Seventeen-Year locusts

Weekly curiosity!

Periodical cicadas (genus Macicicada) are insects that occur in the eastern United States. Unlike many other kinds of cicadas, they have a very long life cycle – thirteen or seventeen years.

They spend most of their lives underground as juveniles, called “nymphs”, developing and feeding on the roots of trees. After thirteen or seventeen years, according to the type, they emerge as adults, in incredible numbers. They are active for less than two months, during which time they mate and lay their eggs. The noise made by millions and millions of male cicadas, “singing” day after day to attract the females, is an impressive natural phenomenon.

These cicadas are popularly known as thirteen-year “locusts”, or seventeen-year “locusts”, although this is a misnomer. In 2013, there was an “emergence” of “seventeen-year locusts” all along the east coast, from North Carolina and Virginia up through New York State and Connecticut.

If you would like to observe these insects, remember that they will be back again – in North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York State, and Connecticut – in late spring and early summer of 2030.


*image from web


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