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Mammals Gastropods Reptiles Arachnids Aquatic Insects

  Which animal makes the loud shrill sound heard outdoors?

  A large insect called the Cicada produces this sound to attract females.


A Cicada is an insect of the order Hemiptera with transparent, veined wings. There are about 1500 species of Cicada in the world, with about 100 species in the Palaearctic region which includes Kashmir.

To attract females, the adult male cicada or Imago makes the loud sounds or "songs", using specialized abdominal structures called tymbals.

Click for a short sample song :

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
Infraorder: Cicadomorpha
Superfamily: Cicadoidea
Family: Cicadidae

Adult male cicada
The Australian 'Green Grocer' cicada can generate the loudest sound [120dB] in the insect world. It is louder than 120dB - equivalent to standing next to a speeding train.

After mating, Cicada females deposit rice-shaped eggs in grass, bark or twigs. The eggs hatch into termite-like creatures that dig underground and attach themselves to tree roots as Nymphs. After spending upto several years underground, depending on the species, nymphs climb the nearest available tree, and shed their exoskeletons [exuviae] to emerge as adult Cicadas.

Adult cicadas only live a few weeks after moulting from nymphs.

Click to view a cicada moulting from a nymph : [Courtesy Wikipedia Commons]

Discarded nymph exoskeleton


Mammals Gastropods Reptiles Arachnids Aquatic Insects
All photographs ? Dr. Bakshi Jehangir 2005 and beyond. Powered by The Kashmir Network