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Name: Kathryn
Status: other
Age: 60s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 4/29/2004


Question:
What is the difference between Locusts and Cicadas?


Replies:
Common name confusion once again illustrating the usefulness of scientific nomenclature!

Cicadas are in the order Homoptera, most closely related to plant lice and leafhoppers. Cicadas lay eggs in slits in twigs; annual species hatch and mature on their host trees and sing loudly during hot summer days. Periodical cicadas drop to the ground after hatching and spend anywhere from a few to 17 years as nymphs feeding on tree roots underground before maturing to adults. "Locust" is a general, colloquial term that usually refers to migratory grasshoppers of the order Orthoptera, but is sometimes applied to other insects of the order, including crickets and katydids.

J. Elliott


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