever watched a cicada emerge from its exoskeleton?  If not, you’ve missed out.  The adult emerges with what look like crumpled useless wings, but over the course of a few minutes, you’ll watch the wings expand and become fully functional.
  • Cicadas can’t bite or sting – they’re totally harmless.  And they’re beautiful!  Look at those colors and delicate wings!

Still need a little more selling?  Watch this video from David Attenborough – maybe this wonderful nature photography and that oh-so-classy British accent will bring you around!

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