Often heard. Uncommonly seen. It took one of the larger cicada species for this bumbling biped to finally see and film them. Out of 19 known cicada species in Florida, this is probably a Southern Resonant Cicada (Neotibicen resonans). You can identify cicadas by the male’s call. If you get too close, this species lifts off like a mini shuttle into space. Strong fliers.

Such a little animal is sure noisy. Cicadas produce some of the loudest sounds possible by an insect. Males vibrate special membranes called timbals attached to muscles in their abdomen up to 400 times per second to attract partners. Enlarged body chambers amplify the sound. The Southern Resonant Cicada moves his abdomen slightly upwards to get the sound just right.

After mating and laying eggs, the beautiful cicada adult dies. Eggs hatch into nymphs and burrow immediately into the soil. Most of a cicada’s life is underground eating plant sap. Then, one, two, or ten+ years later, they leave the dark underworld behind and crawl out. With freshly molted wings, good eyesight, and timbal drums ready, they begin the process all over again.

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