Friday, August 13, 2010

Dogday Harvestfly or Annual Cicada (Tibicen sp.)

One seldom encounters these large, fearsome looking but completely harmless insects at close range as they generally stay high up in the trees. The singing of the Dogday Harvestfly signals the onset of late summer. According to some sources the saw-like buzzing of the males measures 100 decibels at twenty yards and up to 120 decibels at close range.

Cicadas belong to the order Hemiptera, which includes insects such as aphids and true bugs. The nymphs live underground for three years feeding on the roots of oak and pine, and their exuviae can often be found on the trunks of these trees near the bases. The adults do not eat.