Cicada

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Also see Cicada,a book written by Shaun Tan

Cicada
Tibicen linnei.jpg
Annual cicada, Neotibicen linnei
Calling song of Magicicada cassini
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Infraorder: Cicadomorpha
Superfamily:Cicadoidea
Families

The cicadas ( /sɪˈkɑːdə/ or /sɪˈkdə/ ) are a superfamily, the Cicadoidea, of insects in the order Hemiptera (true bugs). They are in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, [lower-alpha 1] along with smaller jumping bugs such as leafhoppers and froghoppers. The superfamily is divided into two families, Tettigarctidae, with two species in Australia, and Cicadidae, with more than 3,000 species described from around the world; many species remain undescribed.

Insect Class of invertebrates

Insects or Insecta are hexapod invertebrates and the largest group within the arthropod phylum. Definitions and circumscriptions vary; usually, insects comprise a class within the Arthropoda. As used here, the term Insecta is synonymous with Ectognatha. Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body, three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. Insects are the most diverse group of animals; they include more than a million described species and represent more than half of all known living organisms. The total number of extant species is estimated at between six and ten million; potentially over 90% of the animal life forms on Earth are insects. Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species reside in the oceans, which are dominated by another arthropod group, crustaceans.

Hemiptera Order of insects often called bugs

The Hemiptera or true bugs are an order of insects comprising some 50,000 to 80,000 species of groups such as the cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, and shield bugs. They range in size from 1 mm (0.04 in) to around 15 cm (6 in), and share a common arrangement of sucking mouthparts. The name "true bugs" is sometimes limited to the suborder Heteroptera. Many insects commonly known as "bugs" belong to other orders; for example, the lovebug is a fly and the May bug and ladybug are beetles.

Auchenorrhyncha suborder of insects

The Auchenorrhyncha suborder of the Hemiptera contains most of the familiar members of what was called the Homoptera – groups such as cicadas, leafhoppers, treehoppers, planthoppers, and spittlebugs. The aphids and scale insects are the other well-known "Homoptera", and they are in the suborder Sternorrhyncha. Lesser-known insects largely regarded as Homoptera are the Coleorrhyncha. However, the taxonomic status of the Hemiptera and Homoptera is currently under investigation and discussion. See Heteroptera and Prosorrhyncha for more information.

Contents

Cicadas have prominent eyes set wide apart, short antennae, and membranous front wings. They have an exceptionally loud song, produced in most species by the rapid buckling and unbuckling of drumlike tymbals. The earliest known fossil Cicadomorpha appeared in the Upper Permian period; extant species occur all around the world in temperate to tropical climates. They typically live in trees, feeding on watery sap from xylem tissue and laying their eggs in a slit in the bark. Most cicadas are cryptic. The vast majority of species are active during the day as adults, with some calling at dawn or dusk and only a rare few species are known to be nocturnal. The periodic cicadas spend most of their lives as underground nymphs, emerging only after 13 or 17 years, which may reduce losses by starving their predators and eventually emerging in huge numbers that overwhelm and satiate any remaining predators. The annual cicadas are species that emerge every year. Though these cicada have lifecycles that can vary from one to nine or more years as underground larvae, their emergence above ground as adults is not synchronized, so some appear every year. [1]

Tymbal

The tymbal is the corrugated exoskeletal structure used to produce sounds in insects. In male cicadas, the tymbals are membranes in the abdomen, responsible for the characteristic sound produced by the insect. In tiger moths, the tymbals are modified regions of the thorax, and produce high-frequency clicks. In lesser wax moths the left and right tymbals emit high frequency pulses that are used as mating calls.

Crypsis ability of an organism to avoid observation, detection

In ecology, crypsis is the ability of an animal to avoid observation or detection by other animals. It may be a predation strategy or an antipredator adaptation. Methods include camouflage, nocturnality, subterranean lifestyle and mimicry. Crypsis can involve visual, olfactory, or auditory concealment. When it is visual, the term cryptic coloration, effectively a synonym for animal camouflage, is sometimes used, but many different methods of camouflage are employed by animals.

Annual cicadas are North American Cicadidae species that appear every summer. The lifecycle of the so-called annual cicada typically spans 2 to 5 years; they are "annual" only in the sense that members of the species reappear annually. The name is used to distinguish them from periodical cicada species, which occur only in Eastern North America, are developmentally synchronized, and appear in great swarms every 13 or 17 years. All other cicadas from all other biogeographic regions produce annual broods, so the distinction is not made outside of North America.

