Here is a photo of a cicada skin I found in the garden recently…incredibly it was still clinging to the fence where it had been discarded by the new adult. Perhaps it is perfectly formed for a larval stage which happens underground…but quite alarming to see up close. Thankfully they provide what, for me at least, is a lovely soundtrack to summer.
There can’t be many sounds as linked to summer in this part of the world (and others too) as the rhythmic sound of the male cicada sending out its rather loud mating call. They are incredibly noisy at times, and yet it almost seems like background noise in that it doesn’t seem to interfere with life.
You find them in all sorts of places singing their song…but they rarely seem to hang around for long enough so you can get a decent photograph. I think that as soon as they know they have been spotted, they tend to go quiet and move on. Typical!
There are apparently 42 unique species and subspecies of cicada in New Zealand, populating all manner of landscapes. Their lifecycle is pretty fascinating, eggs being laid on plants above ground, the nymphs then digging into the ground where they spend the majority of their lives growing before then emerging to mate and lay eggs and the cycle begins again.
They have 4 wings, 6 legs and big eyes (all the better to see you with!) and can grow pretty large.
I think in many ways they are a marvel of nature. I really like them…I imagine some folk don’t. Some of my favourite photos I managed are below…