The Sound of Summer: Cicadas

Cicada Summer is officially here! And I’m not just talking about the fact that today is the Summer Solstice but rather that the Cicadas have finally woken up from their secret underground life, having spent 17 years below ground, they have risen up from the depths to breathe a new life. Their chorus seems to be initiated by the intensity of the sun. ‘Secondo me’, I believe, a brief period of steady temperatures around 30°C, signals the Cicadas to embark on their next phase of their life-cycle.

Cicada casing

Cicada casing!

Intrigued by these ugly looking insects with a rhythmic, melodic sound, that I personally find rather relaxing (whilst it drives others insane), I reviewed Sir David Attenborough’s amazing video on the life-cycle of the Cicadas. Very interesting. Once above ground, they morph into a winged insect and embark on their final stage of their life-cycle. Unsurprisingly, it’s the male insect that makes all the noise, which in the height of the summer is quite deafening. They have just one thing on their mind, sex! Like most male species! They rattle their sternum to make that unique sound of the Cicada, then wait for a female to respond. If the female likes the sound of his mating call, she responds with a click which is made by clapping her wings together. Naturally the male swiftly seeks out the female and once he reaches her, his mating call changes from his melodic intensive sounds to more of a relaxed tone. He’s found his partner and gets down to business, thus the 17 year life-cycle begins once again!