Cicadas have been featured in literature since the time of Homer's Iliad , and as motifs in art from the Chinese Shang dynasty. They have also been used in myths and folklore to represent carefree living and immortality. Cicadas are eaten in various countries, including China, where the nymphs are served deep-fried in Shandong cuisine.They are also edible raw(fully grown) observing hungry people and according to them,they taste like fruit juice.

Homer name ascribed by the ancient Greeks to the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey

Homer is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary.

<i>Iliad</i> Epic poem attributed to Homer

The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.

Shang dynasty First directly-attested dynasty in Chinese history

The Shang dynasty, also historically known as the Yin dynasty, was a Chinese dynasty that ruled in the Lower Yellow River Valley in the second millennium BC, succeeding the semi-mythical Xia dynasty and followed by the Zhou dynasty. The classic account of the Shang comes from texts such as the Book of Documents, Bamboo Annals and Records of the Grand Historian. According to the traditional chronology based on calculations made approximately 2,000 years ago by Liu Xin, the Shang ruled from 1766 to 1122 BC, but according to the chronology based upon the "current text" of Bamboo Annals, they ruled from 1556 to 1046 BC. The state-sponsored Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project dated them from c. 1600 to 1046 BC based on the carbon 14 dates of the Erligang site.

Etymology

The name is directly from the onomatopoeic Latin cicada. [2] [3] [lower-alpha 2]

Onomatopoeia Word whose pronunciation imitates sound of its denotation

Onomatopoeia ; from the Greek ὀνοματοποιία; ὄνομα for "name" and ποιέω for "I make", adjectival form: "onomatopoeic" or "onomatopoetic", also onomatopœia is the process of creating a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes. As such words are uncountable nouns, onomatopoeia refers to the property of such words. Common occurrences of words of the onomatopoeia process include animal noises such as "oink", "meow", "roar" and "chirp". Onomatopoeia can differ between languages: it conforms to some extent to the broader linguistic system; hence the sound of a clock may be expressed as "tick tock" in English, "tic tac" in Spanish and Italian, "dī dā" in Mandarin, "katchin katchin" in Japanese, or "tik-tik" in Hindi.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

Taxonomy and diversity

The superfamily Cicadoidea is a sister of the Cercopoidea (the froghoppers). Cicadas are arranged into two families: the Tettigarctidae and Cicadidae. The two extant species of the Tettigarctidae include one in southern Australia and the other in Tasmania. The family Cicadidae is subdivided into the subfamilies Cicadinae, Tibicininae (or Tettigadinae), Tettigomyiinae, and Cicadettinae; [4] [5] they are found on all continents except Antarctica. Some previous works also included a family-level taxon called the Tibiceninae. The largest species is the Malaysian emperor cicada Megapomponia imperatoria ; its wingspan is up to about 20 cm (8 in). [6] Cicadas are also notable for the great length of time some species take to mature. [7]

Froghopper superfamily of insects

The froghoppers, or the superfamily Cercopoidea, are a group of hemipteran insects in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha. Adults are capable of jumping many times their height and length, giving the group their common name, but they are best known for their plant-sucking nymphs which encase themselves in foam in springtime.

Tasmania island state of Australia

Tasmania is an island state of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Australian mainland, separated by Bass Strait. The state encompasses the main island of Tasmania, the 26th-largest island in the world, and the surrounding 334 islands. The state has a population of around 533,308 as of March 2019. Just over forty percent of the population resides in the Greater Hobart precinct, which forms the metropolitan area of the state capital and largest city, Hobart.

Cicadinae subfamily of insects

The Cicadinae are a subfamily of cicadas, containing the translucent cicadas. They are robust cicadas and many have gaudy colors, but they generally lack the butterfly-like opaque wing markings found in many species of the related Tibiceninae.

A 17-year cicada, Magicicada, Robert Evans Snodgrass, 1930 Snodgrass Magicicada septendecim.jpg
A 17-year cicada, Magicicada, Robert Evans Snodgrass, 1930

At least 3000 cicada species are distributed worldwide with the majority being in the tropics. Most genera are restricted to a single biogeographical region and many species have a very limited range. This high degree of endemism has been used to study the biogeography of complex island groups such as in Indonesia and the Orient. [9] There are several hundred described species in Australia and New Zealand, [lower-alpha 3] around 150 in South Africa, over 170 in America north of Mexico, [10] at least 800 in Latin America, [11] and over 200 in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. [12] About 100 species occur in the Palaearctic. A few species are found in southern Europe, [7] and a single species was known from England, the New Forest cicada, Cicadetta montana, which also occurs in continental Europe. [13] Many species await formal description and many well-known species are yet to be studied carefully using modern acoustic analysis tools that allow their songs to be characterized.

