Experts discuss the nutrition profile of cicadas

This year, billions of Brood X cicadas emerged in the United States and generated quite a buzz, according to environmental experts. They also prompted questions about whether they are safe to eat, and who would want to eat ...

The path toward discovering a new species of Cicada

The 17-year cicadas emerging dramatically by the billions in 15 U.S. states from Georgia to New York and west to Illinois are making quite a racket—a uniquely North American phenomenon—but thousands of other cicada species ...

Allergic to seafood? Don't eat swarming cicadas, US warns

Multiple recipes featuring cicadas have surfaced in the United States as billions of the bugs emerge from 17 years underground, prompting authorities to warn the hungry and curious to think twice before taking a bite.

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Cicada

A cicada ( /sɪˈkeɪdə/ or /sɪˈkɑːdə/) is an insect of the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha (which was formerly included in the now invalid order Homoptera), in the superfamily Cicadoidea, with large eyes wide apart on the head and usually transparent, well-veined wings. There are about 2,500 species of cicada around the world, and many of them remain unclassified. Cicadas live in temperate to tropical climates where they are among the most widely recognized of all insects, mainly due to their large size and unique sound. Cicadas are often colloquially called locusts, although they are unrelated to true locusts, which are a kind of grasshopper. Cicadas are related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs.

Cicadas are benign to humans under normal circumstances and do not bite or sting in a true sense, but may mistake a person's arm or other part of their body for a tree or plant limb and attempt to feed. Cicadas have a long proboscis under their head which they insert into plant stems in order to feed on sap. It can be painful if they attempt to pierce a person's skin with it, but it is unlikely to cause other harm. It is unlikely to be a defensive reaction and is a rare occurrence. It usually only happens when they are allowed to rest on a person's body for an extended amount of time.

Cicadas can cause damage to several cultivated crops, shrubs, and trees, mainly in the form of scarring left on tree branches while the females lay their eggs deep in branches. Many people around the world regularly eat cicadas. They are known to have been eaten in Ancient Greece as well as China, Malaysia, Burma, Latin America, and the Congo.[citation needed] Female cicadas are prized for being meatier.[citation needed] Shells of cicadas are employed in the traditional medicines of China.

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