Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cicada Discoveries

A few days ago, I noticed a couple of cicada shells on the posts of the carport. I thought about pointing it out to the children but decided to wait and see if they'd notice them and be interested. Today, Tyger came running into me with a handful of cicada shells - way more than those two I saw!

I pulled up google image search and Tyger's eyes widened as he identified the pictures as being what he had found. He yelled for Kalea and she came to have a look, she asked Tyger where he found them, and we all went outside to look at the carport posts. Found one he had missed. Came back inside, looked up cicadas on youtube. Kalea and Tyger were both fascinated by the sounds and Kalea mentioned hearing the sounds before.

We came across this marvellous video which showed the life cyle of the cicada; (NOTE: Those are american cicadas who are seen every 17 years. Australia's cicadas are seen annually)

It was very interesting. We watched it a couple of times, and then had a discussion about how we could find more shells and Tyger decided the best time to look for live cicadas would be at nighttime when they came out of the ground to climb the trees. When outside with the camera, looking at the trees, we found more shells, and Tyger pointed at marks on some trees that looked like cuts and observed there were no eggs in them. After looking at heaps of trees, we found one! A LIVE adult cicada, with pretty wings. The children were so excited (and I have to admit I was too heh). Kalea is very eager to go out tonight with the torch to see what we can find.

The rest of the cicada discovery photos we took can be viewed in the Cicadas! set on Flickr. We've identified the live one we saw as Psaltoda magnifica, the Green Baron from this page.

Australian Websites on Cicadas

Enchanted Learning - Cicada print-outs - scroll down page a bit to see them.
Free Cicada Printout - (WORD DOC Download) (ADOBE PDF Download)

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