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Anxiously awaited cicadas have finally emerged (PHOTOS)

Thursday, May 20th 2021, 1:21 pm - They're here.

After spending 17 years underground, and experiencing a delayed start due to chilly weather, billions of Brood X (Brood 10) cicadas have begun to appear across 15 U.S. states.

The insects are part of the genus magicicadas, a group that has an internal clock telling them to emerge from the ground every 13 to 17 years.

Experts expect Brood X to contain 1.5 million 17-year cicadas per acre, and they'll be seen in areas between Georgia and New York.

Cicadas are harmless and benefit the environment, the National Wildlife Federation says on its website. Cicadas prune mature trees, aerate the soil, and in death, their bodies provide nitrogen to trees.

The brood includes three species, including Magicicada septendecim, which has orange stripes and orange patches between the eyes, and Magicicada cassini, and Magicicada septendecula, which are characterized by black abdomens.

And they've already become internet sensations, with photos popping up all over social media:

Thumbnail image courtesy: Wikipedia/Public domain.

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