Endemism Ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location or habitat

Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation, country or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. The extreme opposite of endemism is cosmopolitan distribution. An alternative term for a species that is endemic is precinctive, which applies to species that are restricted to a defined geographical area.

<i>Cicadetta montana</i> species of insect

Cicadetta montana is a species of Cicadetta found throughout Europe and in parts of Asia.

Many of the North American species are the annual or jarfly or dog-day cicadas, members of the Neotibicen, Megatibicen , or Hadoa genera, so named because they emerge in late July and August. [14] The best-known North American genus, however, may be Magicicada . These periodical cicadas have an extremely long lifecycle of 13 or 17 years, with adults suddenly and briefly emerging in large numbers. [14] [15]

Australian cicadas are found on tropical islands and cold coastal beaches around Tasmania, in tropical wetlands, high and low deserts, alpine areas of New South Wales and Victoria, large cities including Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, and Tasmanian highlands and snowfields. Many of them have common names such as cherry nose, brown baker, red eye, greengrocer, yellow Monday, whisky drinker, double drummer, and black prince. The Australian greengrocer, Cyclochila australasiae , is among the loudest insects in the world. [16]

Chorus cicada, a species endemic to New Zealand Chorus cicada.jpg
Chorus cicada, a species endemic to New Zealand

Forty-two species from five genera populate New Zealand, ranging from sea level to mountain tops, and all are endemic to New Zealand and the surrounding islands (Norfolk Island, New Caledonia). [17]

Mesozoic fossil fore wing of Mesogereon superbum, Australia Mesogereon superbum 2.jpg
Mesozoic fossil fore wing of Mesogereon superbum , Australia

Palaeontology

Fossil Cicadomorpha first appeared in the Upper Permian. [18] The superfamily Palaeontinoidea contains three families. The Upper Permian Dunstaniidae are found in Australia and South Africa, and also in younger rocks from China. The Upper Triassic Mesogereonidae are found in Australia and South Africa. [19]

The giant cicada Prolystra lithographica from Germany Jurassic, about 150-145 Mya Prolystra lithographica.JPG
The giant cicada Prolystra lithographica from Germany Jurassic, about 150–145 Mya

The Palaeontinidae or "giant cicadas" come from the Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous of Eurasia and South America. [19] The first of these was a fore wing discovered in the Taynton Limestone Formation of Oxfordshire, England; it was initially described as a butterfly in 1873, before being recognised as a cicada and renamed Palaeontina oolitica . [20]

Most fossil Cicadidae are known from the Cenozoic, [21] and the oldest unambiguously identified specimen is Davispia bearcreekensis (subfamily Tibicininae) from 59-56 Ma. One fossil genus and species (Burmacicada protera) based on a first-instar nymph has recently been reported from 98-99 Mya in the Late Cretaceous, [22] although questions remain about its assignment to the Cicadidae. [21]

Biology

Description

A Japanese Minminzemi (Hyalessa maculaticollis) Gratopsaltria Nigrofuscata Young.jpg
A Japanese Minminzemi ( Hyalessa maculaticollis )

Cicadas are large insects made conspicuous by the courtship calls of the males. They are characterised by having three joints in their tarsi, and having small antennae with conical bases and three to six segments, including a seta at the tip. [23] The Auchenorrhyncha differ from other hemipterans by having a rostrum that arises from the posteroventral part of the head, complex sound-producing membranes, and a mechanism for linking the wings that involves a down-rolled edging on the rear of the fore wing and an upwardly protruding flap on the hindwing. Cicadas are feeble jumpers, and nymphs lack the ability to jump altogether. Another defining characteristic is the adaptations of the fore limbs of nymphs for underground life. The relict family Tettigarctidae differs from the Cicadidae in having the prothorax extending as far as the scutellum, and by lacking the tympanal apparatus. [9]

