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Do As Tokyo Does Giant Cicadas
(Entered Aug. 31, 2004)
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Japan has some large, ugly bugs and these cicada (or 'semi' as they're called here) definetely fit the bill. The good thing about these monsters is you rarely see them, their short lives (about a week) are pretty much spent in the trees where they mate and die. Semis are heard rather than seen. They make a distinctive noise kind of like a mini buzzsaw only during hot, sunny days. During the really hot days, the combined noise from all the semis can almost drown out traffic. The noise is kind of similar, yet different to the noise the heat bugs make back home (you Canadians will know what I'm talking about.) This one was outside the office window on the balcony so I snapped a few pictures.


The noise of just this one was so loud through the window, that I could hear it in the other room. Although semis are large, (about 10 times bigger than a house fly) and kind of scary looking, they rarely bother people. They're actually kind of shy and it's hard to get near them, so I guess I was lucky. With so many of these things around though, you'd think the streets would be covered when they die, but apparently crows love to eat them. To confirm this fact, I was at a park a few days ago and I watched a crow swoop down and eat (on the wing) a desperately escaping semi. It was kind of sad to watch, but I guess crows have to eat too...


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