Weekly Puzzler Answer #72

Have you been hearing this sound where you live? Not everyone loves it, but I think it is a great sound. It is made by an insect called a Cicada–This one from a Swamp Cicada.

Cicadcidaca2-0320as make the LOUDEST SOUND of any insect in the world!!

If you’ve ever heard a lot of them, you know they can be deafening!!

People confuse them and their sound with lots of other insects, including katydids, crickets and locusts. But a cicada is a different kind of insect. Here’s what it looks like:

cidaca-0075

There are more than 2500 species of cicadas in the world but North America is the only place where Periodical Cicadas exist. Periodical cicadas have a LOONNNNNGGG lifecycle! In NA we have 7 species of Periodical Cicadas–4 that live underground for 13 years! and 3 that live underground for 17 years! To read more about these, click HERE. To hear a story about a 17 year cicada emergence that I happened upon, click HERE.

Most of the cicadas you’re hearing have a much shorter lifecycle, staying underground as nymphs for just a year or two. Sometimes they are referred to as Dog Day Cicadas. Do you know what they eat while they are underground? Nothing but sap from the roots of trees! Read more about this Here, if you’d like.

In your yard or walking in the woods, you might come upon their shed-skins. They are usually clinging to a tree trunk, branch or other vegetation. The nymph–young cicada–emerged from this skin as an adult with wings, then flew off! If you look at it closely, you can see the opening on the back of it where the adult emerged. This is an incredible process. Click here to read more about this.

cidaca2-3692

Click HERE for the next puzzler. Have a wonderful weekend!

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