CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cicada noise mechanism, diagram. Cicadas are insects forming the family Cicadidae. Male cicadas produce a rhythmic mating calls, a loud clicking sound from stridulatory organs on their abdomen. These are a set of oscillating membranes in an abdominal cavity near the wings (lower left). The semi-rigid, arched membrane, or tymbal, is pulled out of shape by specialised muscles (red, yellow arrow at right) to produce a loud 'click' (yellow sound waves at lower right). The membrane flicks back and forth, producing 120-600 clicks per second. This winged stage lives for around a month. Most of the life cycle is the nymph, feeding underground on the sap of tree roots.
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