What Are Cicadas, And Why Are They So Loud?
Today We are going to talk about Cicadas, or Tzitzikas in Greek. What are Cicadas? well, they are insects that usually come out from underground in late spring and early summer, from May you can hear what we call the sound of summer. Although it’s exciting at first to hear the Cicadas, it gets quite annoying very quickly because they are very loud.
Cicadas are super fascinating creatures, and I still can’t believe That such a small creature can make so much noise. I remember when I first came to Crete, in the Spring we woke up one morning to this noise and I had not heard that much noise before which sounded to me like a bunch of Crickets on steroids lol
In my country we have Crickets but they are not as loud as the Cicadas, so when I heard the sound of the Cicadas, I was very fascinated, I was also confused because the Crickets don’t make noise during the day, so I thought to myself these European Crickets don’t know that they are supposed to make noise at night lol
The Cicadas start their song very early in the morning and go on the whole day until late in the evening. We’ve had a few times when the Cicadas decided to wake us up by landing on our bedroom window early in the morning, and just do their thing, and of course, you can’t sleep with that amount of noise just outside the window lol.
Why Do Cicadas Sing?
So what are Cicadas? according to Wikipedia, Cicadas are super family the Cicadoidea of insects, there are over 3,000 species around the world. The specie that is found here in Crete is called Tibicen plebejus, this is the largest type Of Cicada in Europe, with the adult insect growing to a length of about 2cm to 5cm.
But why are they so loud and what is the meaning of their song? well, the Cicadas sing for various reasons, the main one being to attract mates, another reason is to mark territory, and the other reason is to call for help when under attack. Cicadas live on tree feeding on juices from fresh leaves and after mating the females lay their eggs in small holes made on tree branches barks.
What Are Cicadas? Fun Facts About Cicadas (Ztiztikas)
Cicadas can live up to 21 years, according to a website called cicadamania.com most cicadas live a short life but there is a small percentage that can live between 17 to 21 years.
A female Cicada can lay up to 600 eggs when the young nymphs hatch they then drop get underground to where they attach themselves to the roots of the tree and remain there feeding on the tree sap, until they are fully grown to which point they will climb the tree in the summer shed their skin and then the males will start singing.
Cicadas have 5 eyes, contrary to popular belief that Cicadas can’t see and that is why they are easy to capture, Cicadas can see very well, they can see all around their surrounding and the fact that they can be captured easily is only as a result of their bodies not being hardened enough after molting which makes it difficult to react quickly when approached.
It’s Only The Male Cicadas That Are Making All The Noise
The sound you hear, is only made by the male cicadas(noisy little guys lol) it’s only the male cicadas that sing, and although some species of Cicadas only make a clicking noise, the Cicadas here on Crete are the Buzzing kind and they could drive you absolutely crazy especially for those of us who live here.
The tourists love the sound, and they enjoy it when they are sitting somewhere at a cafe having a drink or something to eat while the Cicadas entertain them with their song.
Do Cicadas bite humans?
No Cicadas don’t bite unless of course, you allow the Cicada to sit on you for so long that it begins to think you are a part of a tree lol. The one that had landed on my husband’s hand it stayed there for a while because my husband was not moving much, but it did not bite him.
Do Cicadas Use Their mouths to sing?
No. The Cicadas use organs called tymbals to sing, they are membranes that vibrate rapidly when pulled by muscles, the vibrations produced, create the sound you hear when the Cicadas sing.
Are You A Cicada Fun? If So, Here Is Where You Can Buy Cicada Merch
Since Cicadamania.com provided me with lots of info regarding Cicadas when I was researching to learn more about them, its only fair that I give them a shout out, so if you would like a Cicada coffee mug, a hat, a pillow, or a Cicada T-shirt, then I suggest you visit their merch page Here
I am super impressed by Cicada Mania, if you would also like to learn more about Cicadas, they have lots of content on these fascinating insects. I think you will enjoy reading their articles about Cicadas.
Cicadas are quite fascinating, and as I mentioned earlier, when we hear the first bunch of Cicadas(and frogs) in the spring, then we know that the warm weather is upon us, and its time to prepare for summer and hit the beaches. I must say we have a love, hate kind of relationship with the Cicadas.
On one hand, we like them at the beginning of the season, but towards the end, we are not very happy with their song lol
Well, that’s it for today. today’s article was inspired by the Cicada that landed on my husband’s hand and it won’t fly away until it started singing and we told it was time to go now lol. I really would like to hear your opinions on Cicadas, do you like them, do you like their song? I know some people say that they find the sound Cicadas make relaxing, are you one of those people?
Please share your comments below, and Let’s keep this discussion going.
Thank you for your time.
2 comments on “What Are Cicadas, And Why Are They So Loud?”
I GREW UP IN TEXAS —MISSION, TX— AND I LOVE THE SOUND OF THE CICADAS. I DID NOT MISS THEM UNTIL I MOVED TO CA —SAN DIEGO—. I GUESS I TOOK THEM AND THEIR SOUND FOR GRANTED.
MY CULTURE BEING MEXICAN, I LOVE A SONG CALLED ”LA CIGARRA”. THE LATESTI ARTIST TO SING THAT SONG HAS BEEN LINDA RONSTADT.
Hi Israel, for us, the sound of Cicada singing means summer, BBQs and lots of fun with friends, of course, last year and even this year things are so different because of the current situation but that will not stop Cicadas from singing which is comforting, OK, they can get annoying at times especially when they land on your bedroom window early in the morning and start singing, but, they are cool.