Periodical Cicadas

Posted May 22, 2004
Last Updated Nov 5, 2011
molting cicada
periodical locusts
Freshly molted cicada

I had heard that this year we were being swarmed with the Periodical Cicada (the Magicicada) but for some reason they avoided my neighborhood. Luckily, my brother planned a picnic at Darby Park and it was there that I found thousands of these crunchy creatures, their husks, and a surround-sound chorus of mating calls that reminded me of the sound effect of phasers in the original Star Trek series. I have not researched this, but according to a good friend, the reason that Cicadas are improperly labeled as "locusts" is that in colonial times colonists saw them swarming and equated them to the biblical locust swarms.

Here are a couple Cicada pages to check out:

Cicadas

Photos of cicadas... some during mass infestations, others just solitary specimens molting.

  1. Periodical Cicadas
  2. Molting Cicada

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periodical locust

Periodical cicada at Big Darby Park in May, 2004.

molting periodical cicada

A periodical cicada molting.

cicada

A newly emerged 17-Year cicada climbs up a tree to molt.

periodical locust husk

Husk of a periodical locust.

periodical locust shedding

Periodical cicada that died while emerging from shell at Big Darby Park in May, 2004.

periodical locust emerging

Periodical cicada emerging from mud at Big Darby Park in May, 2004.

periodical locust on finger

Periodical cicada at Big Darby Park in May, 2004.

periodical locust husk

Husk of a periodical locust.

periodical locust

Periodical cicadas at Big Darby Park in May, 2004.


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