Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Tapper

Is this a leaf or a bug? From a distance it can be hard to tell if this thing is a vegetable or an insect. However, on closer examination, it is quite clear that we are looking at none other than the tapper himself. If you have ever walked outside at night during the summer in New York you would be familiar with the peculiar tapping sound that creates the orchestra along with the cricket chirps. But, you may not know where the tapping is coming from unless you have actually seen the culprit. Until now I was unaware of the nature of the tapper because it can easily camouflage itself into the backyard foliage. Luckily, one of the tappers had wandered from the backyard tribe, and ended up on the side door of my house. It seemed very unlikely to have a huge leaf growing out of the metal door, and I decided to take a closer look. Sure enough it was alive! If you happen to see a big leaf moving along your side door, don't be alarmed. It is just the tapper making its rounds.


  1. Did you kill this fellow after you took his picture? :)

    I always thought it was the cicadas making the noise (unless this is an unusual-looking cicada)...

  2. I didn't kill it but I am sure it is dead by now anyway. Insects don't live that long either way. Actually, a few days later I saw another one of these missing one of its back legs.

    After listening to the cicada sound on Wikipedia, I am sure that it is not the "Tapper." The cicada doesn't make a tapping sound. I don't know what this thing is really called. Feel free to research it.