The adult insect, known as an imago, is 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in) in total length in most species, although the largest, the empress cicada (Megapomponia imperatoria), has a head-body length around 7 cm (2.8 in), and its wingspan is 18–20 cm (7–8 in). [7] [24] Cicadas have prominent compound eyes set wide apart on the sides of the head. The short antennae protrude between the eyes or in front of them. They also have three small ocelli located on the top of the head in a triangle between the two large eyes; this distinguishes cicadas from other members of the Hemiptera. The mouthparts form a long, sharp rostrum that they insert into the plant to feed. [25] The postclypeus is a large, nose-like structure that lies between the eyes and makes up most of the front of the head; it contains the pumping musculature. [26]

The thorax has three segments and houses the powerful wing muscles. They have two pairs of membranous wings that may be hyaline, cloudy, or pigmented. The wing venation varies between species and may help in identification. The middle thoracic segment has an operculum on the underside, which may extend posteriorly and obscure parts of the abdomen. The abdomen is segmented, with the hindermost segments housing the reproductive organs, and terminates in females with a large, saw-edged ovipositor. In males, the abdomen is largely hollow and used as a resonating chamber. [25]

The surface of the fore wing is superhydrophobic; it is covered with minute, waxy cones, blunt spikes that create a water-repellent film. Rain rolls across the surface, removing dirt in the process. In the absence of rain, dew condenses on the wings. When the droplets coalesce, they leap several millimetres into the air, which also serves to clean the wings. [27] Bacteria landing on the wing surface are not repelled; rather, their membranes are torn apart by the nanoscale-sized spikes, making the wing surface the first-known biomaterial that can kill bacteria. [28]

Temperature regulation

Desert cicadas such as Diceroprocta apache are unusual among insects in controlling their temperature by evaporative cooling, analogous to sweating in mammals. When their temperature rises above about 39 °C, they suck excess sap from the food plants and extrude the excess water through pores in the tergum at a modest cost in energy. Such a rapid loss of water can be sustained only by feeding on water-rich xylem sap. At lower temperatures, feeding cicadas would normally need to excrete the excess water. By evaporative cooling, desert cicadas can reduce their bodily temperature by some 5 °C. [29] [30] Some non-desert cicada species such as Magicicada tredecem also cool themselves evaporatively, but less dramatically. [31] Conversely, many other cicadas can voluntarily raise their body temperatures as much as 22 °C (40 °F) above ambient temperature. [32]

Song

Cicada sound-producing organs and musculature:
a, Body of male from below, showing cover-plates;
b, From above, showing drumlike tymbals;
c, Section, muscles that vibrate tymbals;
d, A tymbal at rest;
e, Thrown into vibration, as when singing EB1911 cicada tymbal structure.png
Cicada sound-producing organs and musculature:
a, Body of male from below, showing cover-plates;
b, From above, showing drumlike tymbals;
c, Section, muscles that vibrate tymbals;
d, A tymbal at rest;
e, Thrown into vibration, as when singing

The "singing" of male cicadas is produced principally and in the majority of species using a special structure called a tymbal, a pair of which lies below each side of the anterior abdominal region. The structure is buckled by muscular action and being made of resilin unbuckled rapidly on muscle relaxation and the rapid action of muscles produces their characteristic sounds. Some cicadas, however, have mechanisms for stridulation, sometimes in addition to the tymbals. Here, the wings are rubbed over a series of midthoracic ridges. The sounds may further be modulated by membranous coverings and by resonant cavities. [23] The male abdomen in some species is largely hollow, and acts as a sound box. By rapidly vibrating these membranes, a cicada combines the clicks into apparently continuous notes, and enlarged chambers derived from the tracheae serve as resonance chambers with which it amplifies the sound. The cicada also modulates the song by positioning its abdomen toward or away from the substrate. Partly by the pattern in which it combines the clicks, each species produces its own distinctive mating songs and acoustic signals, ensuring that the song attracts only appropriate mates. [14]

Average temperature of the natural habitat for the South American species Fidicina rana is about 29 °C (84 °F). During sound production, the temperature of the tymbal muscles was found to be significantly higher. [33] Many cicadas sing most actively during the hottest hours of a summer day; roughly a 24-hour cycle. [34] Most cicadas are diurnal in their calling and depend on external heat to warm them up, while a few are capable of raising their temperatures using muscle action and some species are known to call at dusk. [35] Kanakia gigas and Froggattoides typicus are among the few that are known to be truly nocturnal and there may be other nocturnal species living in tropical forests. [36] [37]

