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For the people who love nature, like cyclists, it sounds as a sweet melody and reminds them that it is hot It is the sing of the cicadas. The tettix of ancient Greeks or the tzitzikas for the modern Greeks. Only males can sing and while singing they disable their tympana membraneous structures that detect sounds to prevent their hearing. Unlike other sinking insects produce their song with a noisemaker membrane between chest and belly called tymbal Their sing is more active during the hottest hours.
Some small species sing so high in pitch that humans can not hear the noise. There at least cicada species on all continents except Antarctica The Latin name cicada means "tree cricket" Most cicadas are 2 to 5 centimetres in total length. The empreror cicada of Malaysia Megapomponia imperatoria , is about 7 centimetres in lengh, its wingspan is 18 to 20 cm.
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They live about 2 to 5 years. The North American Magicicada lives 17 year as a nymph under the ground. According to the myth ancient Greek goddess Io fall in love with Tythonous, a very beautiful mortal young man.
She begged Zeus to give him immortality but she forgot to ask for eternal youth. The years passed by and Io was still young and beautiful but Tythonus was very old and ugly people could hear only his voice.
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Gods felt pity for him and transform him to the insect that makes this loud noise. In the ancient fable of Aesop "Cicada and Ant" the lazy cicada is sleeping and singing all the summer while the hardworking ant was collecting food. When the winter comes the ant enjoys the food in his warm nest but the cicada is hard to survive. The surface of their wings is the first-known biomaterial that can kill bacteria. Nano spikes on their wings tear apart the membrane of bacteria that land on them.
They have an excellent camouflage and and their wings are antireflective to evade hunters that hunt by vision. Nymphs and adults cicadas drink sap from plants by inserting into them their long sharp trunk.
Cicadas do not bite or sting people. Sometimes may mistake a person's arm for a tree branch and try to feed. Is a life of sixty days less meaningful than a life of sixty years?
Meaning is not discerned in quantity; a moment in the soul is without end. The man who imagines the cicada emerging only to procreate falsely intuits sudden verve, anxiety and desperation in the cicada.
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How could such be true of a creature with the patience to wait forever? The creature which spends so long in preparation for life accomplishes much living once he has begun. A man needs sixty years to accomplish so little because he prepares for nothing. He is thrown into life and he does not know what it is about.
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The man longs to live a year as thoroughly as the cicada lives a single day. The cicada reviews its life many times as it begins to die.
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Death comes as a surprise to the cicada, just as it comes as a surprise to a man. The cicada has not counted on going to sleep again, so soon, but his eyelids are heavy and the day is late.
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From the cool shade of the branches of a tree, Thanatos comes to the cicada in the same solemnity with which he approaches a man. His soul returns to the earth, and he knows sleep again. He will emerge again when it suits the Spirit. Like the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, like the Shulamite, the cicada will rise and go about the city and present himself to the King. And the King will be overwhelmed. Joshua Gibbs teaches great books, collects records and jogs to work.
He and his wife have two children, both of whom have seven names. For more cicada facts, visit Cicada Mania , or enjoy this video. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading Post to Cancel. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.