You Don’t Have Tinnitus – It’s Just the Cicadas

Photo of a cicada by Tucson photographer Martha Lochert.

A friend of mine posted on Facebook this morning about how the sound of the bugs (she thought it was the June Bugs) was driving her nuts. I informed her that that piercing buzz was coming from the cicadas, whose ringing fills the air every summer in the desert, as they are on an annual cycle. Some cicadas (male and female) move their wings together to make sounds, but the stereotypical buzz is from them flexing their tymbals (a drum-like organ in their abdomens).

Broods in other parts of the country are on a periodic cycle, only emerging every 17 years! According to CNN the northwest is experiencing a huge influx of cicadas after their brood emerges from its 17-year cycle. There are also proto-periodical broods which are active every year, but on certain years come out in extra large numbers.

The cicadas only live two to four weeks after emerging, so those who can’t stand their song, have patience, while the photo geeks have fun finding and photographing them!

Image copyrighted. Any use requires licensing from Martha Lochert.

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