Archive for the ‘Insects’ Category

Longest-lived insect in North America – Periodical Cicadas

August 3rd, 2011 2 comments

From mid May to June, millions of Cicadas appeared in central Missouri. They are called “Periodical Cicadas.”

Here are some facts about these periodical cicadas.
The periodical cicada is a native North American species. It is the longest-lived insect in North America. They are widely distributed over the eastern half of the United States and occur nowhere else in the world.

It might have been a nuisance to some people. But their life story is simply amazing – spend 13 or 17 years underground as silent, solitary juveniles and emerge by the millions all at the same time. How do they survive such a long time underground? How do they know when to come out? How do they communicate with each other to emerge at the same time? So many are unknown to us.

For me, it was an impressive sight to see as millions of cicadas emerging from the ground and making such a loud sound all synchronized. It took several attempts to photograph their process of shedding skin. Apparently some were stronger than others. So some made it out of their skin in an hour so, but some never made it out. Also these cicadas were unbelievably loud that I had to use earplugs while photographing them.

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