Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cicadas - The Song of Summer

Have you ever tried to photograph a cicada?  I swear they have a sixth sense and  know as soon as you get an eye on them,  Zoom, they are gone.

As I was photographing the hummingbirds, the tree beside me seemed to be a prime resting spot but as soon as I would locate one, it would fly.  I watched as Mockingbirds listened and hunted for the cicada rattle.

Barely escaping a catch, this cicada flew to a nearby fence.  I would have preferred a capture on a natural element but sometimes you take what you can get.

The males are the "singers" and make their noise to attract a female.

The excerpt below from (here) is an easy to understand explanation of how they make their noise.
"The adult male cicada possesses two ribbed membranes called tymbals, one on each side of its first abdominal segment. By contracting the tymbal muscle, the cicada buckles the membrane inward, producing a loud click. As the membrane snaps back, it clicks again. The two tymbals click alternately.
 Air sacs in the hollow abdominal cavity amplify the clicking sounds. The vibration travels through the body to the tympanii, which amplify the sound further."

Image Source - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, NIH

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