Sunday, 7 December 2014
Just Like Clockwork
The co-ordinated cacophony begins after dark around 6.40 pm. The area pulsates with the calls of the males of the species for about 13 minutes each night. Then quiet.
This odd behaviour continues but it starts a few seconds later night after night. As at the 23rd of November, it started at 6.54 pm. Adding to the peculiarity of this symphony is that it seems geographically co-ordinated. Whether on the Atherton Tableland, the slopes of Mt Lewis, or here in Kuranda, the cicadas start calling at the same time each night. I am uncertain if it is the same individual cicadas that are singing over the course of the species' activity. This seems unlikely.
The Northern Green Grocer is a large cicada. An average male measures about 70mm in length from head to the tip of the wings. They seem to inhabit rainforest trees well off the ground.
I will attempt to monitor these cicadas and determine the finale of their symphony.