Buzzing, clicking sound in tree canopy explained

By Ryan Cox
Special to The SUN

This time of year in southwest Colorado, you might notice a loud and droning buzzing or clicking sound in the tree canopy above you. Don’t worry, it’s not the spruce beetle or mountain pine beetle savagely attacking your trees. It’s more than likely cicadas.

Cicadas have large protruding eyes and veiny, transparent wings. Although cicadas are abundant, they are much more often heard than seen. Male cicadas have a pair of drum-like organs on the sides of their abdomen that they contract and release to make a distinctive sound to attract females.

You won’t notice cicadas every summer, however. The nymphs spend two to five years developing underground before they emerge from the soil. Adults are present for four to six weeks once they have emerged. Cicadas sometimes are mistakenly called locusts, which is a term used to define certain migratory grasshoppers.

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This story was posted on July 16, 2015.