Monday, September 7, 2009

Is it a Cicada, a Katydid, or a Lucust?

A bit of internet research provides the following info:
Cicadas are probably best known for their conspicuous acoustic signals or "songs", which the males make using specialized structures called tymbals…
chi·cha·rra f. (Spanish)
1. - cicada
2. colloquial (persona) - chatterbox
3. SPAIN: - nuisance

Katydids and cicadas songs sound buzzy, raspy, or whiney, because their carrier frequencies are less pure and are higher than those of crickets. Cicadas call almost exclusively during daylight hours and at dusk, usually from trees and shrubs, whereas most katydids call only at night and many are not resticted to woody vegetation.

Cicadas are plant-juice-sucking Homopterans (along with leafhoppers, aphids, and scale insects), while crickets and katydids have chewing mouthparts……Katydids are actually grouped into the long-horned grasshopper family.
Cicadas are commonly referred to as locusts which are technically grasshoppers. This common reference began when early North American settlers encountered mass emergences of periodic cicadas. Using the Bible as a guide to plagues of insects, the closest match they found was locusts and so the name stuck...

Cicada on my front porch

Katydid from internet file

A lucust from internet file

All I know is that this is the time of year when cicadas, katydids, locusts and grasshoppers fill the evening with thier songs. In the neck of the woods where I currently live, thier song is so loud it is hard to think! They have something to sing about I suppose.

I've also learned calling a cicada a katydid is like calling a Texan a Californian or a Presbyterian a Baptist!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My son thinks cicadas & katydids are the same I have tried to explain cicadas only make noise until dusk & katydids 'sing' @ night. He says they make the same sound, I have tried to explain the difference. Also that katydids look like a green grasshopper & cicadas have a bulkier more brownish body. I cannot even imagine sleeping when noisy cicadas are 'singing', whereas katydids have always made a relaxing sound, to me--I've always opened windows @ night just to hear them. :-)