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Cicadas on Kelsey's Farm
by Not Kelsey

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Youtube Thumbnail Cicada Swarm Plague Frenzy Caught On iPhone Camera
Cicada Swarm Plague Frenzy Caught On iPhone Camera
by leokimvideo
2:43 - 78,707 views

On my morning walk I noticed some very unusual Cicada activity, masses of black red eyed Cicada's are on the ground in the morning dew. This was happening for almost a week and these Cicada's would all be gone within a hour of sunrise. It has been a massive Cicada season for me during 2013 / 2014, I have seen very unusual insect behaviour because of the plague numbers of Cicada's.

These mysterious yet beautiful insects have an amazing life cycle. Much of this life cycle happens underground for several years as the nymph grows in size. Once the right amount of time and correct weather conditions happen Cicada's will come up from underground and begin their very short adult life. The biggest challenge of their lives is the transformation from wingless grub to winged adult Cicada. This transformation happens in the still of night and takes many hours to complete. By daybreak the adult Cicada has new dangers to avoid, in the next few weeks it will feed from tree sap, breed and then die. Cicada's are perfect educational insects, they are harmless to humans and very interesting to look at. They can come in a variety if colours depending on the season and type of Cicada.

Cicadas alternatively spelled as Cicala or Cicale, are insects in the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha (which was formerly included in the now invalid suborder Homoptera). Cicadas are in the superfamily Cicadoidea. Their eyes are prominent, though not especially large, and set wide apart on the anterior lateral corners of the frons. The wings are well-developed, with conspicuous veins; in some species the wing membranes are wholly transparent, whereas in many others the proximal parts of the wings are clouded or opaque and some have no significantly clear areas on their wings at all. About 2,500 species of cicada have been described, and many remain to be described. Cicadas live in temperate-to-tropical climates where they are among the most-widely recognised of all insects, mainly due to their large size and unique sound. Cicadas are often colloquially called locusts, although they are unrelated to true locusts, which are various species of swarming grasshopper. Cicadas are related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs.
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. Cicadas have a long proboscis, under 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 live underground as nymphs for most of their lives, at depths ranging from about 30 centimetres (0.98 ft) down to 2.5 metres (8.2 ft). The nymphs feed on root juice and have strong front legs for digging. In the final nymphal instar, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. They then molt (shed their skins) on a nearby plant for the last time and emerge as adults. The exuvia, or abandoned exoskeleton, remains, still clinging to the bark of trees. After mating, the female cuts slits into the bark of a twig, and into these she deposits her eggs. She may do so repeatedly, until she has laid several hundred eggs. When the eggs hatch, the newly hatched nymphs drop to the ground, where they burrow. Most cicadas go through a life cycle that lasts from two to five years. Some species have much longer life cycles, such as the North American genus, Magicicada, which has a number of distinct "broods" that go through either a 17-year or, in some parts of the world, a 13-year life cycle. These long life cycles perhaps developed as a response to predators, such as the cicada killer wasp and praying mantis. A predator with a shorter life cycle of at least two years could not reliably prey upon the cicadas.

Web Links:

Below is a link to a must watch short film about a Cicadas life cycle

Return of the Cicadas : http://vimeo.com/66688653

The video Return of the Cicadas is a film produced by Samuel Orr, he's a natural history film maker who has a very special interest in time lapse photography. He's perfectly suited to studying a Cicadas life cycle.

Youtube Thumbnail Siren Fire Truck  SOUND EFFECT
Siren Fire Truck SOUND EFFECT
by Audio Productions
2:30 - 1,487,148 views

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