Over the coming weeks you're going to be hearing a lot about the Brood II cicadas
, also known as the 17-year periodical cicadas.
They'll start emerging very soon on the east coast, and there’s bound to be a great deal of media surrounding their appearance.
Now, some of the media will call these insects "locusts." This is not the correct term. Locusts are a type of short-horned grasshopper. They're in the order Orthoptera and have chewing mouthparts and jumping hind legs. Cicadas, meanwhile, are in the order Hemiptera and have piercing-sucking mouthparts.
Since we'll all be bombarded with the cicada craze very soon, why don’t you brush up on Hemiptera with the handy video we made for entomology students at Texas A&M University
? This way, at cocktail parties and barbeques, as everyone is milling around talking about Brood II, you can pipe up with some mad insect knowledge. Drop the term rostrum.
Slip in a nonchalant comment about exuvia.
Let your entomological knowledge emerge, effortlessly and well-timed—just like a cicada.