High-speed photo of a cicada in flight

High-speed photo of a cicada in flight

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This image is part of the feature Flying Insects

Credit: DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cicada. High-speed photograph of a cicada (family: Cicadidae) in flight. Cicadas are best known for their rhythmic mating calls, which fill the air in warm countries. The sound is produced by an oscillating membrane in an abdominal cavity. The semi-rigid, arched membrane, or tymbal, is pulled out of shape by specialised muscles to produce a loud "click". The membrane flicks back and forth, producing 120-600 clicks per second. Cicadas spend all but a month of their lives underground, where the nymph feeds on the sap of tree roots. The nymphs of each species emerge at the same time, after several years, then molt, dry-out, feed, mate & die within a month.

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Keywords: animal, cicada, cicadidae, high-speed photo, homoptera, in flight, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, wildlife, zoology

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