Which Insects has the longest life?

For some reason, nature allows most insects to live only a short time compared to other living things on earth. But there is one insect that enjoys a longer life span than many members of the animal kingdom. There is a species of the cicada that actually lives for 17 years!

No other insects comes anywhere near it in length of life, except perhaps a termite queen. The cicada’s “life”, however, is not exactly one that other insect should envy. It sleeps in the ground for those entire 17 years, comes out to enjoy only five weeks of life in the sun, and then dies!

Why does it take 17 long years for nature to develop this little insects? No one knows the answer. All we know is that a femile cicada lays eggs on the twigs of trees.


When the young are hatched from those eggs they drop down, burrow into the ground, and attach themselves to roots. And these young cicadas, which are called “nymphs”, remain there motionless for 17 years, sucking the sap of the roots!  

Then some kind of mysterious instinct makes them decide to go out into the light. They climb the trunk of a tree, their skins split open and the mature cicada emerges.

The male cicada is the one who makes that shrill sound you hear in the countryside. Scientists say that the noise-making instrument of the cicada is the most complicated musical organ to be found in nature.

The male cicada has little drum like plates which are constantly kept vibrating by muscles that never seem to get tired. There are more than 800 species, or kinds, of cicadas, and 100 of these are found in North America. But the 17- years cicada is found only in the United States. Most species of cicadas live only two years.  

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