This post is also available in: Dutch.
As mentioned in the previous article (The singing cicada) it is the male half of the cicada population that is responsible for the loud concerts given during daily hours. Some species in other countries will adhere to a fixed time slot (for example in Suriname the concert will start around 6 in the afternoon). This recording is from the Christoffel park on Curacao where the insects are active during all hours of the day, and you can easily distinguish the score that is followed during such a performance. First, one male will hesitantly announce its intentions to enter the musical competition, after which several will follow into a deafening crescendo. The sounds are produced by in and outward clicking plates which are part of the abdomen of the insects, not unlike the click-clack toys that many of us might remember from out youth.
Normally, on Curacao the onset of the cicada concert series is a sign of the end of the dry season. However, 2011 has been different in the sense that the sounds of the cicada could already be heard from the end of May onwards instead of starting in mid September. Is it only a one time rain-induced aberration or a structural change because of global climate change? Only time will tell.