There are more than 2,000 species of cicadas found so far. They belong to Isoptera, which means that the first and second pairs of wings are made of the same material. In addition to cicadas, there are common aphids, planthoppers, scale insects, etc. As the ancients thought, cicadas rely on their thorn-like beaks to plunge into trees to absorb fluids, not dew.
Cicadas live in temperate to tropical regions of the world; some species distributed in desert areas will discharge excess water from the tergum when the body temperature is overheated, thereby achieving the effect of cooling and heat dissipation.
Cicadas are winged insects that produce a loud buzzing song that can be heard throughout the summer, and they live on every continent except Antarctica. Annual cicadas appear each year in late June through August. Periodical cicadas, found only in North America, emerge from late April through early May in a cycle that spans 13 or 17 years, depending on the species. The following sections explain more basics about cicadas, such as their size, growth, living habits, etc.
There are more than 2000 cicada species, of which seven are periodical cicadas, including three 17-year cicada species and four 13-year cicada species. All cicadas have large, bulging eyes; these are usually black or green in annual cicadas and are typically bright red in periodical cicadas. The following shares general facts about common cicadas.
The cicada has two pairs of membranous wings, and their shape is the same; its head is broad and short, with a prominent frontal lip base; its eyesight is quite good with three single eyes. The antennae are short and setae-like. The mouthparts are slender, with esophagus and salivary ducts in the mouthparts belonging to the piercing suction type. The chest includes the prothorax, the mid thorax, and the back thorax, of which the prothorax and the mid thorax are longer. A cicada has a long cone-shaped abdomen with ten abdominal segments. There are also different species of cicadas, which are similar in shape and vary in color.
Average Size of Cicadas
- Annual cicadas' bodies can be solid or patterned in black, brown, and green shades, and they measure about 1.75 inches (44 mm) long on average.
- Periodical cicadas' bodies are deep black and smaller than those of annual cicadas', measuring approximately 0.75 to 1.25 inches (19 to 32 mm) long.
|Annual cicadas||black, brown, and green shades||1.75 inches (44 mm)||6|
|Periodical cicadas||deep black, with red eyes||0.75 to 1.25 inches (19 to 32 mm)||6|
Diet And Haibit
Cicada larvae live in the soil and have digging front feet. Nymphs consume fluids from the plant's root, while adults dine on the fluid in branches. Cicadas feeding process will weaken the tree vigor cause the branches to die.
The eggs hatch within six to 10 weeks, and the nymphs drop from the branches to the ground. According to the studies, cicadas spend most of their lives underground as nymphs, followed by short adulthood, lasting about two to six weeks above the ground. For annual cicadas they will stay under the ground in two to five years. But for periodical cicadas, it will be 13 or 17 years before the nymphs see sunlight. In the long life, Nymphs usually undergo five molts during the several years, and the last shedding is also when it reaches maturity, it will make a sound.
That loud sound from cicadas in the summer is a mating call. Male cicadas sing together in choruses by vibrating their tymbals, and the song attracts both males and females that cluster together to mate. After mating during June and July every year, the males die, and females begin to lay their eggs, approximately 20 at a time.
The burrowing time of Chinese cicadas is 3 to 7 years, and the life cycle of French cicadas is mostly four years. In North America, there is a 17-years cicada, and their larvae lie dormant in the soil for seventeen years before seeing the sunlight. Every summer, about 30 billion cicadas from seventeen years ago appear. If the forest climate conditions are adopted, the number of cicadas per acre of land will reach an average of 1.5 million, which is called the largest insect group in the world.
You must see or hear them every summer. Some species are easier to identify by vocal, behavior, and morphology. Cicadas are edible; they are even considered a delicacy in many countries and different parts of the United States.