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Insect: Cicada

Find, identify & discuss the insects of SANParks
estellem
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:14 pm

Insect: Cicada

Unread postby estellem » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:43 pm

Can anybody give me more information about the cicada. They are at the moment doing their thing in Punda Maria camp. I have read that they come out from beneath the ground. What is the perfect condition for them to emerge and for how long are they usually busy. We are already a week in camp and we are getting hearing problems. Hope there is not already a topic on them but can't find any

brogan
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:47 am
Location: johanneburg

Re: cicada in northern area

Unread postby brogan » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:51 pm

Hi estellem

hope this helps: :)

Cicadas are probably best known for their buzzing and clicking noises, which can be amplified by multitudes of insects into an overpowering hum. Males produce this species-specific noise with vibrating membranes on their abdomens. The sounds vary widely and some species are more musical than others. Though cicada noises may sound alike to humans, the insects use different calls to express 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. There are some 3,000 cicada species, but only some share this behavior (the 17-year cicada is an example). Others are called annuals because, although individuals have multi-year lifecycles, some adults appear every year. The dog day cicada, for example, 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. They spend several early life stages in these underground burrows before surfacing as adults. The process varies in length but often takes a number of years.

Periodical cicadas do not create destructive plagues, as some locusts do, though tens or hundreds of thousands of insects may crowd into a single acre. Large swarms can overwhelm and damage young trees by feeding and laying eggs, but older trees usually escape without serious damage.

Cicadas are members of the order Homoptera and are physically distinguished by their stout bodies, broad heads, clear-membrane wings, and large compound eyes.

The insect's amazing lifestyle has been a source of fascination since ancient times. Several cultures, such as the ancient Chinese, regarded these insects as powerful symbols of rebirth.

Fast Facts
Type:BugDiet:HerbivoreAverage life span in the wild:Up to 17 yearsSize:0.75 to 2.25 in (2.2 to 5.5 cm)Group name:Cloud or PlagueDid you know?Some cicadas produce loud, noisy calls that can be heard up to 1 mile (1.5 km) away

brogan
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:47 am
Location: johanneburg

Re: cicada in northern area

Unread postby brogan » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:54 pm

Just don’t let them get into you tent or rondavel, they will keep you up for hours with that loud high pitched screech!!! They also hurt when they fly into you!!!

estellem
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:14 pm

Re: cicada in northern area

Unread postby estellem » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:08 pm

Thank you one of the species that we identified is the axhead but it seams there are different ones the start their calls from 4 am and go on until late at night you must see the bathrooms here each morning

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Rooies
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Re: cicada in northern area

Unread postby Rooies » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:57 pm

Do they prefer certain trees? From experience, it seems they are more common in the Mopani forests. We visited an area west of Roodewal and found them only in the densely Mopani forests. As soon as we moved out, there was none. When we approached the camp, were there are lots of Mopani trees, the cacophony started again.
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