Cicadas call from varying heights on trees. Where multiple species occur, the species may use different heights and timing of calling. [38] [39] While the vast majority of cicadas call from above the ground, two Californian species, Okanagana pallidula and O. vanduzeei are known to call from hollows made at the base of the tree below the ground level. The adaptive significance is unclear as the calls are not amplified or modified by the burrow structure but it is thought that this may avoid predation. [40]

Although only males produce the cicadas' distinctive sounds, both sexes have membranous structures called tympana by which they detect sounds, the equivalent of having ears. Males disable their own tympana while calling, thereby preventing damage to their hearing; [41] a necessity partly because some cicadas produce sounds up to 120  dB (SPL) [41] which is among the loudest of all insect-produced sounds. [42] The song is loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss in humans should the cicada be at "close range". In contrast, some small species have songs so high in pitch that they are inaudible to humans. [43]

For the human ear, telling precisely where a cicada song originates is often difficult. The pitch is nearly constant, the sound is continuous to the human ear, and cicadas sing in scattered groups. In addition to the mating song, many species have a distinct distress call, usually a broken and erratic sound emitted by the insect when seized or panicked. Some species also have courtship songs, generally quieter, and produced after a female has been drawn to the calling song. Males also produce encounter calls, whether in courtship or to maintain personal space within choruses. [44]

The song of cicadas is considered by entomologists to be unique to a given species, and a number of resources exist to collect and analyse cicada sounds. [45]

Lifecycle

In some species of cicada, the males remain in one location and call to attract females. Sometimes several males aggregate and call in chorus. In other species, the males move from place to place, usually with quieter calls while searching for females. The Tettigarctidae differ from other cicadas in producing vibrations in the substrate rather than audible sounds. [9] After mating, the female cuts slits into the bark of a twig where she deposits her eggs. [9]

Newly emerged adult cicada Cicada Close-Up.jpg
Newly emerged adult cicada

When the eggs hatch, the newly hatched nymphs drop to the ground and burrow. Cicadas live underground as nymphs for most of their lives at depths down to about 2.5 m (8 ft). Nymphs have strong front legs for digging and excavating chambers in close proximity to roots where they feed on xylem sap. In the process, their bodies and interior of the burrow become coated in anal fluids. In wet habitats, larger species construct mud towers above ground to aerate their burrows. In the final nymphal instar, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. [9] They then moult (shed their skins) on a nearby plant for the last time, and emerge as adults. The exuviae or abandoned exoskeletons remain, still clinging to the bark of the tree. [46]

Cicada exuvia Cicada skin.jpg
Cicada exuvia

Most cicadas go through a lifecycle that lasts from two to five years. Some species have much longer lifecycles, 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 region, a 13-year lifecycle. The long lifecycles may have developed as a response to predators, such as the cicada killer wasp and praying mantis. [47] [48] [49] A specialist predator with a shorter life cycle of at least two years could not reliably prey upon the cicadas. [50] An alternate hypothesis is that these long lifecycles evolved during the ice ages so as to overcome cold spells and that as species co-emerged and hybridized they left distinct species that did not hybridize having periods matching prime numbers. [51]

Diet

Cicada nymphs drink sap from the xylem of various species of trees, including oak, cypress, willow, ash, and maple. While common folklore indicates that adults do not eat, they actually do drink plant sap using their sucking mouthparts. [52] [53]

Locomotion

Cicadas, unlike other Auchenorrhyncha, are not adapted for jumping (saltation). [54] They have the usual insect modes of locomotion, walking and flight. However, they do not walk or run well, and take to the wing to travel distances greater than a few centimetres. [9]

Predators, parasites and pathogens

Eastern cicada killer wasp (Sphecius speciosus) with cicada prey, United States Eastern cicada killer wasp (Sphecius speciosus) with Cicada.jpg
Eastern cicada killer wasp ( Sphecius speciosus ) with cicada prey, United States

Cicadas are commonly eaten by birds and sometimes by squirrels, [55] as well as bats, wasps, mantises, spiders, and robber flies. In times of mass emergence of cicadas, various amphibians, fish, reptiles, mammals, and birds change their foraging habits so as to benefit from the glut. Newly hatched nymphs may be eaten by ants, and nymphs living underground are preyed on by burrowing mammals such as moles. [25] In Australia, cicadas are preyed on by the Australian cicada killer wasp ( Exeirus lateritius ), which stings and stuns cicadas high in the trees, making them drop to the ground, where the cicada-hunter mounts and carries them, pushing with its hind legs, sometimes over a distance of a 100 m, until they can be shoved down into its burrow, where the numb cicadas are placed onto one of many shelves in a "catacomb", to form the food-stock for the wasp grub that grows out of the egg deposited there. [56] A katydid predator from Australia is capable of attracting singing male cicadas of a variety of species by imitating the timed click replies of sexually receptive female cicadas, which respond in pair-formation by flicking their wings. [57]

