“Between late March and early April 2011, I had the privilege to witness and document the natural phenomenon of cicada ‘rain’ in a nature reserve in Singapore (video clips below). This event occurs when recently emerged cicadas feed communally on particular trees and rhythmically excrete excess fluids in fine jets of urine consisting of dilute plant sap. The combined precipitation of expelled fluids from hundreds of cicadas thus resembles a sustained afternoon shower when the population number is at its peak.

“While observing the cicada aggregations, I noticed a pair of Collared Kingfishers (Todiramphus chloris) in the immediate vicinity that were nesting in a nearby treehole. One afternoon, one of them succeeded in snapping up a cicada (above). Firmly secured in its beak, the kingfisher shortly flew off to either swallow this insect prey or perhaps present it as a pre-nuptial gift to its breeding partner. At this same site, a Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) was also observed to be in active pursuit of cicadas to supplement its protein intake.”

[best, can see c flying off and secreting…]

[also good]

Dr Leong Tzi Ming
13th April 2011

3 Responses

  1. Am

    Very interesting article! Thanks for bringing this to my attention! This will forever change my attitude about walking beneath trees!

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