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The serenade of the cicada

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio
Making It Grow, with host Amanda McNulty

Hello, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Unlike some people these days, cicadas don’t have dating apps, and they use sound to find a mate. Male cicadas have a special structure, a tymbal, which lets them make that familiar sound; females respond quietly by vibrating their wings. There’re lots of different cicadas that emerge at the same time; both the annual and periodic cicada emergences contain several different species. Adults don’t really feed, maybe getting a little water from a leaf; and they aren’t going to drop frass on people or objects below. Cicadas are active in the daytime, it’s insects related to grasshoppers who carry on after dark. Since cicadas spend their time as nymphs underground, safe from predators, they don’t need to smell or taste bad, and in human history and even today, there are peoples who eat them.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.