According to James Mason of the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita, Cicadas are of the insect order Homoptera, which includes the Aphid. There are 160 species of cicada in North America, north of Mexico. The little guy in my picture is a Dog Day Cicada or Tibicen pruinosa (Say). The University of Michigan has a site with the sounds of cicadas. I am sure we have many species in Kansas, but this the one that I love most to hear. How loud are cicadas? According to Mr. Mason some have been measured at 100 decibels at 20 yards away, which is loud enough to be heard over a lawnmower!
The Cicadas borrow underground and feed on tree root sap for a period of one to seventeen years. The last time the Great Plains seventeen year cicada made its appearance was 1998, so we will look for it again in 2015. As a side note to that, we had a lovable Beagle at that time named Lucy. Lucy loved to eat Cicadas and there were so many that year that she stood by our trees and ate them off like corn on the cob. She had a habit of overeating anyway, and that year she ended up being a sick puppy!
I urge you to click on the Nature Center link above. The Cicada is a fascinating insect. For me, though, the sound of the Cicada is an outdoor feel good late summer sound.