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Finally! Cicada Sighting July 30, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, wit and wisdom.
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Grrrrr. Our friend Ben has been anxious to enjoy a cicada sighting since we were promised an irruption of the 17-year cicadas this summer. These cicadas bear the wonderful generic epithet of Magicicada, presumably because they appeared out of nowhere every 17 years like magic.

This year was the date for the 17-year cicada to irrupt in massive numbers, as many as a million cicadas per acre. I was really looking forward to it. But then, it turned out that good old global warming had even affected cicada emergence. Our local paper informed us that the 17-year cicadas had confined their appearance to the Poconos and northward here in Pennsylvania, so our friend Ben and Silence Dogood didn’t see a single red-eyed bug. (I’m not sure Silence was as broken up about this as I was.)

However, the other night, Silence, our beloved black German shepherd Shiloh, and I were sitting out on our deck enjoying the sunset when I saw something strange beside one of the numerous potted plants on our deck. It looked like a cicada. It was a cicada. Unfortunately, it was a rather small, black-eyed annual cicada rather than a large red-eyed 17-year cicada. And even more unfortunately, it was dead. But at least it proved that some cicadas were still extant in our area, despite the ravages of global warming.

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1. Becca - July 30, 2013

Wonderful! My little niece out in East Texas was excited to tell me about their cicada sighting the other day. Unfortunately, their cicada was in the jaws of a cicada killer! That must have been something to behold. We only rarely see them around here.

Yow, what’s a cicada killer, Becca? Birds and dogs enjoy killing and eating cicadas, but it sounds like this is something specific, another insect or possibly reptile. Do tell!

Becca - July 31, 2013

Yes! It’s a giant wasp that is large enough to carry a cicada. My niece said it could barely fly with it, but gee! They’re solitary wasps and I think they nest underground? Here’s a link to the wikipedia article about them. Enjoy! 🙂 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphecius_speciosus

Thanks!


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