What is a Cicada?

The high-pitched song you may hear occasionally from trees is a mating call belted out by male Cicadas. Cicadas are part of the Cicadoidea family and are identifiable by their wide bodies, large heads, clear wings, and large eyes. There are over 3,000 species of cicadas, which fall into one of two categories: annual cicadas, which are spotted every year, and periodical cicadas, which spend most of their lives underground and only emerge once every 10 or 20 years. Cicadas are famous for their ability to disappear entirely for many years, only to reappear in force at a regular interval. Despite their name, annual cicadas generally live for around 2 to 5 years. Although some species may live longer and have their brood life cycles overlap, meaning that every summer, some cicadas emerge.

What is a Cicadas lifecycle?

The cicada life cycle has three stages: eggs, nymphs, and adults. Female cicadas can lay up to 500 eggs divided among lots of sites mainly in twigs and branches. After 6 to 10 weeks, young cicada nymphs hatch from their eggs and dig themselves into the ground to consume the liquids of plant matter such asroots. They spend their entire development period in these underground burrows before shedding their shells and surfacing as adults to mate and lay offspring. They wait for the right conditions for breeding which happen to be when the ground thaws to 18°C.

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