What lives most of its life as a nymph, wears fluoro orange like it's still the 80's, and sings (screeches...) all day long? The Golden Drummer (Thopha Colorata) Cicada, of course! You've probably heard them around lately and seen their casings on your walls and fences.
These beautiful beasties live up to seven years underground as nymphs, sucking sap out of River Red Gum roots.
Then, after a big rain, they burrow their way to the surface, cast off their old outfits (exoskeletons) and the males sing their little hearts out to attract a partner. Adult cicadas only live for a few weeks, until they've mated and laid their eggs in plant stems.
That high-pitched sound you can hear is produced by tymbals, a pair of membranes on the abdomen that pulse to produce sound waves. Each species of cicada has its own distinct song. Read more here.
The Golden Drummer is also sometimes called the Big W cicada - keep your eye out for them and see if you can figure out why!
Check out Alice Springs local Ambrose's video on the Golden Drummer Cicada here.