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Towards the cicada


It is not summer without the verse of the cicada! Thecicadaspopulate the pine forests by the sea, the tree-lined avenues of urban centers and the trees of the countryside. Theto cicadasis a kind ofhum and varies from species to species. When the cicadas are in a group, the verse becomes a sort of song that can brighten the hot summer days ... of course, to someone theto cicadasit can also be annoying because it becomes a kind of incessant chorus.

What is the cicada sound called, how it is produced and where the cicadas live. Life cycle, reproduction and stages of development. How long does a cicada live.

What verse does the cicada make?

The croaking frog, the elephant trots, the dog barks, the cat meows, the snake hisses, the chick peeps, the hen hens, the horse neighs and ... the cicada? What is the verb to indicate theto cicadas?The cicadas chirp. In the singular, therefore, the cicada chirps and the verse conjugated to infinity and "chirp".

Towards the cicada

It is only themaleto produce the typicalchirp, "Chirp" is the verb with which the characteristic sound emitted by the male cicadas is indicated. Why do only male cicadas produce the typical sound? Since only male specimens have a stridulating organ consisting of two membranes (called timbales) located between the thorax and the abdomen. Such membranes produce vibrating sound and are governed by powerful muscles. In addition, a particular shape ensures that the sound is amplified thanks to two plates that act just like a resonance box would do.

Theverse of the cicadamale aims to seduce females who, bewitched by the song, go to the male for copulation.

The false tale of the cicada and the ant

Maybe, if you live close to a tree-lined avenue, you might start hating the sound of cicadas ... personally I find it relaxing and the song of cicadas puts me in a good mood and ... know that I'm not the only one. In Ancient Greece, cicadas were captured and kept in cages precisely to be able to appreciate their singing even in the inns of the time.

The same story of the cicada and the ant was inspired by the song of the cicada. Aesop (famous for his fables from the 6th century BC), in hisfable of the cicada and the anthe wanted to draw a clear distinction between the industriousness and productivity of the ant and the "beautiful singing life of the cicada". In the fable, a cicada, after singing all summer, knocks on the door of an ant to beg for food in view of the winter cold ... In short, in the fable, industriousness is emphasized and productivity is enhanced ... Unfortunately Aesop does not err a naturalist and did not know that in reality, thecicada does not need provisions for the winter because at that point its life is already over.

Cicada insect in Italy

In Italy there are several species of cicadas present but the most common are two: the common cicada (Lyristes plebejus)and theash cicada(Cicada orni). The photo above shows oneash cicada(Cicada orni). The cicada de Frassino is widespread mainly in southern Italy.

The common cicada is the largest of our cicadas: it is about 4 cm long and has a wingspan of 10 cm. The ash cicada is more modest, it is 2-3 cm long with a wingspan of 7 cm.

Therecicadasthey are not very beautiful. They resemble large flies. Just like flies they have a stocky body and a head with bulging eyes. The membranous wings exceed the length of the body (they are transparent).

L'cicada habitatconsists of… trees. Woods, tree-lined avenues, countryside, urban parks, pine forests ... these places can accommodate a good number ofadult cicadas. On the trees, however, thecicadas are short-lived.

Cicadas die with the arrival of winter not because they do not have provisions to deal with the cold ... but because their life cyclecomes to an end. Thecicadasin fact, they are not counted among the animals that hibernate.

What do cicadas eat?

Cicadas feed on sap they extract from the branches of trees and shrubs. To suck the sap, cicadas employ an elaborate sucking mouthparts. Even if they suck sap, cicadas are not harmful to trees because they "eat little" ... as adults, their main purpose is not to feed themselves butseek a partner for reproduction: that's why males spend all their time singing. As I explained earlier, theverse of the cicadait serves to attract females.

Life cycle: how long does a cicada live?

After mating, the females lay their eggs in the wood of trees or even among the more robust stems of some herbaceous plants ... In urban areas, it is not uncommon to findcicada eggsin cracks in light poles or telephone lines.

The eggs hatch in autumn, the larvae drop into the ground and spend the winter underground. According to the species, the cicada spends two to four years underground. There are also species that have a very long larval life (an American cicada spends 17 years underground).

The larvae of the common cicada remain underground for 4 years, the larvae ofash cicadaremains underground for 2 years. During the winter, the larvae are quiescent, a sort oflethargy. When the larva becomes a nymph, it leaves the ground and moves to the plants where it is ready to becomeadult cicadaand to reproduce to start anew life cycle.

It is clear that thecicada, albeit seen assymbol of idlenessbecause of histo, cannot be considered a "slacker" insect. Like all other animals, it carries out its biological cycle making a contribution to the ecosystem.


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