The cicadas are plentiful this year, providing a constant background noise all day and all night. Sometimes, it is really helpful to be partly deaf!  Most years, all I see of them is a few discarded husks.

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Pretty horrible, aren’t they, like a prehistoric beast. Apparently, Australia has 200 species of cicada. Only the males sing and each species has its own tune to attract a mate of the same type. They spend most of their life as a nymph underground – some species can spend several years there, maybe even 6 or 7 years – where they live on sap from plant roots, shedding skin as they grow.

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I accidentally took a photo of the ground (as one does now and then) and found I had captured a cicada popping up out of the ground.

After climbing out, they shed their skin for the last time. This next one had climbed up a chair leg and as I moved the chair – sitting down to photograph bees in the lavender – the cicada fell off on to its back. I took a photo before I righted it. It was a different colour than I’ve seen before so I expect it has its final new skin. The wings take a couple of hours to harden.

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One more …

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The Red Eye Cicada prefers eucalypts and the Australian Museum website  advises one not to stand under a tree while they are feeding on sap since they excrete colourless droplets of waste. If numbers are high, there can be a constant spray of waste! From the sound, I reckon the property across the yard hosts thousands of them in their Australian native garden.

Do you ever have cicadas at your place? I never experienced them until I came here to central Victoria in the late 1990s. But then, I probably thought the sound was from crickets.

Thanks for reading.

Do have a great weekend. 🙂

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Red Eye Cicada

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6 thoughts on “Red Eye Cicada

  1. sue ouzounis says:

    Glad they are not bigger. Not very pretty, but their mother’s probably disagree. Yuk. The first couple of pictures I wouldn’t have known what they were, very odd. Not sure but I think we have had something similar over the years. Odd looking things with kind of flipper like legs at the front. One was squelching his way out of the lawn after a lot of rain years ago. Haven’t really noticed any since.

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    • They have very strong digging claws when they come out. so that explains why they have been left behind on that final moult (top pictures). You can go years without seeing them. I only ever see one or two fluing about during the day. A sparrow was pecking at one but it took off from the ground and whizzed by my head – its wings were clacking. I watched a time-lapsed video online of one. When it comes out, its wings inflate from crumpled things on its back!

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    • Great to hear from you emjay! I never knew that about them living underground for long periods until I read one of the Sword of Truth novels – Terry Goodkind used their appearance as part of prophecy. And then I presumed they were dormant, no idea they were lurking about, nibbling on plant roots. All the best for the New Year and I hope you managed to see your Aussie mob over the holiday break. ❤

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