What kind of sound do cicadas make?

One of the most common forest sounds is the synchronized chirping of cicadas that is clearly audible even 2 km away. The insects have hollow abdomens with muscles called tymbals. The cicada contracts and expands the muscle emitting a ‘click’ measuring about 120 dB each time. Since the abdomen is hollow it amplifies the sound.

Mole and bush crickets, and a tiny fellow called the water boatman use a technique called ‘stridulation’, rubbing one part of the body against the other. The crickets rub their wings together to produce the characteristic chirp. It measures 92 dB and can be heard 600 metres away. Mole crickets also dig megaphone-shaped burrows to amplify their chips.

The water boatman, no bigger than a grain of rice, produces his sound by rubbing his penis against his abdomen! The sound, at 105 dB, is the loudest by any living thing relative to size. Fortunately for people, the sound diminishes in volume as it enters the sir, otherwise it can be as deafening as pneumatic drill.


Picture Credit : Google