Letter From Nature: Cicada

One of the great wild sounds of North America is the purring of insects in the evening, especially that of Cicadas, one of the great stridulating sounds in the wild.

There is one Cicada, the 17-year Cicada, that stunned the community in New England 13 years after the Pilgrim Fathers had landed. There was a plague of insects, all with red eyes on stalks – And all emerging continuously out of the soil.

When the plague subsided a few weeks later the people of Plymouth Rock were braced for another onslaught, but nothing happened until 17 years later.

David Attenborough recalls a filming trip to New England to film this species of Cicada with both fascinating natural history and a hilarious twist.

8 minutes

Last on

Sun 27 Mar 2011 10:32 GMT