Several fungal diseases infect and kill adult cicadas, while another entomopathogenic fungus, Cordyceps spp., attacks nymphs. [25] Massospora cicadina specifically attacks the adults of periodical cicadas, the spores remaining dormant in the soil between outbreaks. [58] This fungus is also capable of dosing cicadas with psilocibin, the psychedelic drug found in magic mushrooms, as well as cathinone, an alkaloid similar to various amphetamines. These chemicals alter the behaviour of the cicadas, driving males to copulate, even with males, and is thought to be beneficial to the fungus as the fungal spores are dispersed by a larger number of infected carriers. [59]

Antipredator adaptations

Cicada disruptively camouflaged on an olive tree Cicada camouflaged on an olive tree.jpg
Cicada disruptively camouflaged on an olive tree

Cicadas use a variety of strategies to evade predators. Large cicadas can fly rapidly to escape if disturbed. [60] Many are extremely well camouflaged [60] [61] to evade predators such as birds that hunt by sight. As well as being coloured like tree bark, they are disruptively patterned to break up their outlines; [62] their partly transparent wings are held over the body and pressed close to the substrate. Some cicada species play dead when threatened. [63] [64]

The periodical cicadas (Magicicada) make use of predator satiation: they emerge, all at once, at long intervals of 13 or 17 years; their juveniles are probably the longest-lived of all insect development stages. [65] Since the cicadas in any given area exceeds the number predators can eat, all available predators are sated, and the remaining cicadas can breed in peace. [60] [65]

The day-flying cicada Huechys sanguinea warns off predators with its aposematic red and black coloration, Southeast Asia. Huechys sanguinea 03.JPG
The day-flying cicada Huechys sanguinea warns off predators with its aposematic red and black coloration, Southeast Asia.

Some cicadas such as Hemisciera maculipennis display bright deimatic flash coloration on their hind wings when threatened; the sudden contrast helps to startle predators, giving the cicadas time to escape. [66] The majority of cicadas are diurnal and rely on camouflage when at rest, but some species use aposematism-related Batesian mimicry, wearing the bright colors that warn of toxicity in other animals; the Malaysian Huechys sanguinea has conspicuous red and black warning coloration, is diurnal, and boldly flies about in full view of possible predators. [67]

Predators such as the sarcophagid fly Emblemasoma hunt cicadas by sound, being attracted to their songs. [68] Singing males soften their song so that the attention of the listener gets distracted to neighbouring louder singers, or cease singing altogether as a predator approaches. A loud cicada song, especially in chorus, has been asserted to repel predators, but observations of predator responses refute the claim. [65]

In human culture

In art and literature

Silver casket with writing utensils, made by the Nuremberg goldsmith Wenzel Jamnitzer (1507/08-1585): a silver cicada is at lower left. Schreibzeug (Nurnberg).jpg
Silver casket with writing utensils, made by the Nuremberg goldsmith Wenzel Jamnitzer (1507/08–1585): a silver cicada is at lower left.
Japanese snuff bottle in the form of a cicada, circa 1900 Japanese snuff bottle in the form of a cicada 01A.jpg
Japanese snuff bottle in the form of a cicada, circa 1900

Cicadas have been featured in literature since the time of Homer's Iliad, and as motifs in decorative art from the Chinese Shang dynasty (1766–1122 BC.). [lower-alpha 4] They are described by Aristotle in his History of Animals and by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History ; their mechanism of sound production is mentioned by Hesiod in his poem "Works and Days": "when the Skolymus flowers, and the tuneful Tettix sitting on his tree in the weary summer season pours forth from under his wings his shrill song". [70] In the classic 14th-century Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms , Diaochan took her name from the sable (diāo) tails and jade decorations in the shape of cicadas (chán), which adorned the hats of high-level officials. In the Japanese novel The Tale of Genji , the title character poetically likens one of his many love interests to a cicada for the way she delicately sheds her robe the way a cicada sheds its shell when molting. A cicada exuvia plays a role in the manga Winter Cicada . Cicadas are a frequent subject of haiku , where, depending on type, they can indicate spring, summer, or autumn. [71] Shaun Tan's illustrated book Cicada tells the story of a hardworking but underappreciated cicada working in an office. [72]

