July 20, 2017 / Modified jul 20, 2017 4:05 p.m.

Episode 89: That Buzzing Noise You Hear

Everything you ever wanted to know about cicadas.

Cicada, Insect hero A cicada sits on a branch. (PHOTO: AZPM Staff)


Cicadas, those large insects we are hearing in our parks and backyards this time of year are considered to be the loudest insects in the Southwest. UA Entomologist Gene Hall, who manages the University's bug collection describes the creatures as essentially tiny violins with wings but for all their noise, they are completely harmless to humans. Cicadas are able to survive in the hottest parts of the summer months because they essentially turn themselves into evaporative coolers which allows them to be active when the weather is too hot for predators that feed on them. The adults live only for two or three weeks as their main job is to mate and lay eggs and they they die off.

In this episode:

Gene Hall, UA Entomologist
Tim Swindle, Ph.D., Director of the UA's Lunar and Planetary Lab

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