You think you’re having it rough? Here’s guy, an adult cicada called an imagoe, who spends the summer sucking tree sap, making lots of noise, and searching out mates for a good time. Before that, though, these insects live for two to seventeen years underground as grubs. They’re active but c’mon – seventeen years underground?
I once lived in Georgia, apologies accepted, and came upon a tree wallpapered with the empty husks of cicada nymphs. It was completely impressive. I laughed out loud in the middle of the forest when I saw it. When nymphs emerge from the ground, they climb the tree that they’ve been living under and shed their exoskeleton. The new skin and wings inflate with liquid and harden and they set off for adult life. The sound from that tree at night was deafening. My guess is that there were hundreds of the insects in the tree, all calling back and forth for a mate.
They don’t bite or sting but one site I looked at said they will mistake you for a tree and attempt to pierce your ‘bark’ for a tasty suck. Ouch.