CICADAS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     9th April 2024        
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Context: In a rare occurrence, 1 trillion cicadas from two different broods are recently expected to begin appearing in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the United States at the end of April.


Cicadas

  • About: Cicadas are hemipteran insects known for their loud, complex and species-specific acoustic signals or songs.

oMost cicadas are canopy dwellers and are found in natural forests with large trees.

  • Scientific name: Cicadoidea
  • Distribution: At least 3,000 cicada species are distributed worldwide, in essentially any habitat that has deciduous trees, with the majority being in the tropics.

oThe generic diversity of cicadas in India and Bangladesh ranks the highest in the world, followed by China.

  • Benefits: Cicadas, with their acoustic signatures, act as indicators of a healthy forest ecosystem. They prune mature trees, aerate the soil, and once they die, their bodies serve as an important source of nitrogen for growing trees.
  • Food: They are mostly herbivorous and have piercing-sucking mouthparts that they use to feed on the sap of trees and plants. 
  • Species Diversity: With over 3,000 species, cicadas can be broadly categorized into annual cicadas, seen every year, and periodical cicadas, which emerge once every decade or two.
Samadhaan