A cicada is a large, winged insect that makes a distinctive vibrating sound. You might hear hundreds of male cicadas singing loudly on a summer night.
Cicadas are often confused with locusts, which are a similar size, a little under two inches long, but are unrelated to the cicada. Cicadas live from two to five years, and in many parts of the world they're a popular food — they were also eaten in ancient Greece and their shells are an ingredient in several traditional Chinese medicines. The word cicada is Latin, meaning "tree cricket." In some parts of Appalachia, cicadas are called "jarflies."