Cicadas are large, flying insects that look intimidating, but they are not interested in people and spend their adult lives focusing only on reproduction. Their large numbers and habit of congregating on window screens, cars, driveways, fences, and tree trunks can make them a nuisance, but they cannot bite or sting.
Cicadas are known for the loud noise they make all day and into the night. Males call out to females and the volume can reach remarkable levels. The waves of sound create background noise all summer. Populations of cicadas are enormous in order to ensure reproduction happens. Cicadas are food for a variety of birds, small mammals, and other insects. Dogs may even occasionally taste one. Because they are a sought-after nutritious snack, they reproduce in astounding numbers to allow some adults to survive long enough to mate.
Females lay eggs in branches, which drop to the ground allowing the larvae to burrow underground for the winter. Some cicada species return every year, others stay underground for years or decades before emerging to molt into adult form. As adults grow larger, they leave behind brown, crunchy shells of exoskeleton. It is common to find these empty shells clinging to walls, grass, or other objects.
Listen for cicadas in the hottest part of a summer day, and enjoy the white noise they create at night. This beneficial insect feeds the masses all season long, and calls many people to enjoy a warm, leisurely day, sipping lemonade in the shade.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.