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Male cicadas have loud noisemakers called "timbals" on the sides of the abdominal base. Their "singing" is not the stridulation (where two structures are rubbed against one another) of many other familiar sound-producing insects like crickets: the timbals are regions of the exoskeleton that are modified to form a complex membrane with thin, membranous portions and thickened "ribs". Contracting the internal timbal muscles yields a pulse of sound as the timbals buckle inwards. As these muscles relax, the timbals return to their original position. The interior of the male abdomen is substantially hollow to amplify the resonance of the sound. A cicada rapidly vibrates these membranes, and enlarged chambers derived from the tracheae make its body serve as a resonance chamber, greatly amplifying the sound. They modulate their noise by wiggling their abdomens toward and away from the tree that they are on. Additionally, each species has its own distinctive song.

In addition to the mating song, many species also have a distinct distress call, usually a somewhat broken and erratic sound emitted when an individual is seized. A number of species also have a courtship song, which is often a quieter call and is produced after a female has been drawn by the calling song.
 
Facts About Cicadas

Cicadas do not bite or sting, are benign to humans, and are not considered a pest. Many people around the world regularly eat cicadas: the female is prized as it is meatier. Cicadas have been (or are still) eaten in Ancient Greece, China, Malaysia, Burma, Australia, Latin America and the Congo. Cicadas are employed in the traditional medicines of China

Cicadas are arranged into two families: Tettigarctidae (q.v.) and Cicadidae. There are two extant species of Tettigarctidae, one in southern Australia, and the other in Tasmania. The family Cicadidae is subdivided into the subfamilies Tettigadinae, Cicadinae and Cicadettinae, and they occur on all continents except Antarctica.

The largest cicadas are in the genera Pomponia and Tacua. There are some 200 species in 38 genera in Australia, about 450 in Africa, about 100 in the Palaearctic and exactly one species in England, the New Forest cicada, Melampsalta montana, widely distributed throughout Europe. There are about 150 species in South Africa.

Most of the North American species are in the genus Tibicen - the annual or dog-day cicadas (so named because they emerge in late July and August) The best-known North American genus is Magicicada, however. These periodical cicadas have an extremely long life cycle of 13 to 17 years and emerge in large numbers. Another American species is the Apache cicada, Diceroprocta apache.
 
Cicadas are a temporary. Control is difficult if not impossible. AllPest Express recommends contacting a tree expert to stop cicadas from damaging trees if you are concerned. We recommend just waiting them out. They will be gone soon.




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