10 Difference Between Locusts and Cicadas with Similarities

What is the difference between locusts and cicadas?

Locusts and cicadas are often confused. However, they are quite different from each other. Locusts are a type of grasshopper while cicadas are cousins of crickets.

The main difference between locusts and cicadas is that locusts are short-horned grasshoppers while cicadas are plant-sucking creatures.

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Comparison Table (Locusts vs Cicadas)

Characteristics Locusts Cicadas
Classification It is from the family Orthoptera. It is from the family Hemiptera.
Size They are bigger. They are comparatively smaller.
Appearance They have long bodies, larger rear wings, and long hind legs. They have short bodies, large eyes, clear wings, and large front wings.
Collective noun They are referred to as a swarm. They are referred to as plague or cloud.
What they feed on They feed on leaves and other soft plant materials. They feed on tree sap.
Behavior They eat plants and can cause great destruction to plants. The males sing to attract females. They produce loud sounds while singing.
How they produce sound They produce sound by rubbing their wings together or wings against their legs. They produce sound by contracting their abdomen which has tymbals on both sides.
Reproduction They lay eggs in the soil and the nymphs hatch during the spring. Females make a slit in a twig with their ovipositor where she will lay their eggs, once they hatch, the nymphs drop and bury themselves in the ground.
Lifespan It can live up to 1 year. It can live up to 17 years.
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What is Locust?

Difference Between Locusts and Cicadas

Locust is an insect from the order Orthoptera. They are usually solitary insects but when it is wet, they come together forming colonies. They are not dangerous as they do not transfer any disease to human beings. However, they do not bite.

They are dangerous to plants as they may clear any green matter in an area within a short time. When they are done, they will fly all together to go find another place that has green matter that they can feed on.

The male’s mate with the female then the females lay their eggs in the soil and the nymphs hatch during the spring. After several molts, they become adult locusts. They can go through several generations within a year.

What is Cicada?

Difference Between Locusts and Cicadas

Cicadas are from family Hemiptera. They are comparatively smaller as compared to the locusts. There are around 3000 species known all over the world. They are not harmful to human beings but they can be annoying because of the loud sound that they produce.

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They feed on tree sap hence they do not destroy crops like the locusts. They have a proboscis which is well adapted to poke the trees and look for food. Due to that most farmers and gardeners have nothing to worry about the invasion of cicadas.

The male mate with the female. The female will make a slit in twigs from where they will lay their eggs than when the eggs hatch, the nymphs drop on the ground and they bury themselves deep in the ground from where they look for roots to get sap from.

Main Differences between Locusts and Cicadas

  1. Locusts are big while cicadas are comparatively small.
  2. Locusts have a long body, larger rear wing, and long hind legs while cicadas have a short body, large eyes, clearing, and large front wings.
  3. Locusts feed on leaves and other soft plant matters while cicadas feed on tree sap.
  4. Locust produces sound by rubbing their wings together or wings against their legs while cicadas produce sound by contracting their abdomen which has tymbals on both sides.
  5. Female locusts lay eggs in the soil and hatch during spring while female cicadas lay eggs in a slit on twigs thereafter, they hatch and the nymphs fall on the ground and bury themselves in soil.
  6. They belong to different orders.
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Similarities between Locusts and Cicadas

  1. They both feed on plant matter.
  2. They both produce sound.
  3. Both are three-segmented body insects.
  4. They both lay eggs.

In Conclusion

Locusts and cicadas are different from each other as they belong to different orders. Locusts are short-horned animals while cicadas are generally plant-sucking creatures. Cicadas have the ability to produce very loud sounds that can sometimes be annoying to human ears because of the tymbals that they have on the sides of the abdomen. The main feature that makes locusts be different from cicadas is the appearance.

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