|Size||0.4-4.3 in (1-11 cm)|
|Lifespan||13-17 years (Singing cicada Magicicada)|
|Food||Sap of plants and trees|
|Predators||Mantis, digger wasp|
|Characteristics||Very loud insect|
There exist more than 45,000 cicada species and they greatly vary in their physical appearance – for instance beautiful and multicolored cicadellinae, treehoppers with their knobbly pronotum and loudly chirping singing cicadas.
A Cicada’s Diet
Cicadas feed on the sap of plants. They simply stick their proboscis into the plant like a straw and “drink” from it. Very useful!
The World’s Loudest Insect
The chirping of African singing cicadas can reach up to 106.7 decibel and can be heard at distances of several hundred kilometers. Mostly it sounds a bit like a broken power supply line.
High Jump World Record
The meadow froghopper can jump up to 27.5 in (70 cm) high. Therefore it holds high jump record among insects.
Why Do Cicadas Sing?
They do it to attract females or to point out the borders of their territories.
Singing Cicadas and Prime Numbers
Singing cicadas only mate every 13 or 17 years. For quite a long time scientists did not know the reason for this. Why 13, why 17 years?
Well, most of the singing cicada’s enemies mate in intervals of 2, 4 or 6 years.
If cicadas had the same cycle, too many of them would fall prey to hungry young animals. The cycle of 13 or 17 years significantly increases their chances to survive.
Where Do Cicadas Live?
Basically everywhere in the world except in the Arctics and Antarctic regions. There it is simply too cold for them and they do not find any food. Cicadas such as the meadow froghopper also live in Europe, but the chirping singing cicadas can only be found in Africa.
The Largest and the Smallest Cicada
The body of the Empress cicada is 2.7-4.3 inch (7-11 cm) long and has a wingspan of 7-7.8 inch (18-20 cm). Thus, it is the largest cicada of the world. The smallest cicadas include the leafhoppers and the delphacidae with a body length of just 0.07 inch (2 mm).
Cicadas are considered as delicious food in Australia, Thailand, Japan, China, Burma, Africa, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.
- Watch now on animalfunfacts.net:
- Video: All about Insects and Arachnids - 5 Interesting Facts - e.g. about cicadas