August 16, 2006

The Cicada Festival Returns

During the high summer months in Japan, cicadas return to fill the air with their high shrill chirping. It is an extraordinary sound that can almost hypnotise the listener.

Cicadas are found throughout the world in temperate and tropical climates.

Right: A cicada in China.
Photography by El-Branden Brazil

Unlike grasshoppers and crickets which produce their sound by rubbing their back wings together, cicadas create their unique song through tymbals at the side of the abdomen. With powerful muscles they rapidly vibrate membranes within, resonating the sound through their body.

You can hear the sound of Japanese cicadas HERE.

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