Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What's In My Garden?!?


A couple of Cicada Killers have built burrows in our yard, and M. and I have been watching them and marvelling at them. At first we noticed these rather large holes next to the walkway in the back - we thought they were from a snake or something. The hole is large, like the size of a silver dollar, and there's a big chute and dirt piled up all around. (I didn't take these pictures, but that's what ours look like). They're really big and scary looking, but supposedly harmless - except to cicadas! I was going to take a picture of one of the nests today, but I noticed the hole was partly covered up, but, after a little research, I figured out what had happened. The female paralyses a cicada and drags it down into the nest. (We've been telling really dumb jokes about being stung and dragged into the nest ourselves.) Then she lays an egg on it, then she leaves and covers up the hole (that's what I saw), then I guess she goes off and dies. Then, the egg hatches, the larva Cicada Killer wakes up and eats the cicada (ALIVE!) then it spins a cocoon, chills out for the winter and we go through the whole thing next summer.

Crazy, huh? And GROSS! Right?!? But, we're living and letting live, you know? Most of the stuff we've read says not to try to get rid of them, because they help balance the cicada pop. I feel kinda bad for them because we never had the ballyhooed 17 Year Cicadas.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Yeah, and we thought human existence was bad, huh?

We have those disgusting 17-year cicadas. Man oh man are they disgusting. And freakin' clueless---they'll just fly right into you, terrorizing you .... oh, that was a hairy summer, I tell you.