Seventeen Year Cicada
Location: Glenview, Illinois
September 12, 2011 8:14 pm
Magicicada, image taken in June, 2007 in Cook County, IL. They will be back in 2024.
We are happy you included the date of the sighting. We were actually a bit shocked to be receiving a submission of a Periodical Cicada in September. This is a member of Brood XIII, called the Northern Illinois Brood according to the Periodical Cicada Brood website.
Thanks for the email. I had submitted some images of the Spinyback Orbweaver spiders, and in looking thru some of my jpegs, I thought it would be interesting to submit the Cicada. I actually put up a site, www.seventeenyearcicada.com in which I posted many images back in 2007.
I’m kind of obsessed with close-up images of insects so I hope to post more as time goes by.
Now that you have opened the door on photography, and since our editorial staff teaches photography, and since we are very interested in staged photographs as much as we are interested in perfectly representational photographs of bugs, we feel compelled to ask if you found the Cicada on the geranium inflorescence or if you placed it there.
Good question. I placed it there, simply for the contrasting colors. Those bugs want nothing to do with flowers, their native positions are usually on tree leaves. Odd, they simply mate and die, don’t devour vegetation, and have no natural predators…against the rules of nature.
Anyway, I found it to be a nice color combination. Once I shot the image, she flew away. So, the subtitle should read “placed on the backdrop for color effect only”.
Hi again John,
We would like to qualify your latest response. While it is true that adult Cicadas do not feed on leaves, they do feed on sap. Also, they have numerous natural predators. The emergence of swarms of Periodical Cicadas provides a bounty of food for birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and spiders as well as a host of other predators that you might not expect. Cicadas falling onto the surface of water will feed fish, and with the current fad of entomophagy gaining popularity, even people are getting in in the Cicada eating action.