Cicadas - Auchenorrhyncha - are a group of plant sap feeding insects with approx. 45.000 species worldwide. Together with aphids, jumping plant lice, scale insects, white flies, and bugs they constitute the Hemiptera or Rhynchota. Cicadas feed exclusively on the sap of living plants and most of them inhabit the tropics or subtropics. Numerous species are formidable plant pests which cause enormous damages as vectors of phytopathogenic viruses and bacteria, particularly in tropical and subtropical plantations.
Although there are 800 species described for Central Europe, cicadas are by far less familiar and popular than e.g. butterflies or beetles. Nevertheless they display an astonishing variety of forms, capabilities, and adaptations such as sound-production, jumping, symbiosis with other organisms, honeydew production, aposematic, deceptive or cryptic coloration, and other "top performances".
The present monograph is an attempt to summarize today`s knowledge of the phylogeny and systematics, morphology and anatomy, reproduction biology, ecology and economy of cicadas, and to highlight the interrelation between the structure and function of the cicada body. The aim of the author is to give the reader an impression of the diversity of this fascinating insect group.