Cicadas from Utah

Subject: Bug on apple/pear trees
Location: Utah, USA
June 11, 2014 6:01 pm
This bug “clicks” 4 times in succession and bugs on trees across the yard answer in kind. It’s quite loud and I only noticed them in the last couple of weeks. It is late Spring now and has been sunny for several weeks. The bugs are on the branches of my two apple and one pear tree and are about 3/4 to 1″ long? All three trees have fruit that is about 1/3 of the way to harvest and don’t appear to have any damage. The bugs can fly and are quite large.
Signature: Kind of scared of large flies


Dear Kind of scared of large flies,
We have been away from the office for ten days, and on Friday the 13th, we were trying to prepare your submission for posting when our shuttle to the airport arrived early, so our response has been delayed.  These are Cicadas, and though they resembles large flies, they are not related to flies.  Cicadas are among the most “vocal” insects in the world, though the sound that they produce does not emanate from vocal cords.  According to Cicada Mania:  “Cicadas are insects, best known for the sounds made by male cicadas. The males make this sound by flexing their tymbals, which are drum-like organs found in their abdomens. Small muscles rapidly pull the tymbals in and out of shape — like a child’s click-toy. The sound is intensified by the cicada’s mostly hollow abdomen. Female cicadas also make a sound by flicking their wings, but it isn’t the same as the song cicadas are known for.”  According to BugGuide:  “Males sing loudly during the day to attract mates.”
  You do not need to fear the Cicadas, and they will not harm your fruit, and though they might feed on the plants, according to BugGuide:  “Despite their numbers and large size, cicadas do little damage to crops or trees.”  We are uncertain of the species as “There are 166 species of cicadas in the United States and Canada” according to BugGuide.

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