A bug’s life: Cicada walks reveal all

| May 30, 2013

Linda Fink, Duberg Professor of Ecology, explains the anatomy of a periodical cicada. Click for more photos.

Biologist Linda Fink, Duberg Professor of Ecology, will lead two walking tours and discuss the natural history of periodical cicadas for those who want to learn more about the winged insects that are visiting campus in such numbers this year.

The first group will meet at 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 31, in front of Guion Science Center. A second tour for alumnae attending Reunion will depart from the Boathouse at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 1. The walks may enter areas where ticks are present, but bug spray will be available.

The next few weeks are the last chance you’ll have to see (and hear) this particular brood for the next 17 years. Fink will take each group to a “chorus” site where male cicadas call in unison to attract females. This synchronized chorus is among the loudest sounds in nature.

Participants will be witness to the making of the next generation of this brood, including mating pairs and egg nests dug into tree twigs by the females. Check out photos from a previous tour here.

Jennifer McManamay

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Category: Biology, Uncategorized