Nevada Public Radio Listen Live

"KNPR's State of Nevada"
Facebook Twitter Follow Nevada Public Radio

Support Nevada Public Radio
KNPR's State of Nevada About SON Archives Participate Specials
TODAY
States Look At Marijuana Laws
Missing Out On A High School Diploma
Gut Feeling: What We Learned From The Hazda About Digestion
RECENT
Council Votes For Horse-Drawn Carriages
Utah Keeps 'Utes' As Mascot
The Progressive Bluegrass Sounds Of The Infamous Stringdusters
Why Don't We Know Who's Behind the Kelly Cheating Scandal?
The Good Foods Of Lent
Robert Coover And The Return Of The Brunists
Castro And Patrick Spar Over Immigration
Boycott Las Vegas Say Social Conservatives
How Safe Is Your Food?
Behind The Bundy Ranch Standoff
Lynne Jasames On Why 'It's Okay To Cry'
BASE Jumping: The Allure And The Danger
Can 'Serious' Reading Happen Online?
Anti-Government Protesters Win Round Against BLM
Tax Advice For The Alternative Economy
The Secret History Of Las Vegas

Cicadas Abuzz Around The City
Cicadas Abuzz Around The City

Listen
AIR DATE: August 2, 2013

GUEST

Jeff Knight, Nevada State Entomologist

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- Oh, Cicadas.  Why do you incessantly buzz, disturbing the daytime slumber of casino workers and the good people who work the night shift at Walmart?

Turns out there’s more than one answer to that question. For starters, male cicadas are making that sound to attract a lady-friend cicada.

“That’s totally for mating,” says Nevada State Entomologist Jeff Knight. “And different cicadas have different sounds. You can tell them apart if you’re good at it.”  Knight says that sound is audible to humans within a hundred feet of the cicada.

OK, fair enough. But why do cicadas need to procreate, i.e. exist?  

“Actually cicadas probably provide a food source for an awful lot of birds and other animals that pick them up,” says Nevada State Entomologist Jeff Knight.

Las Vegas is home to the Apache cicada, which Knight says is about an inch to an inch and a quarter long, has clear wings, and some light cream to green-colored markings once they’ve reached their adult stage.  

But the coolest feature on the cicada, besides the ability to do this, is the tymbal.

“Tymbals are organs on the abdomen that, when they flex very rapidly, they produce that shrilling sound,” says Knight.

 

Photo: Marketplace.org

    comments powered by Disqus
    © 2013 NEVADA PUBLIC RADIO   
    Web hosting facilities provided by Switch.