Cicada

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Cicadettinae
Cicadinae
Tettigadinae
Tibiceninae
See also article text.

A cicada (pronounced /sɪˈkeɪdə/ or pronounced /sɪˈkɑːdə/) is an insect of the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha, in the superfamily Cicadoidea, with large eyes wide apart on the head and usually transparent, well-veined wings. There are about 2,500 species of cicada around the world, and many remain unclassified. Cicadas live in temperate to tropical climates where they are among the most widely recognized of all insects, mainly due to their large size and remarkable acoustic talents. Cicadas are often colloquially called locusts,[1] although they are unrelated to true locusts, which are a kind of grasshopper. They are also known as "jar flies" and, regionally, as July flies[2] in the Southeastern United States, and as "heat bugs" in Canada and the mid-West. Cicadas are related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs. In parts of the southern Appalachian Mountains in the United States, they are known as "dry flies" because of the dry shell that they leave behind.

Cicadas are benign to humans in normal circumstances and do not bite or sting in a true sense, but may in fact sting after mistaking a person's arm or other part of their body as a tree or plant limb and attempt to feed.[3] Cicadas have a long proboscis under their head that they use for feeding on tree sap, and if they attempt to inject it into a person's body it can be painful, but is in no other way harmful. This sting is not a defensive reaction and should not be mistaken for aggression; it is extremely uncommon, and usually only happens when they are allowed to rest on a person's body for an extended amount of time.

Cicadas can cause damage to several cultivated crops, shrubs, and trees, mainly in the form of scarring left on tree branches while the females lay their eggs deep in branches.[4][5] Many people around the world regularly eat cicadas; the female is prized, as it is meatier. Cicadas have been (or are still) eaten in Ancient Greece, China, Malaysia, Burma, Latin America, and the Congo. Shells of cicadas are employed in the traditional medicines of China.[6]

The name is a direct derivation of the Latin cicada, meaning "buzzer". In classical Greek, it was called a tettix, and in modern Greek tzitzikas—both names being onomatopoeic.

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