The cicadas are in abundance at present, and their discarded skins can be found everywhere. After anything up to five years underground, the newly hatched cicadas appear, and apart from chirruping, do what comes naturally! (V.4)
After mating, the female cuts slits into the bark of a twig, and into these she deposits her eggs. She may do so repeatedly, until she has laid several hundred eggs. When the eggs hatch, the newly hatched nymphs drop to the ground, where they burrow. Most cicadas go through a life cycle that lasts from two to five years.
Cicadas live underground as nymphs for most of their lives, at depths ranging from about 30 cm (1 ft) down to 2.5 m (about 8.5 ft). The nymphs feed on root juice and have strong front legs for digging.
In the final nymphal state, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. They then moult and shed their skins on a nearby plant for the last time and emerge as adults. The abandoned exoskeleton remains, still clinging to the bark of trees.
Some cicadas produce sounds up to 120 decibels, among the loudest of all insect-produced sounds. This is especially notable as their song is technically loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss in humans, should the cicada sing just outside the listener's ear. Conversely, some small species have songs so high in pitch that the noise is inaudible to humans. Species have different mating songs to ensure they attract the appropriate mate.