Monday, May 9, 2011

Magical cicadas

In Nashville we are visited every 13 years by a periodical cicada, definitely the genus Magicicada, and very likely M. tredecim.

Magicicada sp

I saw my first one clinging to the cold bricks by my back door, with the air temperature at 64 degrees F. (17 degrees C.) and made this photo of it. But when the sun warms that wall, I'm sure this little cicada will fly away and I'll be hearing its call blended in a loud chorus for the next several weeks.

In a way its life cycle has a magical quality, but I can't verify that "Magi" in the genus name is from "magic," nor can I find out how the genus got its name.

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