Subject: NYC Exotic or Neighbor’s Luggage Jumper from….?
Geographic location of the bug: Lower Manhattan, New York City
Time: 08:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi!
This is the best shot I could get — I don’t have a great shot of the head area but you can see part (the “bugged” out eyes) and the coloring in brown on the body and green on the wings.
Thanks for running this site and fielding questions like mine.
How you want your letter signed: Downtown Prof
Dear Downtown Prof,
This is an Annual Cicada, an insect that is sometimes called a Dog Day Harvestfly because they are most numerous during the Dog Days of Summer and they look like a giant Fly. It would not be unusual to find Cicadas in Manhattan as the lifetime of an Annual Cicada nymph is spent underground drawing nutrients from the roots of trees, shrubs and other plants, and even Manhattan has street trees and parks. When it nears maturity, the Cicada nymph digs to the surfaces, molts for the last time and emerges as a winged adult Cicada. Cicadas are full of nutrients and even fat, and they are a valuable source of food for wildlife, and with the current trend in entomophagy, Cicadas are even relished by humans, especially when Periodical Cicadas appear after 17 years underground. Perhaps the Annual Cicadas most fascinating predator is the Cicada Killer, a large wasp that paralyzes the Cicada and buries it where it will feed the young of the Cicada Killer. Adult Cicada Killers are vegans that take nectar from flowers, and their sole meal as a larva is a paralyzed Cicada. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to witness a Cicada Killer with its prey in Manhattan.
Thanks so much! I used to live in Morningside Hts…(Columbia U) …much greener up there. But, I live off a private University park at NYU and I bet that’s why I got the visitor. And following your insight about importance to wild life, a pigeon was stalking the cicada from the terrace next door.
You must get some great stories (or tedious ones like mine!).