Insects in Phuket
Cicada - If you've been wondering what the high pitched whirring noise is that comes from the trees, then Cicadas is the answer! This high pitched sound can reach 120 dB, technically loud enough to cause hearing loss in humans. This is their mating song and it is the male cicada that makes all that noise by rubbing together two tymbals located on their abdomen. The male has a hollow abdomen to help increase the sound. (Note: when choosing cicadas as food don't choose a male as there is nothing to eat!) 
The other thing you may have been wondering is why it seems to be raining while the sun is shining and only if you are standing under a tree - yes you guessed right - it's Cicadas again, Cicada urine to be precise! I have heard that it can blind you if it goes in your eyes but I have never heard of an actual case and think it may be a bit of folklore! I have been walking through cicada urine frequently and I am okay so if anyone can tell me the facts here, please leave a comment!

Cicadas tend to appear in March and April when there is little wind and the sun is hot. They gradually come out of the mud and shed their skins leaving these alien looking skins attached to trees, posts or even table legs. You can see a fascinating animation of this process at Wikipedia. Having shed their skins and become adult cicadas, the males will start their mating song, usually at the hottest time of the day. After mating the females will cut slits in twigs and lay their eggs there. Watch BBC's David Attenborough's 5 minute documentary on You Tube

After hatching the larvae bury their way deep into the ground where they will live for often many years as nymphs before reaching maturity when they dig their way out and the life cycle begins again.

Cicadas as medicine.
I remember having Cicada Skins in my Chinese medicine a few years back along with a mix of roots and bark. The doctor was an ageing Chinese man who only spoke Chinese and his sister had to translate my bad Thai for him, sadly a few years after I came to Phuket he wasn't at the shop any more and his sister said he had 'gone home' - which I presume meant that he had died. He was a great doctor and I haven't found anyone to replace him yet!

Cicadas as food.
Cicadas are well know as an edible insect in various parts of the World since the times of Ancient Greece. My own experiences have been either stir-fried with soy sauce or pounded up as an ingredient in 'Nam Prik Jakjan' a Thai dip popular in the north east of Thailand. The wings are removed before cooking. Catching cicadas is fun in itself and at Bon Island my staff will attach a plastic bag to a long stick and try their luck at collecting lunch. It takes quite a while to get a plate full so don't expect to find it on our menu!

Lunch - but not on the menu!