In music

Cicadas are featured in the well-known protest song "Como La Cigarra" ("Like the Cicada") written by Argentinian poet and composer María Elena Walsh. In the song, the cicada is a symbol of survival and defiance against death. The song was famously recorded by Mercedes Sosa, among other Latin American musicians. Another well-known song, "La Cigarra" ("The Cicada"), written by Raymundo Perez Soto, is a song in the mariachi tradition that romanticises the insect as a creature that sings until it dies. [73]

The brazilian artist Lenine with his track "Malvadeza" from the album "Chão" creates a song built upon the sound of the cicada that can be heard along the track. [74]

In mythology and folklore

Cicadas have been used as money, in folk medicine, to forecast the weather, to provide song (in China), and in folklore and myths around the world. [75] In France, the cicada represents the folklore of Provence and the Mediterranean cities. [76]

The cicada has represented insouciance since classical antiquity. Jean de La Fontaine began his collection of fables Les fables de La Fontaine with the story "La Cigale et la Fourmi" ("The Cicada and the Ant") based on one of Aesop's fables; in it, the cicada spends the summer singing, while the ant stores away food, and finds herself without food when the weather turns bitter. [77]

The cicada symbolises rebirth and immortality in Chinese tradition. [78] In the Chinese essay "Thirty-Six Stratagems", the phrase "to shed the golden cicada skin" (simplified Chinese :金蝉脱壳; traditional Chinese :金蟬脫殼; pinyin :jīnchán tuōqiào) is the poetic name for using a decoy (leaving the exuvia) to fool enemies. [79] In the Chinese classic novel Journey to the West (16th century), the protagonist Priest of Tang was named the Golden Cicada. [80]

In Japan, the cicada is associated with the summer season. [81] For many Japanese people, summer hasn't officially begun until the first songs of the cicada are heard. [82] According to Lafcadio Hearn, the song of Meimuna opalifera , called tsuku-tsuku boshi, is said to indicate the end of summer, and it is called so because of its particular call. [83]

In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, the goddess Aphrodite retells the legend of how Eos, the goddess of the dawn, requested Zeus to let her lover Tithonus live forever as an immortal. [84] Zeus granted her request, but because Eos forgot to ask him to also make Tithonus ageless, Tithonus never died, but he did grow old. [84] Eventually, he became so tiny and shriveled that he turned into the first cicada. [84] The Greeks also used a cicada sitting on a harp as an emblem of music. [85]

In Kapampangan mythology in the Philippines, the goddess of dusk, Sisilim, is said to be greeted by the sounds and appearances of cicadas whenever she appears. [86]

Deep-fried Cryptotympana atrata in Shandong cuisine Deepfried cicada.jpg
Deep-fried Cryptotympana atrata in Shandong cuisine

As food and folk medicine

Cicadas were eaten in Ancient Greece, and are consumed today in China, both as adults and (more often) as nymphs. [87] Cicadas are also eaten in Malaysia, Burma, North America, and central Africa, as well as the Balochistan region of Pakistan. [88] Female cicadas are prized for being meatier. [43] Shells of cicadas are employed in traditional Chinese medicines. [89] The 17-year "Onondaga Brood" [90] Magicicada is culturally important and a particular delicacy to the Onondaga people. [91]

As pests

Cicadas feed on sap; they do not bite or sting in a true sense, but may occasionally mistake a person's arm for a plant limb and attempt to feed. [92] Male cicadas produce very loud calls that can damage human hearing. [93]

Cicadas are not major agricultural pests, but in some outbreak years, trees may be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of females laying their eggs in the shoots. Small trees may wilt and larger trees may lose small branches. [25] Although in general, the feeding activities of the nymphs do little damage, during the year before an outbreak of periodic cicadas, the large nymphs feed heavily and plant growth may suffer. [94] Some species have turned from wild grasses to sugarcane, which affects the crop adversely, and in a few isolated cases, females have oviposited on food crops such as date palms, grape vines, citrus trees, asparagus, and cotton. [25]

Cicadas sometimes cause damage to amenity shrubs and trees, mainly in the form of scarring left on tree branches where the females have laid their eggs. Branches of young trees may die as a result. [95] [96]

See also

Notes

  1. The Auchenorrhyncha were formerly part of the obsolete "Homoptera"
  2. See katydid for more etymology.
  3. A further 300 collected Australian species remain to be described.
  4. See for instance the nephrite cicada from the Han dynasty (circa 210 BC) in the San Francisco Asian Art Museum. [69]

Related Research Articles

Periodical cicadas the genus of the 13-year and 17-year periodical cicadas of eastern North America

Magicicada is the genus of the 13-year and 17-year periodical cicadas of eastern North America. Although they are sometimes called "locusts", this is a misnomer, as cicadas belong to the taxonomic order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha, while locusts are grasshoppers belonging to the order Orthoptera. Magicicada belongs to the cicada tribe Lamotialnini, a group of genera with representatives in Australia, Africa, and Asia, as well as the Americas.

