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WILD Facts: Beyond the buzz of cicadas
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Summer evenings are filled with the sounds of cicadas, large insects with wide-set eyes and transparent, veined wings. In error, some people refer to the non-jumping cicada as a locust, which is a grasshopper relative. Male cicadas attract females by making an extremely loud, rattling buzz with their abdomens. Females respond by clicking their wings.
After mating, the female lays hundreds of eggs in tree twigs. Newly hatched nymphs fall to the ground. The young spend up to 17 years developing underground (depending on the species), sucking on roots for food. Emerging adults only live a few days, just long enough to breed.
WILD Facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.
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