The cicada larvae live in the ground feeding on the tree roots. One species of cicada like to puncture holes in fibre-optic cables and lay eggs in them causing a lot of troublesome repairs.
When the larvae are ready to change into the adult stage or metamorphose, they crawl up the tree. Here the adult will break out of the larval skin (dapi in Japanese). For a few hours after merging the adult is white (or green) soft and can be easily preyed on by other insects like spiders (see next next post).
Food: Cicadas pierce the bark of trees and drink the sap. Sap is a dilute mix of water, amino acids and minerals. Larvae use water to seal up the walls of the holes they build in the ground.
Each species of cicadas make their own distinctive noises but only only male cicadas make the noises to attract females. They have a kind of drum in their abdomen called a tymbal, and they vibrate the membrane of the drum by blowing air over it from special air sacs.
The sounds or calls the cicadas make also change speed according to the time of day and the temperature.
During each season in Japan, you can hear the mating call of a different species of cicada. Females listen and choose the one they like best. After mating, the males seal up females with a plug, so they can’t mate with a different male.
Cicadas can be found from Honshu to Kyushu islands and their sounds heard from April to early or mid September.
All summer the cicadas were crying “mi-mi-mi-mi-miiiiiiiiiiiii” so loudly they’d become part of the background sounds here. But all of a sudden this week I realized I couldn’t hear them anymore. The top picture shows the larval skin in the grip of the spiderweb which means the emerging adult cicada probably became its yummy meal.
Here’s a photo of an adult just emerging from the skin! The newly emerged cicada’s colour is white before the blood goes into its wings.