cicada during metamorphosis
Cicada IMG 3764 - These strange creatures make the loudest sounds of any insects in the world, and when large numbers of them thrive in a eucalypt forest the noise, on a summer's day, can be painful to the ears. Cicadas spend most of their lives underground, and this phase of their existence can last for up to 10 years. They eventually emerge from a hole in the ground and clamber up the nearest tree or vertical object where, during metamorphosis, they emerge from their shells to become winged insects. Females lay their eggs in a slit in the bark of a tree and, soon after hatching, the tiny nymphs fall to the ground to conceal themselves until the time comes to emerge and begin the cycle of life - and noise - once again. There are around 200 species of cicadas in Australia.