Saturday, August 7, 2010

Unlike the singing cicadas, the silent fireflies burn themselves - Japanese Proverb

I know this has nothing to do with domesticity and I know it’s a little icky but it’s also kind of interesting.  And, since this is MY blog I throwing it into the mix.

Walking to my car this morning I spotted some big bug looking things on a tree near the sidewalk.  As always, my camera was at hand and I snapped some photos. 
It turns out they were not bugs at all, but the empty hulls of some molted creature.  Curious, I did some digging around to find out what these huge bug-like husks were.
They were . . . ta daaaaaaaaaaaaaa . . . Cicada husks.  Way cool!

You are likely familiar with the buzzing and clicking of Cicadas in the summertime.  It gets really loud when they congregate into large groups.    It is the male of the species that make the noise by vibrating membranes on their abdomens to sound an alarm or attract mates.
 Cicadas are also famous for their penchant for disappearing entirely for many years, only to reappear in force at a regular interval.   I am unedumacated in the hows and whatfors of entomology but my guess is that this particular variety is the dog day cicada, which emerges each year in mid-summer.
 When young cicada nymphs hatch from their eggs, they dig themselves into the ground to suck the liquids of plant roots.  I thought the baby cicadas would look like grubs but they actually look like ants or termites. 

Cicadas are members of the order Homoptera and have heavy bodies, broad heads, clear-membrane wings, and large compound eyes.

So, there you have it . . . probably more than you wanted to know about Cicadas, but my curiosity is satisfied and that is that.

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