Last summer in may we were blessed with thousands of these creatures! I cannot remember if this is the 17 year cycle cicada, or if it is a different amount of time. being a night creature myself, I decided to watch the emergence of these wonderful bugs from its previous shell. the first two pictures were taken may 15th 2004 – 2:00 a.m., 4:00 am. (not included was the 1:00 pm next day of the completely dry cicada next to its shell.) The third might have been from another night. The 4th picture is just to show the abundance of them in our backyard. (Columbus, Indiana) When they first arrived, we only heard the gentle cooing hum of the females(?) and we all thought there was something wrong with the powerlines! I just thought you might like to add these to your collection!
Lydia C. Burris
Thanks for your awesome images. These are the Periodical Cicadas, sometimes called the 17 Year Locust. There are many different broods, and yours are from Brood X, one of the largest. Every different locale gets these amazing creatures in a different yearly cycle. Having different cycles helps to ensure the perpetuation of the species. There are also 14 Year Periodical Cicadas.
Update from David Gracer (06/12/2006)
Cicadas both annual and, particularly, periodic have been popular human food for a very long time. Native Americans ate them; they’re popular in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Aristotle, extolling how delicious he found cicadas, preferred them still in the brown shell that the adult form hatches out of. In 2004 I drove to Princeton NJ and harvested several pounds off the trees. I even popped a couple of the newly emerged white ones down the hatch. Very soft, creamy and good, like asparagus (which other tasters have commented upon.) Cooked and crunchy-hard they’re still great; nutty.