The many cicada species all have one thing in common. Their lifespan above ground is much shorter than their underground lives. Depending on the species, a cicada might emerge as often as annually or as infrequently as every 17 years, but they expire approximately five to six weeks later. Those several weeks are short. Once their new wings and body are ready, they can begin their brief adult life. Adult cicadas, also called imagoes, spend their time in trees looking for a mate. Males sing, females respond, mating begins, and the cycle of life begins again. Top, Left to Right: cicada .
How long a cicada lives as an adult depends on the species, but the answer could be from a matter of seconds, if the cicada dies due to predation or an accident, to more than a month. Cicadas are primarily subterranean plant (mostly tree) parasites and only enter their above-ground, adult form to . If a cicada survives the emerging process and does not get eaten by predators, it typically lives above ground for about four weeks. Birds and wasps are the most common predators that kill cicadas. Cicadas only come above ground to molt or search for a mate.
The adult insect, known as an imago, is 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in) in total length in most species, although the largest, the empress cicada (Megapomponia imperatoria), has a head-body length around 7 cm (2.8 in), and its wingspan is 18–20 cm (7–8 in).Class: Insecta.