ZB

Ruud Kleinpaste: Sounds of Summer

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sat, 29 Jan 2022, 11:02am
Day of the Cicada: The pharaoh bugs are larger and spend far longer under ground than the ones we know in New Zealand. (Photo / Carolyn Kaster, AP)
Day of the Cicada: The pharaoh bugs are larger and spend far longer under ground than the ones we know in New Zealand. (Photo / Carolyn Kaster, AP)

Ruud Kleinpaste: Sounds of Summer

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sat, 29 Jan 2022, 11:02am

We’re used to specific sounds in the garden; 

Don’t know what it’s like at your place, but we’ve heard ONE cicada so far in our garden on the Port Hills; 

Reasons: 

3-, 5- or 7-year lifecycles determine the numbers of cicadas out – it you keep a diary you’ll find out that “good years” return 5 years later, when it comes to chorus cicada or “clapping cicada 

Three years ago, it was bedlam here and on Banks Peninsula, so expect another good year in 2024. 

Dry soils make it difficult for cicadas to emerge from the soil; after a good shower of rain those waiting might still make it. 

Each district has its own peaks and troughs in population numbers 

What you will hear all over the Northern part of NZ (roughly from CHC north) is the Katydid Caedicia simplex. This is a species we share with Australia 

Males make noise (not by rubbing their legs!!) by scraping one wing cover over the other – a bit like a file (or comb) rubbed by a sharp object. “Dzzzitsss” is the sound in the afternoon and evening 

Two slits on the front legs can “listen” to these sounds – they pick up exactly where their mate is. Stereo listening! Ironically, we can’t really do that as well, as the sound of a katydid appears to come from a different place every time: they are ventriloquists (so predators can’t easily find them) 

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