Sweating Cicadas



CICADAS are famous for their “music”-or perhaps one should say they are notorious for it. Their singing has been compared to a chain saw driven at high speed against naked iron, to the frantic thumping of a tin can, and to shrilly, trilling flutes. A single cicada can drive a person to distraction, but when hundreds or thousands chime in, as during an outbreak of the 13- or 17-year cicadas, the noise can become quite irritating. Indeed, the “chorus” of the cicadas is thought to repel their enemies, but in some species, as we will show, a thermoregulatory strategy—not a hammering clamor—is used against predators.


Water Loss Evaporative Cool Calling Song High Heat Load Prickly Pear Cactus 
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© Bernd Heinrich 1993

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