sea cicada

Unveiling the Mystery of Sea Cicada Behavior

Welcome to a world beneath the waves, where marine insects known as sea cicadas captivate the imagination. These fascinating creatures, also referred to as ocean cicadas, are a part of the extraordinary web of life in our seas. Join us as we dive into the secrets of sea cicada behavior and uncover the mysteries that lie beneath the surface.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sea cicadas are a species of marine insects that inhabit the ocean.
  • They are part of the Hemiptera order of true bugs and belong to the family Cicadidae.
  • Periodic cicadas, including sea cicadas, have a unique breeding behavior that occurs in cycles of either 13 or 17 years.
  • Sea cicadas use their striking appearance and behavior to ensure their survival, including predator satiation.
  • The life cycle of sea cicadas involves eggs, nymphs, molting, adulthood, breeding, and the continuation of the cycle.

The Life Cycle of Sea Cicadas

Sea cicadas undergo a remarkable life cycle that spans several stages. The cycle begins when the adult cicadas mate and lay hundreds of eggs. The female carefully splits the bark of tender twigs and deposits the eggs in batches. After one to two months, the eggs hatch, and the rice-like nymphs drop to the ground.

These nymphs have strong forelegs, which they use to bury themselves between one to eight feet in the soil. Once underground, they feed on plant and tree roots for the next 13 or 17 years, depending on the species. This stage is crucial for their growth and development.

After years of being underground, the final instar nymphs emerge from the soil and molt one final time to reveal the fully winged adult cicadas. This emergence marks the beginning of their adulthood and the breeding season.

The male cicadas use their distinctive call to attract female cicadas for mating. After mating, the females lay hundreds of eggs, continuing the cycle and ensuring the survival of the species.

The adult stage of sea cicadas lasts for two to four weeks, during which they focus solely on breeding and laying eggs. Once this stage is complete, the adult cicadas die, and the cycle starts anew as the next generation of nymphs burrow back into the ground.

This life cycle of sea cicadas, with its long period of underground dormancy and brief period of adult activity, is a testament to the adaptability and resilience of these marine insects.


Sea cicadas, with their intriguing behavior and unique life cycle, are truly fascinating marine creatures. Their emergence in large numbers after years of underground dormancy is a sight to behold. The behavior of sea cicadas, such as their synchronized mating calls and predator satiation strategy, showcases the remarkable adaptability and survival mechanisms of these insects.

As they emerge in 2021, the Brood X cicadas will captivate the attention of entomologists and nature enthusiasts alike. The spectacle of their mass emergence, combined with their distinct appearance and buzzing sound, is a testament to the wonders of nature. So, dive into the world of sea cicadas and witness the mystery and beauty of these elusive marine creatures.

Join us in celebrating the awe-inspiring behavior of sea cicadas and appreciate the intricate balance of life in the ocean. Sea cicadas are a true marvel of nature, and their presence reminds us of the vast diversity and resilience of marine creatures. We are privileged to witness their remarkable behavior and learn from their fascinating life cycle.

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