Villagers of Ban Tha Wang Hin, a village in the Pranburi District of Prachuap Province, have been looking out for cicada larvae in mango plantations and jackfruit fields to supplement their income by catching them to cook and selling as a popular food source.
This activity is only possible once a year from April to June, during the beginning of the rain season.
Villager Mr. Phisut Baowkot says they look where there is healthy grass growth with many branches and leaves as fertile areas. Any plots that use a lot of chemicals won’t have these cicadas as the eggs are laid in the soil before hatching.
They listen for the sound of the cicada that are made before mating. This is usually at sunset when they emerge from hollows in the ground and perched on a tree to molt
The sound of the cicadas is caused by the friction of the wings of the adult cicadas ready to molt. The best cicadas for food have just molted or are new to the moulting process; their wings are still light and have not turned dark brown.
Cicada larvae can be used in many things such as curry, stir-fried with basil, but the most popular choices are roasted before eating.
With a price of 250 THB per kilogram, each night the villagers can make about 500 THB or more, which can help supplement their income after working in a farm or garden.