In case you haven't heard them the cicadas are calling! In Florida they are best known for their loud calls heard during the day or evening, usually coming from high in the trees. Cicadas are often heard but seldom seen or captured, but can be identified by their songs.
In the Eastern US, periodical cicadas can be seen in huge numbers as many as 1.5 million an acre every 13 or 17 years. Thankfully, those do not live in Florida.
Cicadas are often heard but seldom seen or captured, but can be identified by their songs. If you want to hear the songs of some Florida species. Look up 'Cicadas in Florida' on the web then go to the University of Florida website.
19 species live here in Florida and they're very specific to where they want to live. Some like waste fields and pines, others prefer oaks, some like to be near the ocean and another cicada only lives in the keys and one in the everglades. Even their names have a lot of character like glass winged, dog day, seaside, scissor grinder and Olympic.
Some are small, only 1/4" but others like the one that's visiting us here in the studio can get quite large. This guy is quite plump and is about 2" long.
The male cicada is the one that makes the noise.....the girls prefer to not to make any sounds at all except to tap their wings. The male uses the noise factor to attract a female or to scare off a bird or other predator.
On the positive side, it should be noted that cicadas don't bite or sting. They do provide food for many kinds of wildlife like birds, small mammals, and other insects. Newly emerged adults are easily caught and have been used for food by humans, either raw or cooked, and are even credited with having saved some family groups from starvation early in the history of North America.