Almost all the explanatory dictionaries define cicada as following: 'This is any of various insects belonging to the family of Cicadidae. The insect has a broad head, prominent compound eyes, and membranous wings. Only male cicadas possess a pair of resonating organs, which produce that characteristic droning, high-pitched sound. A cicada is also called cicala'.
Seemingly, what else could you ask for? Indeed and not in name, there are lots to tell!
How to Define Cicada? 10 Copybook Maxims.
1. Cicadas can be found in tropical forests, grasslands, and deserts.
2. Cicadas are truly ugly insects due to their prominent eyes and well-developed wings. They are often regarded as locusts, but this is a misconception. In fact, that is a peculiar little insect family of up to 3,000 species.
3. If you hear loud noises, be sure to identify male insects, as they have vibrating membranes nearly in the base of their abdomens. The majority of North American cicadas make rhythmical ticks, whines, or buzzes, although the whole 'song' is quite musical.
4. Different species are easily distinguished not only by song, but behavior and appearance. For example, periodic cicadas occur chronologically and geographically, as well as in large numbers and in regular cycles. These are the well-known 17-year-old & 13-year-old cicadas. Their larvae or nymphs remain in the ground for 17 or 13 years respectively, feeding on root juices and then emerging to live above the ground within a single week. The key thing is that during this time billions of insects may burst out of the earth, swarm over the East Coast and wreak havoc along the way.
5. Once you hear about the Enormous Cicada Invasion, keep in mind that these refer to 1 special type of insects: the Magicicada. The peculiar little creatures show up once in a few blue moons. Actually, the swarms of Magicicada inflict themselves every 13 or 17 years, depending on the location. If this all sounds rather strange to you, do not wonder. Their long period of dormancy has been causing the scientists to reflect upon a question for ages. Anyway, cicadas are just growing, though so long!
6. The cicada's lifecycle is probably some means of survival. Their mass-emergence can be surely called 'predator satiation'. In other words, the prime number of cicadas never means their final emergence.
7. Cicadas are sensible creatures; thus they appear in bearable temperatures, particularly at 18 degrees Celsius or 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. 'Will they cause trouble?', you may also ask. Well, they are harmless to humans: no bites and stings, except occasional mistaking your arms for branches. Besides, you might get some earplugs in May and June, when the buzz can reach 120 decibels! In addition, these insects can negatively impact crops and vegetation, but they don't feed on leaves. Thus, the most noticeable damage is caused by egg-laying, because females leave their brood in branches.
9. All in all, define cicada as edible food when cooked, for example, roasted in hot ovens. No real value, simply exotic treat!