I have lived in Michigan for a long time and I can probably count on one hand the times that I have seen cicadas. I spent some of my formative years growing up in Texas. They seemed like they were everywhere. Especially their creepy little skins that they like to shed.
They seemed to me so numerous, that when I heard that some species live in the ground for as long as seventeen years, I was really surprised. Though there are species that stay in the ground for a mere thirteen years and ones that will emerge every year. Usually in midsummer.
I have lived in my house for about ten years and I have never seen one in my yard. So I was pretty surprised the other day when I was pulling weeds and I saw this:
Yes, I did run into the house to grab my camera. And aren’t you glad? This is one good looking exoskeleton. They molt several times before they become adults. They are called nymphs before they become adults. Which is funny, considering…
Their loud singing is a mating call. When I put cicada in google, it came up with the question…why do cicadas sing so loudly? If you were stuck in the ground for seventeen years, you would be pretty damn eager to shed your exoskeleton and go make some babies. Those cicadas are not messing around. (This was not google’s answer, by the way.)
The day I had pulled out my Canon rebel I was walking through the yard when I spotted this!
Unfortunately I have not yet mastered macro on my new camera so these pictures are not that great. (Yes, I did keep the dead bug for later picture taking opportunities.)
I know that you are thinking that it is weird that I kept this dead bug so that I could take more pictures. Well. It isn’t that weird when you consider the fact that people used to use them as money.
See, not that weird is it? This is more like an investment that I have laying on the workbench in my garage. The beginning of a college fund! I didn’t really believe this when I read it on wikipedia. But you can see for yourself according to Britannica it is in fact true.
People eat them too. Which isn’t weird. People eat all kinds of stuff. I think that I would have been disappointed if they did not feature in some cuisine.
The other day I did end up finding another dead cicada in the yard and managed to get a few more pictures.
Cicadas cannot jump. I have to say that I find myself feeling even more fond of them knowing that they couldn’t jump on me.
There is a species in Asia called the empress cicada that has a wingspan of 7-8 inches so these things don’t really need to jump to be creepy.
I can hear the lonely males singing their mating song as I write this. I think that I might need to go see if I can find a live one tomorrow. They have some pretty good camouflaging techniques, so I am not sure that I will be successful. It will be fun to try.
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