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Cicada ~ Saturday Critters

Many of you are aware of cicadas in your yard. They make so much noise, it sometimes wakes me up. Very annoying little insects in my opinion. But when you see them up close, they look kind of cool.

Cicadas are insects, best known for the songs sung by most, but not all, male cicadas. Males sing by flexing their tymbals, which are drum-like organs found in their abdomens. Small muscles rapidly pull the tymbals in and out of shape. 

The sound is intensified by the cicada’s mostly hollow abdomen. Female and some male cicadas will also make a sound by flicking their wings, but it isn’t the same as the sound for which cicadas are known.

Locusts and cicadas are often confused. However, the two are quite different. Locusts are a type of grasshopper, while cicadas are actually cousins of crickets.

There are over 190 varieties of cicadas in North America, and over 3000 varieties of cicadas around the world. This number grows each year as researchers discover and document new species. Cicadas exist on every continent but Antarctica.

There is a photo of a locust below. I used to see these a lot growing up. They shed their shells and we found them on the trees.

Photo ©CarolDM2019

  • Question of

    Have you heard the song of the Cicada?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you see the difference in the Cicada and the Locust?

    • Yes
    • No


What do you think?

25 Points

Written by Carol DM


  1. I have never seen a locust but we have plenty of cicadas in New Zealand summers. I saw a Sparrow catch one in mid air once and wish I could have snapped that with a camera!

    They sing in the summer a lot.

  2. Oh yes we have cicadas in my corner of the world but only in summer of course. But I hear them all year round because my tinnitus sounds like about 1000 of them in my head every minute, hour, day and night…. Thank God other noises around me seems to drown these pesky little cicadas sounds…

  3. I had no idea there was a difference. I do know what these are. WEE o wee o wee o… lol
    Great shot, and I think they look prehistoric. Imagine one of those dogs sized..

  4. Either can destroy a farmers field! Great pictures and thanks for reminding us of the impact of these little critters.

    One – not to worry.
    100 – worry~!

  5. I’m not sure if it’s the same insect, dear friend … there’s something similar with us … otherwise I have not seen a job yet big cords at night are the most active

    • We have crickets as well, these are different. The cicada are in the cricket family but these are not the little black crickets (like we have). Yours may be different.

    • I would gladly give them to you! They sound so loud, I hear them even with the television on. Yes, I was surprised they looked sort of prehistoric up close. 🙂

  6. Fortunately they only come above ground every 17 years or so. We had a big hatching a few years ago; and the shells were an inch thick in some spots. Eww.

        • You should. I have an article saved in one of my files. We had a 13-year hatching, I think it was this year; although I don’t remember hearing them this time. They hatch every 13 or 17 years, depending on the location. The 17-year was a few years ago; and it was a heavy one! Anyhow, you should do a part two!