Sunday, June 10, 2007
Went cicada-hunting at the forest preserve in Wilmette. Even from the expressway we could hear their songs, a pervasive hollow hum overlaid with a harsher bzzzzt. (I'm realizing that English is poorly equipped to handle descriptions of insect sounds.) Based on this, I believe the dominant sound was caused by Magicicada septendecim and the harsher sound was M. cassini. Not sure if we saw, or heard, the third species, M. septendecula. I collected a few bugs in a jar, some female and some male, mostly decims and one cassini, plus a bunch of molted skins. In the treetops, the cicadas flew around like bees, but closer to the ground they hugged their twigs and blades of grass and moved around very little, and when they did move it was always up up up. We also saw emergence holes wherever there was bare ground.