An annual cicada (Neotibicen canicularis) photographed in Southern Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea.
Cicadas are members of the superfamily Cicadoidea and are physically distinguished by their stout bodies, broad heads, clear-membraned wings, and large compound eyes.
Cicadas are famous for their penchant for disappearing entirely for many years, only to reappear in force at a regular interval. Despite their name, annual cicadas generally live for two to five years—though some species may live longer—and their brood life cycles overlap, meaning that every summer, some cicadas emerge. Even periodical cicadas occur most years in different geographic regions as they are split among 15 brood cycles, each lasting 13 or 17 years.
The cicadas’ amazing lifestyle has been a source of fascination since ancient times. Several cultures regarded these insects as