It's big, but it's not a 'murder hornet'

Since the release of information about Asian giant hornets, Texas A&M AgriLife entomologists are being inundated with cicada killers and other lookalike insects submitted for identification as a possible "murder hornet," ...

What's that noise? The 17-year cicadas are back

With warm daytime weather and mild nights upon us, you may find yourself opening a window to enjoy the cool spring air. But accompanying this breeze will be a cacophonous whining like a field of out-of-tune car radios.

Biological diversity stabilizes species interactions

The decline in biodiversity and the associated loss of plant species are greatly affecting ecosystems. Thus far, this has been shown by studies in the so-called grasslands, i.e. in areas that are not covered by buildings ...

Invasion of the body-snatching fungus

UConn researchers recently documented in Nature Scientific Reports a gory and fascinating relationship between periodical cicadas and a fungus that infects them, hijacks their behavior, and causes a scene straight out of ...

Team publishes research on unusual gene evolution in bacteria

University of Montana researchers have made another discovery at the cellular level to help understand the basic processes of all life on our planet - this time within the unusual bacteria that has lived inside cicada insects ...

Cicada wings help researchers design better solar cells

(Phys.org)—Researchers have turned to cicada wings to design surfaces with highly antireflective properties, which have potential applications for solar cells, stealth surfaces, antifogging materials, and other optical ...

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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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