HOLY DEAD CICADA!

So yesterday, while cleaning up the backyard, I found myself a huge space-like looking creature - dead.  I thought it was alive at first, the way it just laid there on the patio stone... looking up at me and all, but soon realized it was as dead as a doornail.
I immediately started screaming, "Honey! Come look!  I found me a space insect!  Quick!"

Well, when he saw it, he immediately responded "That's not a space creature, that's a seecada!"  "A see-what?" A CICADA.   Boy, did I ever felt like a reeeeetard! I knew of crickets and grasshoppers but not cicadas.

"Ah, those are the insects that makes so much noise all the time", I mumbled. (It was huge!  It was almost as big as my pinkie finger!)
"Yes, those are the culprits.  Now leave it alone and throw it away in the dirt."

Well, he might as well have been talking to the tree 'cause I used a stick to poke it and flip it around, turn it upside down and examined it more closely...



Jack, my husband, along with all those who knew me well, knew this wouldn't be the end of this poor creature for me. My weird and morbid fascination with dead things and death itself, (hence the creation of my popular blog The Many Faces of Death), wouldn't allow it



Just by looking close up, I could see how this insect might have died.  It seemed to have been struck by something on the upper part of it's body.






Apparently these cicadas exist on all continents except Antarctica.  Aaaw.  He still looks alive in these pics...



There are over 2,500 species of cicada that have been described, and yet there are many that aren't!
Poor little... I mean big, cicada...



The name is a direct derivation of the Latin cicada, meaning "tree cricket". There is no word of proper English, or indeed Germanic, etymology for the insect.


Check out those sad eyes....






Did you know cicadas have 3 extra tiny eyes between those 2 big eyes??

And those amazing wings.  So transparent...





They are known to have been eaten in Ancient Greece as well as China, Malaysia, Burma, Latin America, and the Congo and the female cicadas are prized for being meatier. Traditional chinese medicine are known to use the shells.

I had to see the rest of it... like underneath, so I flipped it over.





I wonder what's all that white stuff on it?






Eeew.  And what is that black thing sticking out at the end.  Can't seem to find it in any other photos online.
















These cicads are said to be among the most widely recognized of all insects due to their large size and unique sound, (you can hear them in a video I did a while back, here), yet I never knew that is what they were called.  All along I thought it was grasshoppers/crickets I was hearing.

Only the males produce the cicadas' distinctive sounds.  Also worth noting...
  • Some cicadas are the loudest of all insect-produced sounds. This is notable because the song is loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss in humans should the cicada sing just outside the listener's ear.
  • Some species of cicada also have an unusual defense mechanism to protect themselves from predation, known as predator satiation: because so many emerge at once, the number of cicadas in any given area exceeds the amount predators can eat; all available predators are thus satiated, and the remaining cicadas can breed in peace.... Wow!  Talk about insect-style kamikaze!




Thanks for reading!


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