Cicada in flight

Cicada in flight

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Credit: DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cicada. High-speed insect-eye view of a cicada (family Cicadidae) in flight. Its four wings are clearly seen. 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. A semi-rigid, arched membrane (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 as nymphs, some spending around 17 years in this stage.

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Keywords: animal, cicada, cicadidae, flight, flying, high-speed, in flight, insect, insect eye view, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, wildlife, wing, zoology

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