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July 5, 2009

Life in the Undergrowth

Filed under: Magicicada,Pop Culture — Dan @ 10:02 am

I just finished watching the BBC mini-series Life in the Undergrowth staring several million invertebrates and David Attenborough. (I watched it in between the picnics, fireworks, and swimming that mostly occupies my time.) Fans of cicadas and land-dwelling invertebrates will love this show. Attenborough is the best when it comes to explaining the natural world to TV viewers.

BBC thoughtfully put the segment of the show about 17 year cicadas on YouTube.

I like the bit when he lures the male around by imitating the wing flicks of females.

You can buy it in the usual places, or rent it of course.


  1. wolfgang planz says:

    I have been living in central north carolina for over 10 years and I always thought that the short rattling sound that sets in precicely after sun set belongs to the male cicada thats surching for a female but after watching Sir David Attenboroughs Video on you tube , I am not so sure anymore . The short rattling sound seems to be the loudest of all the insects that I hear at night but underneath , there is another , longer sustained sound , that seems to be more similar to what I hear on Mr. Attenboroughs Video on you tube and the sounds that the 17 year cicadas produce . I know , that all the different Cicada species produce different sounds { see my facebook site and the link to the Cicada sounds in Japan } but I am still confused and would like to be able to differntiate

  2. Christina says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I was lucky enough last year to see them in the early stages when they are just emerging as adults out of their “shells”. It was amazing. I got some really cool pictures too! I have been missing them so much this year. I think the part of the video I enjoyed the most was being able to hear them again. I love the sounds they make. Only 16 more years to wait till they come back. *sighs*

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