Cicada Facts: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

nytimes.com
nytimes.com

In the South, the cicada is known for its extremely loud noise that can be heard on summer nights. But other than that, this insect rarely makes the newspapers unless someone is annoyed by them. So to reveal a bit of information about them, here are some interesting facts we have dug up for you.

Number Fifteen: A Cicada Is Not A Locust

Some people like to call the cicada locusts, but this is not the right name for them. Real locusts resemble grasshoppers.

Number Fourteen: They Can Arrive Frequently Or Infrequently

There are so many different timetables for cicadas it is hard to keep them all straight. Some appear every 17 years, others 13  or every year. If you do not like putting up with them, good luck trying to figure out when they are coming back!

Number Thirteen: A Fungus Is Not So Fun For Them

There are good fungi and then there are bad ones. One that has a terrible effect on the cicada is the massopora fungus which can cause a cicada’s abdomen to fall off after it is filled up which destroys their ability to reproduce. This is a cicadas version of an STD since it is mainly transferred through a colony via mating.

Number Twelve: They Literally Have Eyes In The Back Of Their Heads

Looks like moms aren’t the only ones with eyes in the back of their heads. The cicada has five eyes total, two large compound eyes and then three ocelli. There is evidence that says the ocelli are used to detect light and dark.

Number Eleven: Their Diet Is A Bit Interesting

Unlike most other animals, cicadas do not eat solid foods. Instead, they like to munch on tree fluids. This is easy to eat with their straw-like mouths.

Number Ten: Their Skin Is Pretty Absorbent

A cicada cannot automatically sing and fly, it has to be warmed up first. But because they are cold blooded, this is sometimes hard to do. To help with this, their skin absorbs sunlight during the day.

Number Nine: That Sound Is One Of A Kind

That loud moaning sound that cicadas make is unique to them, no other animal can reproduce it. Cicadas make this sound through organs called tymbals which only the males have. Muscles pop the tymbals in and out which creates the sound. Females make their noise by flicking their wings in response to the males. Stay tuned for part two of our article on cicadas coming soon!

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