Almost everyone knows the song of the cicada—that distinctive buzzing noise that comes and goes during warm summer months. Every summer in Central Ohio we get the annual dog day cicada. We also get the seventeen year cicada (Magicicada) that floods our forests with billions of these large insects.
You may be surprised to learn that the cicada, despite its large size and (to some observers) creepy persona, is completely harmless to both humans and plants. The insect only presents itself to us when mature—in which case it is only looking for a mate before it dies.
The two cicadas on this page were photographed on August 13, 2008 in the darkness of night. They were molting a few feet from the base of a mulberry tree.