14 December 2007

It's the season for cicadas!

Australia has the best cicada names, says "Dan", who runs the perfectly named Cicada Mania. He's right!

So here are two who are making the season beautiful, fattening, and musical here now.

and mine?
another view 0f me, or possibly you

Many cicadas become food for other insects, animals, and birds who often turn up their beaks at cicada wings and heads.

Fallen cicadas, dead and dying, are banquets to ants, but ants don't reach all the dead before a person can pick them up. Here are some of this year's finds.

Cicadas with deformed or incomplete wings are surprisingly common.

See the Australian Museum's Cicada site for life stories of cicadas.

And yes, those things that look like glowing diodes or movie jewels with magic powers fade when a cicada dies, but they take longer than you might expect, and certainly longer than a fantasy robot's.

Learn how many eyes a cicada has, and how they work in Jim Conrad's Backyard Nature: Insect Design.

And who's the world-record holder for sound? Find out in ABC Science's The Summer of Singing Cicadas.

Many people on the east coast of Australia have grown up collecting the colourful cicadas known as Green Grocers, Yellow Mondays, Chocolate Soldiers, Blue Moons and Masked Devils. But how many people realise that these are all different colour forms of the same species, Cyclochila australasiae?
Max Moulds, Australian Cicadas, New South Wales University Press, 1990

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