Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Redeye Cicada

Was just weeding in the garden, and encountered this, recently emerged from its shell: Psaltoda morens, the redeye cicada.

Cicada, newly emerged from shell


Cicada, newly emerged from shell

10 comments:

Bill said...

I like to think that if I found one of these, I would pick it up and run to show my kids. I suspect that in reality that reaction might be preceded by a small scream.

Margaret said...

They're very sweet, really! (Just bloody noisy!)

Lyndell said...

I do love your blog :-) I'm in the inner city with a tiny garden but we had a lot of GreenGrocers emerge this summer and I did a bit of a time-lapse sequence of one of them in metamorphosis- which you can see at my blog.
I've never seen a red-eye though.

Margaret said...

Thanks, Lyndell. Just looked at your blog post--amazing photos, well done! (The link is here, if others want to see: http://fashionedbylyndell.blogspot.com/2011/01/cicada-metamorphosis.html )

It's extraordinary how vulnerable cicadas are when they come out of their shells. So soft and exposed. No wonder birds have a field day!

Thanks again. Love those images.

Evan said...

I'm having some fun with your blog Margaret; used to see loads of these in the Blueys growing up. Ciccadas in general seem much less common in Canbera, not sure why. Maybe clay soil? Anyway, keep it up.

Evcricket

Evan said...

I'm having some fun with your blog Margaret; used to see loads of these in the Blueys growing up. Ciccadas in general seem much less common in Canbera, not sure why. Maybe clay soil? Anyway, keep it up.

Evcricket

Margaret said...

Hi Evan,

So are you saying that the cicadas are less common now in Canberra, or did you grow up elsewhere? If the latter, then yes, it could be different soil and other environmental conditions leading to different plants growing. Not sure to what extent different species of cicada are dependent on specific species of plant. Interesting question!

Evan said...

I grew up in the Blueys, and cicadas were very common, particularly in dry-sclerophyl, most of which was on classic, skeletal sandstone soil.

Now in Canberra, I hardly ever hear them, not in the suburbs anyway. Suspect clay soil makes their underground life-cycle difficult. haven't spent much time in the bush in summer, but definitely don't get those incredible, noisy collections I remember from the Blueys.

Ev

Margaret said...

Yes, you might well be right. I remember when I lived in Turramurra, the clay soil was insanely tough. I once planted a tree in the front garden that died because the clay soil essentially formed an impermeable bucket full of soil and eventually anaerobic bacteria. A cicada would need industrial strength drilling equipment to dig through that!

Dana Reynolds said...

Every time I have sore eyes, my friend would show the picture of this insect. She's mean.