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Dog Day Cicada

Dog Day Cicada
Photo Information
Copyright: Jim White (jmirah) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 509 W: 5 N: 1141] (4687)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-06
Categories: Insects
Camera: KODAK Z612, 35-420mm Schneider Kreuznach Variogon
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Insects' World [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-06-07 23:25
Viewed: 3225
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Annual Cicada or Dog Day Cicada

Cicadas are often called locust even though the two are unrelated. True locusts are a type of grasshopper. Cicadas are kin to the leafhopper and spittlebug. World-wide there are approximately 2,500 species of Cicada with many remaining unclassified. Cicadas do not bite or sting and are considered by many to be quite tasty. Adult Cicadas are usually between 1-2 inches(2-5 cm)in length.

The male Cicadas have loud noise makers called tymbals located on the sides of the abdominal base. The tymbals are areas of the exoskeleton that are modified to form a complex membrane with thin, membranous portions and thickened "ribs". They rapidly vibrate these membranes with strong muscles and enlarged chambers derived from the tracheae make their body serve as a resonance chamber that greatly amplifies the sound. They modulate the noise by moving their abdomen toward and away from the surface they are on. They can produce sounds louder than 106 dB (SPL). Different species make different sounds to ensure they attract the proper mate.

After mating the female Cicada cuts a slit in the bark of a twig and deposits her eggs. She may do this several times until hundreds of eggs are laid. When the eggs hatch, the nymphs drop to the ground and begin to burrow. Nymphs survive by sucking the juice from plant roots. They spend most of their underground time as nymphs and in the final nymphal instar, they dig a tunnel to the surface. Then moulting on a nearby tree for the last time, they emerge as an adult. Their abandoned shells can be found clinging to the bark of trees.

The adult Cicadas only purpose in life is to mate and produce offspring. Adults do not eat.* Adult Cicadas have a sideways-ridged plate where the mouth is located on other insects.

And finally for the more adventurous in the crowd, a recipe;

El Chirper Tacos

2 tablespoons butter or peanut oil
1/2 pound newly emerged Cicadas
2 serrano chilies, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 teaspoons taco seasoning mix
Black pepper to taste
A few sprigs cilantro, optional
Taco shells, shredded cheddar cheese,
shredded lettuce and sour cream to serve.

Heat butter or oil in a frying pan and add
Cicadas. Fry until golden brown and cooked
through. Remove from pan and chop into 1/2
inch pieces. Put back into the skillet with
the onion, chilies, tomatos and seasonings.
Cook for another 5 minutes. Serve hot in
taco shells covered with cheese, lettuce,
sour cream and cilantro(if using).

Bon Appetit!


Periodical Cicada Page-Very Informative

Cicada Recipes

* Jean-Marie has informed me, with photo evidence, that Cicadas do indeed eat. My statement came straight from a Cicada link which I think now may be in error. On closer examination, you can see the feeding tube protuding from the Cicada's face in this photo. "Live and Learn" :)

lawhill, angybone, JoseMiguel, eqshannon, Argus, MommaMiaX3 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Argus: Hi Argusjmirah 1 06-09 07:11
To eqshannon: Hi Bobjmirah 1 06-08 19:58
To angybone: Hijmirah 2 06-08 18:32
To JoseMiguel: Holajmirah 2 06-08 13:19
To Nephrotome2: Ciaojmirah 1 06-08 07:33
To lawhill: Thanksjmirah 1 06-08 00:45
To trinko: Hi Timjmirah 1 06-08 00:43
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Critiques [Translate]

good focus interesting subject, nice colors for a flash shot.

Hello Jim,
Great shot nice colors perfect focus, this Cicadas are very hard to shot, I looking all over ,I can hear it but no see, well done Jim TFS regards/Lawhill

You should remove "they do not eat" from your note. The adult feed by drinking. They drink from live tree trunc.
I've seen myself one drinking. I was so close. I touched him and he went on drinking. He drink so much that he must pee every minute.
See proof

This is a great shot! Your colors are rich and vivid and contrasting. Everything about this is great except that disgusting recipe. YUCK!!!! ha ha ha Kidding - hey, I've probably eaten worse and not even realized it. :)

Hi Jim,
A great capture of this cicada!
It's very good the use of the fill flash used, you got a homogenous illumination all over with very clear and sharp detail.
I like so much and found very interesting the green colour of the nerves and its transition when along the wings.
Where did you find that recipe????
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

Although I have not seen many of these as of late...I used to collect the shells from trees as a child.

This is sort of a reminder or nostalgic shot for me Jim. It is of course very much in focus etc.. and taken where one usually finds them as well...at least me.

Pacific NW Wilderness

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-06-09 7:03]
  • [+]

Hello Jim,
This is a fine capture of a Cicada, sharp and well lit by skillful use of flash. Nice POV and comp with fine BG.
This greenish Cicada is new to me, as is the knowledge that one could eat them. To be able to pick 1/2 lb in weight must require huge numbers.
Here in Sweden we have one very rare species that is just over 1cm long: the size and rarity must preclude any chances of a cicada feast!
TFS this fine shot and the note!
Best wishes, Ivan

Hi Jim, :)

Great sharpness in this image, wonderful colour and detail! Great POV, also your DOF is perfect for this capture. Very well executed, I love looking at what you have to offer here on TN!


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