Fun Cicada Facts for Kids, What is a Cicada for Kids?

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  • Cicadas are insects.
  • Cicada in Latin means tree cricket.
  • They live on every continent except Antarctica.
  • There are over 2,000 types of cicadas.
  • Some cicada’s are annuals meaning they come out every year or every couple of years.
  • Annual cicadas are dark with green markings.  They come out in July and early August.
  • Periodical cicada’s come out every 17 years.
  • Periodical cicadas are dark with red eyes and come out in May or early June.
  • Periodical cicadas will come out in 2013 and again in 2030.
  • Periodical cicadas live in the Eastern US.
  • Cicadas live most of their life underground.
  • Cicadas have four wings.
  • Cicadas have a wingspan between 2.5 cm- 15cm wide.
  • When they are not flying cicada’s wings go back along the sides of their bodies.
  • Cicada’s are bad flyers and often bump into things.
  • Cicada’s have two large eyes on the sides of their heads.  They have three very small eyes called ocelli (an eye having a single lens) that are on the top of their heads.
  • Cicada’s mouth is long and thin like a beak.  It works like a straw to suck the sap from plants.
  • Cicadas are harmless to people.  They don’t bite or sting.
  • Sometimes cicadas can damage trees by feeding off of them and laying eggs because there are so many of them.
  • Did you know that hundreds of thousands to one million cicadas can live on a single acre of land!
  • Cicadas are known for the loud noises they make sort of like crickets.
  • Male cicadas make loud noises with their tymbals.  Their tymbals are located on the sides of their stomachs.
  • Males cicadas sounds are different pitches for different reasons.  Some sounds are for attracting female mates and others are for keeping predators away.
  • Many animals like to eat cicadas when they come out. Some include rodents, birds, lizards, moles even fish.
  • Did you know that in some countries people like to eat cicadas too!  Some people in countries like China, Congo in Africa, Latin America, Burma and Malaysia enjoy cicadas as a snack!
  • Female cicadas lay up to 600 eggs in tiny holes in trees and branches.
  • In about six weeks those eggs hatch into cicada nymphs.
  • When the nymphs hatch they fall from the tree and burrow themselves into the ground.
  • While in the ground they attach themselves to tree roots.
  • While attached to the tree roots they eat by sucking the sap from the trees.
  • The cicadas grow under ground.
  • As they get bigger they shed their skin and get new skin.
  • When the cicadas come out of the ground they attach to trees to shed skin and the adult cicada comes out.
  • An adult male cicada is called a imago.
  • Adult cicadas live above ground for about six weeks.
  • While above ground cicadas have a lot of work to do.
  • While above ground male cicadas make noise  to attract females.  Females lay eggs and the process starts again.
  • In some countries cicadas are a symbol of rebirth.
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