Cicadas Facts

Cicadas Facts
Cicadas are type of true bugs that belong to the family Cicadidae. There are around 2.500 cicadas that can be found on all continents except on the Antarctica. Cicadas prefer areas with temperate and tropical climate. They can be found on the beaches, in the forests, wetlands, deserts, alpine areas, fields and cities. Cicadas are part of human diet in Asia, Africa and South America. Shells of cicadas are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Despite that, cicadas are widespread and numerous in the wild (they are not on the list of endangered species).
Interesting Cicadas Facts:
Cicadas can reach 0.79 to 3 inches in length.
Cicadas have dark-colored body with green markings.
Cicadas have two large red eyes on the side of the head and three small eyes on top of the head. They have short antennas in front of the eyes and 2 pairs of transparent wings.
Cicadas spend most of their life under the ground.
Cicadas are herbivores (plant-eaters). Their diet is based on the juices extracted from the root and stem of various plants.
Cicadas use straw-like mouth to extract the fluid from the plant's tissue. They can produce significant damage on trees, shrubs and crops.
Name "cicada" means "tree cricket" in Latin. Name refers to the loud, cricket-like noise that cicadas produce during the summer days.
Cicadas are one of the loudest insects on the planet. They produce sound of up to 120 dB (louder than rock concert) that can be heard 0.5 miles away.
Male cicadas use tymbals to produce sound. Tymbals are part of exoskeleton. They are located on the belly. Males produce two types of sound: one to attract females and other to repel predators.
Natural enemies of cicadas are rodents, moles, squirrels, birds, lizards, spiders, killer wasps and fish.
Female can lay up to 600 eggs in the slits and tiny holes on the twigs and branches on the tree. Eggs hatch after 6 weeks.
Nymphs fall from the tree, burrow into the soil and find suitable source of food (roots of various plants, usually on a depth from 0.98 to 8.2 feet). Nymphs undergo several instars (developmental stages) before they become ready to climb on the trees, transform into adult insect and find partner for mating.
There are two types of cicadas: annual and periodical. Annual cicadas can be seen every year or every second year from July to August. Periodical cicadas can be seen every 13 to 17 years during the May and early June.
Periodical cicadas live as juveniles (under the ground) more than 10 years. After 13 or 17 years, they start to produce hormones which trigger transformation into adults. They can be found only in the eastern parts of the North America.
Cicadas (adults) can survive from 4 to 6 weeks.

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