Insectman Home
Contact Us
My Testimony
Our Links
Get Saved
Exodus Mandate
The Lie: Evolution


God’s Noisy Drummer

By Brad T. Bromling

Do you wish for the day when you will turn seventeen? You’ll be driving a car, and beginning to act like an adult. Sometimes, it seems like growing up takes forever. Before you feel sorry for yourself, however, think about the periodical cicada (suh-KAY-duh). These insects are children almost their whole lives! Although they live seventeen years (which is a long time compared to most insects), they are adults only a few weeks.

These insects, which look like giant houseflies, have an unusual life cycle. In the spring, female cicadas lay their eggs in small cuts that they make in tree branches and twigs. After a few weeks, the tiny babies, called nymphs, hatch and drop to the ground. Nymphs, which are wingless and look like ants, immediately burrow into the ground and feed on the roots of trees. They stay underground for seventeen years, eating and growing fat. Then, they return to the surface and climb trees. After about a day, they break out of their nymph skin and fly away as adult cicadas.

Male cicadas have a specially-designed drum built into their abdomens. They “beat” this drum by flexing a muscle attached to the drum membrane. The music they make is very loud. In fact, when a group of cicadas puts on a concert in the trees, you can hardly hear anything else. This music helps cicadas find their mates. After they mate and lay their eggs, they die.

Their adult life lasts only about four to five weeks. Seventeen years later, their children will emerge from the ground and play their music. With the parents gone, who tells the nymphs when it’s time to come to the surface and become adults? Who teaches cicadas how to play their drums? The same God who made you, also made cicadas and gave them the instinct to do what they do.

Discovery pg. 50 July 1993