Are you ready for brood X of the 17-year cicada?

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Are you ready for brood X of the 17-year cicada?

Post by MarkSturtevant »

The 17 year cicada (Magicicada septendecim) is one of the periodical species of cicadas. This species lives for 17 years (!) as nymphs, where they stay underground and feed on tree sap from their roots. Then, in a rather tightly synchronized mass emergence that can sometimes overwhelm the senses, they emerge as winged adults, mate, lay eggs, and die over a period of a couple weeks. The eggs soon hatch and the nymphs burrow into the ground until it is their turn to emerge 17 years later. It is an incredible sight to see high thousands of adults in great concentrations, sitting on tree limbs, houses, and singing very loudly. I have never experienced this natural wonder, although my parents endured a very dense mass emergence at my old home while I was away to college. I missed it.

There are several different "broods", and a very large one, called brood ten (brood X) is due to appear over many areas of the eastern U.S. sometime in mid-May - early June, the exact timing depending on temperatures. So if you live in this part of the country, you might want to get ready! By that of course I mean make plans to photograph this natural wonder.

Here are links.
>> Maps of the different broods of 17-year cicadas, with their year of peak emergence: ... ticMap.pdf

>> A very detailed and zoomable map for brood X, due to emerge early this summer:

>> General information about this cicada: ... s-in-2021/ This includes an example of an emergence schedule, and one can see that the timing depends on soil temperature and rainfall. An emergence has different stages. So to see the peek of action I suppose it would be handy to look for freaked out anchors on your local news.

>> Of course only Sir David Attenborough will do to show what it can be like:
Mark Sturtevant
Dept. of Still Waters

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