Green grocer cicada

Green grocer cicada

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The head of a Green Grocer cicada, Cyclochila australasiae (Hemiptera). C. australasiae is widely found in coastal regions of Australia from South Australia to Queensland. The insect spends 6 or 7 years as a nymph underground, feeding on the sap of plant roots. Eventually, in early summer, the mature nymph digs its way out of the ground and climbs a nearby vertical surface. Clasping this substrate, the nymph's exoskeleton splits, allowing the adult insect to emerge. This picture, taken in Warrandyte Victoria in early December, is of an adult insect on the bark of a eucalyptus tree. It shows two compound eyes and three simple eyes (orange), known as ocelli. Compound eyes consist of many small individual units called ommatidia which produce a mosaic-like image. The function of ocelli is uncertain, but may be related to rapid perception of changes in light levels, assisting stable flight.

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Keywords: australia, biological, biology, cicada, compound eye, cyctochila australasiae, green grocer, hemiptera, insect, ocelli, ocellus, victoria, warrandyte, zoological, zoology

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