Need facts about cicadas? Looking to study insects / learning about bugs or want to create a cicada lesson plan or want to know more about Brood X? Learning about cicadas is a fun STEM lesson to add to your homeschooling or classroom studies! Makes a fun unit study for kids!
FACTS ABOUT CICADAS
You may have seen (and heard!) cicadas on trees or even pictures of cicadas molting. But have you considered adding facts about cicadas to your lessons?
Here’s some information about cicadas that you can add to your learning for Brood X, insect studies, and fun insect lessons!
What are cicadas?
Cicadas are insects that spend the majority of their lives underground. They emerge from the ground either annually or periodically. Cicadas are most known for their loud buzzing and whirring noises during the summer.
Why do cicadas cry?
Cicadas don’t actually cry, they sing “songs.” That cicada sound — the buzzing, whirring, and clicking noises you hear coming from cicadas — are made by body parts and wings, mostly from male cicadas. They make noises for a variety of reasons, including to attract female cicadas!
Interesting facts about flying cicadas:
- Those loud noises you hear are made mostly from the male cicadas.
- Each periodical cicada species has a distinct sound.
- They are some of the loudest insects and female cicadas can hear the males up to 1 mile away!
- Cicadas are often mistakenly called locusts.
- Scientists don’t really understand why cicadas stay underground so long, some for up to 17 years!
- Cicadas emerge when the ground has warmed to around 65 °F.
- Females lay hundreds of eggs over 50 different locations.
- A group of cicadas that emerge at the same time is called a Brood.
- There are some Broods that have gone extinct!
- One single Brood can have billions of cicadas in it!
- Indigenous North Americans ate cicadas by roasting them and eating them like peanuts.
Don’t miss your free cicada worksheet printable at the bottom of the post!
What is Brood X?
Brood X is a group of cicadas, also called The Great Eastern Brood. They are part of the 17 year cicadas that come out of the ground every 17 years. When they come out, there will be billions of cicadas for this cycle!
Do cicadas eat?
So, what do cicadas eat? Cicadas are herbivores and that means they eat plants. Cicadas don’t eat the way we think by chewing. They actually suck liquid from plants, mainly by sucking nutrients from the roots.
Cicada Life Cycle
The cicada life cycle is eggs, nymphs, and adults. During emergence, the nymphs molt from their skin into a fully formed adult cicada who is ready to mate and start the cycle all over again.
How long does a cicada live?
What are cicadas habitat?
Cicadas like to live in deciduous trees and plants. The adults will live in tree and shrub branches and leaves.
Where do cicadas live?
Periodic cicadas (like Brood X), or those that emerge from the ground every few years, are only found in North America. However, cicadas are found all over the world, including in Australia and Europe.
Can cicadas kill you?
Cicadas are not harmful to humans, even when they emerge in swarms. So, no. they won’t kill you. Cicadas can be harmful to plants when they are trying laying eggs on them, especially young plants and trees.
FACTS ABOUT CICADAS: CICADA BOOKS FOR KIDS
FREE CICADA PRINTABLES
Grab this free cicada diagram, perfect for insect lessons for elementary students and up!