Look deeply into my mysterious third eye!

Male cicadas are in a crazy frenzy of music making here at the moment.  The official last day of summer is tomorrow, and although they’re probably not reading the official calendar, cicadas know that the end of the golden weather has got to be soon.  “Pick me, pick me, I’m huge and handsome” is the basic translation.

Like many other insects these guys have both compound eyes, and a completely different kind of eye, the ocelli, usually in groups of three, which sense the tiniest amount of light without focusing it.   This is probably a common New Zealand Chorus Cicada, Amphipsalta zelandica, or I rather like the Maori name, kihikihi wawā – kihikihi  is a good rendition of their chirping, and wawā means ‘to roar like the sound of heavy rain’.   After spending 2-4 years as a nymph, they molt into an adult with just a few weeks to make babies before dying.  Which explains the urgent roaring of all those pick-me songs . . .

These are using the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 ‘Ultra-Macro’ (2:1) lens, which is a lot of fun.

Cicada showing an ocellus


Cicada, the sap-sucking mouth parts
Cicada, note the long sap-sucking mouth parts

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