Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cicadas Everywhere セミ

It's the middle of summer in Japan and if anyone who has ever been here this time of year knows; it's hot and sweaty. The average daily temperature in my neck of the woods (Kobe) are i the low to mid 30's, but with the humidex, they are pushing 40! After my father sent me a photograph of a dead cicada ("semi" in Japanese), I felt inspired to make a "cicada-only" post today.

This is the cicada my father found, just outside of Ottawa, Ontario in Canada. The North American species is sometimes referred to as the "Dog Days" cicada since it is rambling about during the dog days of summer! Actually, the ones here in Japan (at least the common ones around the Kansai area are about twice this size).

There are hundreds of types of cicadas all around the world and they are considered the loudest insects in the world. Cicadas are also completely harmless to humans and other animals. They don't bite or sting, but sometimes might urinate on you if you are walking under a tree filled with them. I know this from personal experience. I was whizzed on by more than one cicada last summer! Most people are pretty intimidated by this harmless insect due to its large size and very loud noise.

Cicadas can actually produce sounds up to 120db...THTA' REALLY LOUD.

There is a lot of great information on cicadas on Wikipedia.

Here is a very recent video from a very cool Japanese video blogger of a cicada crawling out of it's exoskeleton. I have seen them at night crawling in their "crab^like" shells before hatching, but I have never seen this!

Cicada Emergence

Here is another great cicada video from an an English speaking Japan-based vlogger fro last year. Here you can see the cicada crawling up a tree looking for a good spot to anchor itself before it's final stage emerges!

Japanese Cicada - Shinto Shrine Trees

This is a vlog I made a little more than a year ago. This one will give you an idea of how deafening the noise can be from a large number of cicadas early in the morning. They normally make their noises on hot sunny days and begin around 6:30am (in full force), This was filmed on a Saturday morning around 7:00am. I was in the midst of marathon training so I was waking up really early (for me) to run.

Cicadas セミ 蝉....Damn You!

Hope you enjoyed this very cicada themed post!


Chad Vieth said...

Thanks for the info Kevin. I don't think they are here in Halifax, but boy, they are noisy. I gotta admit I am intimidated by the size, normally bugs don't bug me. but those are freakish. lol

brycewords said...

hey man -- cool post. I hope it's okay, but i borrowed a photo from your post.

check it out: