Locust vs Cicada
What is the difference between Locusts and Cicadas?
Common name confusion once again illustrating the usefulness of scientific nomenclature!
Cicadas are in the order Homoptera, most closely related to plant lice and leafhoppers.
Cicadas lay eggs in slits in twigs; annual species hatch and mature on their host trees
and sing loudly during hot summer days. Periodical cicadas drop to the ground after
hatching and spend anywhere from a few to 17 years as nymphs feeding on tree roots
underground before maturing to adults. "Locust" is a general, colloquial term that
usually refers to migratory grasshoppers of the order Orthoptera, but is sometimes applied
to other insects of the order, including crickets and katydids.
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Update: June 2012