Little herald of summer

rose with cicada #1 (16 Nov 2012)

rose with cicada #1 (16 Nov 2012)

The fine sprinkling of water-drops on the white roses in my little courtyard was reason enough to get out my camera. The little herald of summer (an early cicada) was a bonus.

I hadn’t heard it singing in the rain – they usually wait for the heat of January and February.

“New Zealand has 42 unique species and subspecies of cicada. The biggest is the chorus cicada, with a wingspan as wide as your palm. In summer, the males sing in chorus for a mate.” (Te Ara : The Encyclopedia of New Zealand)

The name comes from the Latin cicada, meaning ‘tree cricket’. Wikipedia also points out that “There is no word of proper English, or indeed Germanic, etymology for the insect. In classical Greek, it was called a tettix, and in modern Greek tzitzikas – both names being onomatopoeic.”

rose with cicada #2 (16 Nov 2012)

rose with cicada #2 (16 Nov 2012)

Often colloquially called locusts, cicadas are not related to true locusts, which are in fact grasshoppers. Cicadas are related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs.

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2 thoughts on “Little herald of summer

  1. Maybe this post will improve my attitude toward cicadas. Their appearance is buggy, their song means summer, but when they are most deafening their meaning is changing to End of summer. Your post gives me much to think about, and a long time— summer is approaching for you, but cold winter is tightening its tentacles here.

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