Tag Archives: Cicada

The cicada has one crazy summer

Cicadas are interesting in the sense that they spend most of their lives buried underground then emerge as horny, loud, unruly teenagers. Kinda like all those summer camp movies from the 80s. The sound these insects make is unmistakable and to LEGO builder Thomas Jenkins that distinctive sound means summer. This creature is chock full of nice parts usage including an inside-out tire comprising the thorax and a Constraction figure torso used as the abdomen. With the signature red eyes, the wings, and the stance, the end result bears an uncanny resemblance to the real thing.

While their legendary mating calls may be loud and their parties wild and unruly, the cicada lives its life above ground for only a couple of weeks, a month at most. Then they all end up looking quite like this. Fast times indeed.

Imagine how a mechanical cicada would sound...

As you may already know, cicadas are the loudest insect on the planet. When they “sing” together (more like radio static, clicking, and rattling) they are one of the most deafening animals in the world in general. Pretty cool for such a small creature! But what would a giant mecha cicada, like this LEGO one by Mitsuru Nikaido, sound like? I’m guessing a helicopter mixed with a chainsaw. But enough about that. Just look at this awesome build!

LEGO Mecha Snail Cicada-15

It’s all sorts of awesome in terms of techniques and body shaping. The segmentation is excellent, and I’m particularly fond of the batarang shields on the abdomen. The eyes, wings, and legs are spot-on too!

LEGO Mecha Snail Cicada-08

Fun fact: cicadas are basically living musical instruments (even if we don’t think of it the same way). Yep, that’s right! They use muscles in their sides to squeeze and accordion “ribs” surrounding two membranes known as tymbals to create different chirps. And their abdomens are hollow so that they can amplify those sounds. Why? That’s how they find a lady-friend! Ahhh, the song of love.

Another fun fact: Mitsuru Nikaido is the epic master of mecha animals. You’re not going to want to miss some of his other incredible works of art. My favorite might be the mecha snail!

One bug you want to catch

Here’s a gentle reminder that there’s still beauty to be found in nature. Japanese builder Takamichi Irie shares a lovely LEGO rendition of a cicada. I really admire the fragile construction of the wings. Whips, bar holders, tubing, and minifigure hands combine in a delicate symphony of nice part usage.

Reading up on cicada’s life cycle, I’m reminded that many varieties spend most of their lives underground, only emerging once a year. Some don’t even appear for 13 years or more. There’s something familiar about that right now. Can’t quite put my finger on it, though.


If you like this bug, be sure to read our interview with Takamichi. This builder has been making amazing insects for a long time.