The Cicada, having sang all summer was greatly running out of food, when the north wind arrived. Not one little piece of fly or worm. She went begging at the ant her neighbour, asking to borrow from her some extra food to survive at least until the new season. “I will pay you,” she said, before the winter, animal faith, interest and principal. Ants are not lenders, this is one of their bad sides, this is not my concerns or my problems said the ant. “What did you do during the hot weather? She said to this borrower. – Night and day I was singing, if you please. – You sang? I’m glad. Well! Now dance said the ant.
Who of us does not remember by heart this famous fable by Jean de la LAFONTAINE.
Me inside my little head I thought that a cicada was some kind of grasshopper or cricket. I have learned by heart that famous fable by Jean de LAFONTAINE at the tender age of six and I saw a cicada with my own eyes for the first time in my life at the not so tender age of sixty four, crawling over the coat sleeve of a co worker after he came back to the office after his lunch break. I panicked! What is this giant bug crawling on your coat sleeve? Oh! He told me, it’s just a cicada! I’m going to carry her back outside. He just caught her with his fingers and carried her outside. He had a total respect for this wonderful harmless insect. With good reason! This strange insect with red eyes, blue eyes, or other colour variations lives only six weeks of its long life out into the open. Six weeks only above the earth under our sky for love and songs. Then after their mating or after laying their eggs they die. Why kill them! They have only six weeks of life under the light, then disappear again for another 17 years under the ground. Here are some interesting and strange information’s that I have discovered about cicadas.
First interesting features I just recently discovered about them
We humans have been on this planet for about 3 millions years, cicadas have been on this planet for over 365 million years. They live only by drinking sap from trees. Usually insects who lives off a host do some damage to their hosts, like the moskitoes as a good example. Not so with the Cicadas. They actually improve the health of the trees they use as hosts. Only the males sing, to attract the females. The back part of the body of the male is hollow and act like a drum to produce the noise or songs of the cicadas. In the strong sunlight you can see that the light is passing through and that the inside is hollow. When it rain the cicadas are silent! Why? Because the skin of the drum becomes wet and it becomes impossible for the male cicadas to produce any sound at all. Isn’t that weird or what!
How many kinds of cicadas are there
There are seven species of cicadas. The 17 years Varieties: Septendecim, Cassini Septendecula, and the 13 years varieties: Neotredecim, Tredecim, and Tredecassini Ttredecula. Each species has slightly different colours, songs or other physical attributes. You will not find them in everyone backyards. If you do not have many deciduous trees in your neighbourhood, you will probably not find any at all. Pesticides, construction, extreme weather and tree removal are also factors. There is no guarantee that you will see them at all! Remember, they do not harm the trees, no more than when we collect maple syrup, they drink just a little sap from their favourite trees. The cicadas are actually an advantage for trees, because they destroy the lower weakest branches. Please do not use pesticides, you will destroy the good bugs with the bad bugs, and ultimately damage your garden and the environment. Cicadas do not kill flowers and do not damage the shrubs, but they can do damage on young trees usually used as ornamental. If you have ornamental trees, you can protect them with a net to keep cicadas away.
What are the life stages of a cicada?
(1) eggs. They look like rice. (2) larvae. Once they hatch they look like a cross between a termite and corrugated rice. They suck sap from tree branches after they hatch for a while, then they fall to the ground and begin digging in search of a roots. (3) Once they have been left on the roots for a while they become pupae. When the good weather arrives, after her 17 year cycle, the nymph crawls to the surface, and crawls up the nearest tree. (4) As adults, they often crawl on the ground and anchor themselves to what they think is a tree (They have been seen on barbecues, on stone walls and on water hoses) they molt, leaving behind their nymph skin, dry their wings and begin to search for a (mating companion). Then after mating or laying their eggs they die.
There are cicadas still alive without abdomen. Why are they still alive?
Most cicadas with a missing abdomen is caused by fungal infections or attacks by predators. They continue to crawl because of their natural desire to cling to their short existence and survive at all costs to mate before they die. Off course they will not be able to mate, since their sexual organs are gone and they will eventually die.
Why do they remain underground for 17 years?
There are a number of theories. Most likely they’ve developed this rhythm to avoid predators. Weather events — maybe even the ice age – may also be one of the factors.
Are there such thing as an albino cicada?
No, when most of the cicadas appear first they are white. Gradually, their bodies become a darker colour. Some take longer than others to change colours, some die before a change of colour can occur.
Why do cicadas “sing”
The experts of the nature and scientists are still puzzled over exactly how and why there is emergence of cicadas. It’s really a fascinating cycle of death and rebirth – a perfectly timed show of song and dance that occurs only every 17 years.
A popular theory is that the noise in your garden is the result of romantic overtures of male cicadas to attract females. However, another theory points to a strong survival skills of cicadas.
Their songs are not only irritating to humans, but also for birds seeking insects as food, and are often put off by the irritating noises of a cicada emergence. So is this a “love call” – or an irritating noise to avoid being eaten by birds? But note well: Many consider the song of cicadas as romantic and likes to listen to them. But if their songs disturb you, do not worry you’ll hear them again only after another 17 years. So why not enjoy their romantic choral while it last. Every moment of their short life is so precious. As well as ours. Always try to live in the present moment. The past no longer exists and the future is not here yet. The only real life we have is always in the eternal now!
The last major emergence of cicadas in the United States have begun in 2004 when the cicadas have invaded the South and North. More recently, an emergence occured in 2007 has they resurfaced in parts of Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Intrigue! Cicadas have been on this earth for over 365 million years, they survived the dinosaurs and the ice age. Will the cicadas survive the emergence of the human race? They are getting more and more rare! Wouldn’t it be a sad day when the cicadas are no longer with us and no one can hear their love songs anymore? They are another marvel of nature. I sincerely Hope that they do survive the human race.