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Magicicada sp. (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): USDA
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Cicadidae - (cicadas)

This family contains more than 4,000 species of large insects that are common in tropical and subtropical regions. The largest ones reach a length of around 10 cm and the males can produce loud songs to attract females. The adults suck the stems and branches of trees. The larvae live underground and feed on roots.

The development of the larvae typically lasts several years. In the genus Magicicada, the development can be as long as 17 years, followed by a remarkable, synchronised, and predictable mass-emergence of the last instar nymphs from the soil and a subsequent moulting to the adult stage.

Several species, are regarded as agricultural pests of tree crops, although the damage is typically small. For example, the 17-year periodical cicada (Magicicada septendecim) feeds on a variety of trees or on grapevine in North America.

The following genera and individual species are currently entered under this family: