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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


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Written by Carol DM

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  1. 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…

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