(Order Homoptera/ Family Cicadidae)
Adult: Body; 24 mm
Wingspan; 55 mm
These large insects make the familiar shrill whine of summer days. It suddenly begins with one and then many, like the hum of a power line. The high-pitched sound is produced by the adult male cicada in a pair of chambers, called tymbals located dorso-laterally on the basal abdominal segment. When fully developed, the root-feeding nymphs emerge from the ground in early spring and climb onto plants for the final molt to adulthood. They can be seen resting on several species of plants but seem to occur most abundantly on Isocoma venetus, goldbush, by the presence of their exuviae clinging to the twigs as pictured. The exuvium, is the cast-off exoskeleton of the nymph at the final molt to adulthood. The massive pincher-like forelegs are used for digging and grasping. This species is most abundant in the lowland and saltmarsh areas of the reserve and ranges in the coastal areas of California.
Next example: Cochineal