Monday, July 25, 2011

Top 10 Cicada Sighting and Visit.

Friday evening was still brutally hot so the house was sealed up and the a/c cranking high. Not often do we get a knock on our back door, so at first we ignored the repeated thud.  It was a little like a horror movie.  The woman, of course notices first, "there is something out there!"  The man nonchalant takes another sip of his beer, portraying clogged ears. Being the dutiful wife, she kept at it and notices there is also a strange blinking light out there. she insists, "You are going to have to go out there". Not being a big believer in martians, she won't dispute anyone with proof, something was definitely going down on that back deck. It's not the first time she has gotten the sigh reply, so she knows how to handle it.  She glares back. He heads out the door and in flies this humungus miniature helicopter. What the.....

1. There are over 100 species of cicada in North America, and over 2000 species around the world. Cicadas exist on every continent but Antarctica.

2. In North America there are two main types of cicadas: periodical (which belong to the genus Magicicada) and annual. The Tibicen is the most common genus of annual cicada in North America.

3. Magicicada white-eyed cicada looks like the one we had stop by.  I found a picture at photographed in May 2011 in Tennessee.

4. There are seven species of Magicicada. The 17 year varieties: septendecim, cassini, septendecula, and the 13 year varieties: neotredecim, tredecim, tredecassini and tredecula. Each species is slightly different in coloring, song or other attributes. 

5. According to the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology website , periodical cicadas are harmless. They do not bite or sting defensively, nor do they attack people. If a cicada lands on you, it is only because it finds you to be a convenient place to land. They are not known to transmit disease. Once inside the house, after erratically spinning around the lampshade, our visitor landed on my husband's shoulder. Every body likes Dave.

6. The dog day cicada emerges in mid-summer. Dog-day cicadas, Tibicen , are mostly large, blackish insects usually with greenish wing veins and appear every year from mid-July through mid-September. Friday July 22, 2011. They are no doubt a sound of summer we all take for granted.

7. Cicadas have been eaten in China, Malaysia, Burma, Latin America, Germany, the Congo and in the United States. In North China, cicadas are skewered, deep fried or stir fried as a delicacy. According to an article found on National Geographic web page, Cicadas are said to make good eating because they are low in fat and high in protein. They are considered a delicacy by many people around the world. The European settlers in North America observed the Indians eating them. During the last emergence of Brood X cicadas in 1987, a number of people in Cincinnati and Illinois were reported to have tried deep-fried and stir-fried cicadas. There was also talk of cicada pizzas and cicada candy, and local newspapers printed cicada recipes.

8. After mating, the female cuts slits into the bark of a twig, and into these she deposits her eggs. She may do so repeatedly, until she has laid several hundred eggs. When the eggs hatch, the newly hatched nymphs drop to the ground, where they burrow . The crazy part about this is, we have always had a problem with carpenter bees enjoying our above lattice on our deck an the sawdust falling to the ground, this year is has been a yellow goo.

9. Scientific research, wikipedia, a couple of bug research sites and the national geographic website has led me to believe, our mysterious stranger was not a periodical cicada but an ordinary annual one but it has been well over 13 or 17 years for that matter since I have seen one bold enough to charge into my home and spend a little hang time.

10. The insect's amazing lifestyle has been a source of fascination since ancient times. Several cultures, such as the ancient Chinese, regarded these insects as powerful symbols of rebirth. I can attest that they do make quite an entrance.

I wish I had my own picture to share but once this creature was discovered sitting on my husband's shoulder.  He was quick to action and wasn't letting it hang around for a photo session.  I was ready with my camera on Saturday and Sunday though.

Here's a link to a google search of images of cicada's.  I would argue and say our annual cicada was just as special as any other one out there because he knocked on our door.

If you don't lose any sleep over bugs at night maybe I can plant another vision in your head. July 31st is the beginning of Shark Week 2011.....

I do not claim to be an entomologist (bug specialist) and I can't identify the bug in my pictures.  I can only claim that by following the David Attenborough amazing cicada life cycle video on YouTube, I snapped my fingers and this is what I attracted the following day.  I was told by my husband, I lost my girl scout naturalist badge when I screamed while this bug dive bombed me.

The strange blinking light btw was the answering machine reflection in the window. The American Red Cross was looking for blood, true story.

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