Archive
2013
January
February
March
April
May
July
August
2012
May
June
September
October
November
December
2011
June
Apr. 08, 2013

Cicadas Are Not Locusts!

by The Bug Chicks

Click to enlarge images
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.

About The Bug Chicks

Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker are The Bug Chicks. They each have Masters Degrees in Entomology and love to teach people about insects and spiders.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Science Friday® and SciFri® are registered service marks of Science Friday, Inc. Site design by Pentagram; engineering by Mediapolis.

 

topics