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Scientific Classification
  • Cicadettinae
  • Cicadinae
  • Tettigadinae
  • Tibiceninae
Cicada undergoing metamorphosis from a nymph into an adult
Cicada undergoing metamorphosis.jpg

Cicadas are insects that belong to the family scientifically called Cicadidae.[1] They spend most of their lives underground and are perhaps best known for their song, which is the loudest of all insects.[2] They are mostly found on the eastern side of the United States [3]


Redeye Cicada (Psaltoda moerens)

Like a lot of Arthropods, Cicadas are divided into three segments: head, thorax, and abdomen.(Miller and Levine p.727) The antennae, mouthparts, and the eyes are all found on the head of a cicada. The numbers of sections of the antennae vary depending on the variety of the cicada. The antennae are used for sensing things.[4] The mouthparts consist of the mandibles, maxillae, and labium. The mouthparts are used for getting food and are used for penetrating and sucking their food. They have compound eyes like many arthropods which are mainly used for detecting movement.

The thorax is made up of the anterior prothorax, middle mesothorax, and posterior metathorax. The prothorax is located in between the pronotum and the prosternum. The mesothorax is under the mesonotum which is behind the pronotum. The metathorax is located on the posterior part of the thorax.

The abdomen of an adult, fully grown cicada has 10 segments. The abdomen varies upon gender of the cicada. Reason being is because a lot of the reproductive system organs are located in this region.[5]


In their copulation Cicadas face forward, which differentiates it from most other homopterans.[6]. When they are done mating most male Cicadas die immediately, but the females live a little while longer so that they can lay their eggs.[7] The eggs stay in the place that their mothers laid them until 6 to 10 weeks later when they hatch. The nymphs of Periodical Cicadas burrow into the ground for 13 to 17 years and emerge to continue their reproduction cycle.[8]


Cicadas live mostly in warm areas. Cicadas live most of their lives as nymphs underground. The only time they go out is to reproduce and die. [9] While they are in their nymph stage they feed on the sap of plants.[10] Adult Cicadas feed upon plants. Cicadas are often preyed upon by birds, spiders, and snakes.[11]

Cicada's Song

An interesting characteristic of Cicadas is their very loud song that the males sing; which can be heard from a mile away. The males make this song by vibrating their timbals.These timbals have their own cavities.[12]

The song of the cicada is among the loudest of all insects. It is measured at 106 dB (SPL).[13] The song is not only used to find mates, but also to fend off predators.[14]

Creationwiki biology portal.png


  • Magicicada by Wikipedia
  • Cicada by multiple Wikipedia
  • Prentice Hall Biology by Kenneth R. Miller and Joseph S. Levine by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Prentice Hall, Boston Massachusetts
  • Nationl Geographic by multiple authors
  • Lander by Richard Fox
  • Earthlife by Gordon Ramel
  • [15] by Deborah Churchman

See Also