Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cicada

The Cicada is a blunt headed stout bodied, winged insect of the family Cicadadae, order Homoptera, which also includes aphids and other feeders on plant saps. In North America, where cicadas are also called harvest files and locusts, the typical loud buzzing or whistles of the males insects may be heard in trees from June through September.


The Cicada sound is made by specialized structures on the abdomen and apparently serves to attract females (and predators). After mating, females deposit eggs in slits they cut into twigs and thereby sometimes damage orchard and ornamental trees. Eggs hatch into nymphs, which drop to the ground and burrow into the soil, where they obtain juices from roods of trees and shrubs with their sucking mouth parts. Depending on the species, cicada nymphs remain underground from 1 to 17 years, then emerge.

Cicadas are benign to humans under normal circumstances and do not bite or sting in a true sense, but may mistake a person's arm or other part of their body for a tree or plant limb and attempt to feed.[2] Cicadas have a long proboscisunder their head which they insert into plant stems in order to feed on sap. It can be painful if they attempt to pierce a person's skin with it, but it is unlikely to cause other harm. It is unlikely to be a defensive reaction and is a rare occurrence. It usually only happens when they are allowed to rest on a person's body for an extended amount of time.

Cicadas can cause damage to several cultivated crops, shrubs, and trees, mainly in the form of scarring left on tree branches while the females lay their eggs deep in branches.

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