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In the summertime, the chirping of cicadas becomes so familiar soundthat many even stop paying attention to it.

However, owners of household plots are not happy with this "music", because cicadas can spoil the future harvest... So what is the malevolent leafhopper? Is it a fly or a grasshopper? We will answer the most common questions.

What it is?

Cicada is an insect, belongs to the family hemiptera... This is the longest-living insect on Earth and once upon a time cicadas personified immortality in pagan rites. To date, more than 1,500 species of cicadas are known.


What does a cicada look like? In appearance, she most resembles nocturnal butterfly with transparent webbed wings (as seen in the photo), of which one pair is longer than the other. The head of an adult cicada is short, the eyes are faceted, convex.

Cicada - insect photo:

After an adult insect has passed the first molt, it will have three additional simple eyesforming a triangle. On the head of the cicada are located and organs of touch - small segmented antennae. The oral apparatus is presented proboscis.

Depending on the species of the cicada (there are 2500 species on the globe), coloring of her wings can be more or less saturated. The cicada has three pairs of legs, different in structure. The front pair is equipped with wide hips and spines, the middle pair is less massive, and the third, the longest pair of legs, is designed for jumping.

Insect size

Not the largest species of cicadas live on the territory of Russia. The length of our leafhoppers (Lyristes plebeja) together with the elytra is 5 cm, and the wingspan is 10 cm. Representatives of other cicada species from our area reach length 2 - 4.5 cm.

The size tropical cicadas much more. For example, the wingspan of the Indonesian royal cicada 18 cm!

Life cycle

How do they reproduce? Cicadas reproduce with eggs. After the male leafhopper fertilizes the female, he dies. Females still have to lay eggs... A serrated ovipositor is located at the end of their abdomen. I'm an insect pierces or cuts the plant and lays eggs in the hole. At one time, the female can postpone up to 400-600 eggs... Favorite egg-laying sites:

  • soft tissue of stems and leaves;
  • root parts of plants (including winter cereals);
  • carrion.

After 30-40 days, the matured larvae will fall out of the eggs onto the ground and burrow into the soil. And enough deep and long... Under the ground, the larvae of cicadas are often taken to a depth of 1 m.

Cicada larva - photo:

Development features

In the bowels of the earth, the larvae of cicadas undergo a further cycle of life and development. On adult insects, they are still little alike... The body length of the larvae is only 3-5 mm, but they have very powerful forelimbs with spines. With their help, they dig the earth.

The larvae feed root part of stems and plant roots, to which the oral apparatus is firmly attached. Depending on the species and age, the color of the larvae differs, but in most cases their body is light in color.

Adult cicada larvae preparing to turn into an adult insect are called nymphs.

Once soil is enough will warm up, the nymphs make their way up to its surface. There they make a mink and wait for their transformation into a cicada. If the weather is rainy and the mink can be flooded, the larva builds a diverting knee from the ground so that keep out of the flood.

Cicadas nymphs come to the surface at the same time. Here they are awaited numerous predators: foxes, lizards, hedgehogs. The massive release of nymphs allows you to save the life of a large number of them. The number of larvae crawling up sometimes reaches about 370 individuals per 1 m².


After turning into a cicada (usually this is the month of May), the young insect is not yet able to fly... Therefore, a newborn cicada climbs some plant and waits for the old cover to fall off from it.

You can find out how the cicada molt by watching this short video:

As a result, the light appears adult cicada with wing buds. Immediately after molting, the insect has a soft white body. After a few hours, the cicada will darken, but the body will become coarse only for 5-6 days.

How many and where do they live?

The lifespan of adult cicadas in total 2-3 months... However, the larval stage of development lasts several years, depending on the species from 2 to 17.

Where do they live? The habitat of adult cicadas is trees and shrubs... Moreover, excellent camouflage allows these insects to remain unnoticed even at a fairly close distance.

Where are cicadas found in Russia? Within the territory of Of Russia cicadas are found in steppe and lowland forests, in the middle zone, in the southern and northern parts of the country, in the Caucasus.

What does it eat?

What does a cicada eat and what does its larvae eat?

Both larvae and adult cicadas feed on tree sap... The larvae drink juice with the help of a segmented proboscis, and adult cicadas with a special mouth organ.

In addition to trees and shrubs, food for cicadas serves juice:

  • grain and oilseeds;
  • legumes;
  • sugar and starch crops;
  • melons and gourds;
  • flowers.

Thanks to the power of their oral apparatus, cicadas can extract juice even from deeply located plant tissues. The yield of the sites chosen by the cicada is falling, and in this regard, it is necessary to competently take measures and means to combat the cicada.

Hibernation period

How many cicadas sleep? The duration of the stay of the cicada larvae in the ground is not the same. So, at mountain cicada this period is 2 years, common cicada - 4, and y cicadas from North America - 17 years.

What sounds does it make?

How do cicadas make a sound? The sound that cicadas make is called chirping... Why do cicadas scream? We hear "singing" males emit, which on the front of the abdomen have special convex membranes - cymbals. Strong muscles attached to the membranes periodically increase or relax the tension of the convex part.

As a result of such vibrations, a loud chirping is formed, comparable in volume to the whistle of a steam locomotive.

Females can also make similar sounds, but they are not audible to the human ear... The joint chirping of cicadas sometimes reaches about 100 dB.

When do cicadas chirp (crackle)? To emit chirping, cicadas need heat energy. Therefore, insects are most active "Sing" on hot summer days... Although some species can voice at dusk and at night. This helps keep cicadas away from daytime predators.

Why do cicadas "sing"? By chirping males attract females to mate... The tone of the “melody” is individual for each species, and females respond only to the roulades of “their” males.

You can learn how and why cicadas crackle by watching this scientific video:

Cicada bite

Do cicadas bite or not? Are cicadas dangerous for humans?

For humans, cicadas are absolutely harmless. They do not bite and do not pose any danger.

In wildlife, cicadas are an important food link for many living creatures. At the same time, they are dangerous pests agricultural land and personal plots. Therefore, a timely and correct fight against them will help save the future harvest.

Watch the video: The Loudest Bugs in the World (May 2022).