<i>Neotibicen</i> genus of insects

Cicadas of the genus Neotibicen are large-bodied insects of the family Cicadidae that appear in summer or early fall in eastern North America. Common names include cicada, harvestfly, jar fly, and the misnomer locust. Until recently, these species were all in the genus Tibicen, which was redefined in the twenty-first century to include only a few European species, while species from the Western United States and Mexico are now placed in a separate genus, Hadoa. In addition, several former Neotibicen species have been moved to the genus Megatibicen.

<i>Magicicada cassinii</i> 17-year periodic cicada

Magicicada cassinii, sometimes called the 17-year cicada or the dwarf periodical cicada, is a species of periodical cicada. It is endemic to the United States. It has a 17-year lifecycle but is otherwise indistinguishable from the 13-year periodical cicada Magicicada tredecassini. The two species are usually discussed together as "cassini periodical cicadas" or "cassini-type periodical cicadas." Unlike other periodical cicadas, cassini-type males may synchronize their courting behavior so that tens of thousands of males sing and fly in unison.

<i>Thopha saccata</i> largest Australian species of cicada and reputedly the loudest insect in the world

Thopha saccata, commonly known as the double drummer, is the largest Australian species of cicada and reputedly the loudest insect in the world. Documented by the Danish zoologist Johan Christian Fabricius in 1803, it was the first described and named cicada native to Australia. Its common name comes from the large dark red-brown sac-like pockets that the adult male has on each side of its abdomen—the "double drums"—that are used to amplify the sound it produces.

<i>Massospora cicadina</i> species of fungus

Massospora cicadina is a fungal pathogen that infects only 13 and 17 year periodical cicadas. Infection results in a "plug" of spores that replaces the end of the cicada's abdomen while it is still alive, leading to infertility, disease transmission, and eventual death of the cicada.

Karenia is a genus of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in Asia and Indomalaya. There are about six described species in Karenia.

Lamotialnini

Lamotialnini is a tribe of cicadas in the family Cicadidae. There are about 19 genera and at least 90 described species in Lamotialnini, occurring worldwide except South America.

Taphurini tribe of insects

Taphurini is a tribe of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in the neotropics. There are about 14 genera and at least 60 described species in Taphurini.

Cosmopsaltriini

Cosmopsaltriini is a tribe of cicadas in the family Cicadidae. There are about 8 genera and at least 90 described species in Cosmopsaltriini, found in southeast Asia, Australasia, and Oceania.

Burbunga is a genus of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in Australia. There are about 11 described species in Burbunga.

Cicadmalleus is a genus of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in Indomalaya (Thailand). There is at least one described species in Cicadmalleus, C. micheli.

Distantada is a genus of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in the Mascarene Islands. There is at least one described species in Distantada, D. thomasseti.

Jassopsaltria is a genus of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in Australia. There is at least one described species in Jassopsaltria, J. rufifacies.

Lahugada is a genus of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in India. There is at least one described species in Lahugada, L. dohertyi.

Lacetas is a genus of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, and the tribe Hemidictyini found in Africa. There are at least four described species in Lacetas.

Macrotristriini

Macrotristriini is a tribe of cicadas in the family Cicadidae. There are at least 2 genera and 20 described species in Macrotristriini, all found in Australia.

Thophini is a tribe of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in Australia. There are at least two genera and about nine described species in Thophini.

Malagasiini

Malagasiini is a tribe of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in Africa and Madagascar. There are about 5 genera and at least 20 described species in Malagasiini.

Tettigomyiini is a tribe of cicadas in the family Cicadidae, found in Africa and Madagascar. There are about 8 genera and at least 60 described species in Tettigomyiini.

Tibicinini is a tribe of cicadas in the family Cicadidae. There are about 8 genera and at least 100 described species in Tibicinini, found in the Holarctic.

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Further reading