My son loves bugs, and at the grand old age of three years and eight months, he has proclaimed himself as an expert. He can tell you all sorts of fun and fascinating facts that even seasoned Entomologists didn’t know. An encounter with a bug we’ve never seen before will have him announcing that we are in the presence of a Broccolite, Poomt (that’s the one with dots on it in case you were wondering) or some other fabulously named creature. The vast majority of them breathe fire or fart it, and they generally have an odd number of legs ranging from 3 to 19.
So you can imagine how much my son loves this time of year with all the cicadas shedding their exoskeletons. We’ve got tonnes of them on the trees in our garden, but that’s not enough. Every time we go for a walk, he has to collect as many as he can to bring home. They are then lovingly arranged on a log, or crushed up into little bits, depending on his mood that day.
My favourite cicada moment was on the walk to his kindergarten one afternoon when he collected every single cicada that we saw. And then he made a picture out of them.
For some strange reason his kindy teachers didn’t add this masterpiece to his portfolio; instead it was very pointedly left where I wouldn’t miss it, and whilst nothing was said, there was a general impression that this picture was not welcome there.
That’s okay because it’s had the Royal treatment since coming home, taking pride of place on his bedroom wall, and being brought out for inspection by any visitors. Sadly, the cicadas are looking a bit worse for wear now, because Little Miss likes to give the picture cuddles!
In my bid to educate you, I now present some cicada facts that you probably weren’t aware of:
- they have stingers
- these stingers shoot out in a blaze of fire
- cicadas ‘smash’ birds with their fiery stingers
- dragons eat cicadas
- they have 5 legs
- cicadas were once butterflies, which is why they have wings
As always, I value your comments so do feel free to leave one. I can send you some cicada exoskeletons to show my appreciation. No, wait, scrap that. It appears they have all been crushed into the carpet that I’ve just vacuumed.