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a bug on a branch


Cicadas are fascinating insects known for their distinctive sound and unique life cycle. Here's a rundown:


  • Cicadas are insects belonging to the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha.
  • They typically have large eyes and transparent, well-veined wings.
  • Cicadas come in various colors depending on the species, including shades of green, brown, black, and combinations thereof.
  • They have prominent membranous wings and are generally robust in appearance.

Life Cycle:

  1. Eggs: Cicadas start their life cycle as eggs laid in the branches of trees by adult females.
  2. Nymphs: When the eggs hatch, the immature cicadas, called nymphs, drop to the ground and burrow into the soil. They live underground for a period of years, feeding on root juices.
  3. Molting: After several years, depending on the species (some have 13 or 17-year cycles), the nymphs emerge from the ground as adults.
  4. Adult Stage: Once above ground, the nymphs molt into their adult form, shedding their exoskeleton. Adult cicadas live for a few weeks to a few months, depending on the species.


  • Male cicadas produce the loud buzzing or clicking sound that is associated with summer. They do this primarily to attract females.
  • This sound is produced by specialized structures called tymbals, which are drum-like organs located on the sides of the abdomen.
  • Each species of cicada has its own distinct sound, allowing individuals to recognize their own kind and avoid mating with other species.


  • Cicadas are primarily active during the day and are known for their swarming behavior.
  • They feed on the xylem fluids of plants, which they access through their specialized mouthparts.
  • Despite their large size, cicadas are generally harmless to humans and animals, as they do not bite or sting.

Periodical Cicadas:

  • Some species of cicadas, known as periodical cicadas, have unusually long life cycles of 13 or 17 years.
  • These cicadas emerge in massive numbers, often synchronizing their emergence to overwhelm predators.
  • Periodical cicadas are primarily found in eastern North America and are famous for their mass emergences, which can number in the millions or even billions

Similar pests: Cicada Killers