on 14th April 2011

“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

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

3 Responses

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Overall visits (since 2005)

Live visitors
Visitors Today

Clustrmaps (since 2016)