10 November 2010

Why is it dark in my kitchen?

We are in the midst of Cicada season.  Every 7 years or so the cicadas make their way above ground, climb whatever they can, shed their skins and settle somewhere else.  They sing to each other during the day attracting their mates and after about two or three weeks they go back underground for another 7 years.
Some cicada facts from the Australian Museum:

  • Only male cicadas sing. They do this in an attempt to find a mate.
  • Different species have different songs to attract only their own kind.
  • Adult cicadas have short lives, usually only a few weeks.
  • Most of their lives are spent as nymphs underground. For some species this can be up to several years.
  • Cicadas feed only on plant sap using their piercing, sucking mouthparts.
  • Cicadas feed on a huge range of plants, including eucalypts and grasses.
  • Birds, bats, spiders, wasps, ants, mantids and tree crickets all prey on cicadas.
The last point neglected to mention human children as collectors of cicada shells.
The majority of the village children collect lots and lots of shells.
Peter discovered a novel way of displaying his collection - on the wire screen of the kitchen window.
While impressive to behold, it does cut down on the natural light!

1 comment:

jodi said...

This year we have had an invasion of stink bugs (I'm still finding their hiding places - yuch). I would rather have cicadas! That is an impressive collection.