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Thu 20 May 2004

Joe Cicada (Brood X) and his so called life

Category : internet

North-eastern US goes abuzz over the 17 year - periodical emergence of Magicicada spp.. This time its special - Brood X is the largest onslaught of adult cicadas emerging from the ground!

The Baltimore Sun has provided extensive coverage in their feature The Periodic Cicada which has a swat the cicada game, polls, how they taste, hoaxes debunked (no money for blue-eyed cicadas) and readers photos. But see also Cicadas.info.

One article in particular caught my eye. You simply have to read "My so-called life as a cicada". One member of Brood X pleads his case. By Joe Cicada. Special to baltimoresun.com, 30 Apr 2004.

"Hi, everyone. Joe Cicada here. It's been a while. Seventeen years to be exact, but I'm back and feelin' more than a little randy. I want you to know right up front that I'm taking time out of my busy and, sadly, very brief mating schedule to plead my brood's case to you humans."

"What's that? You hate my voice, the way I express myself? Yes, I suppose I am the Fran Drescher of the insect world. It can't be helped, and I do apologize. Just know that if you spent the vast majority of your life burrowed underground, sucking sap from tree roots as your only nourishment, I wouldn't blame you for being a little shrill when you finally got a chance to go topside and see the world." Read the article!

We don't witness such periodicity in Singapore, but sometimes, enough adults emerge to cause a stir. Labrador Park, a popular hangout for cicadas, once had wet patches around some trees as if a rain cloud had crept underneath. NUS Zoology's Prof Murphy was called to the scene and raised to the canopy by an NParks (then Parks & Recreation) vehicle used for trimming branches. The mystery was solved in a glance: a host of cicadas were sucking and excreting liquid from those trees. It made the news that evening.

Posted at 4:39AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news