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Trillions of cicadas forecast to emerge this spring

Friday, January 22nd 2021, 12:46 pm - It's going to be a noisy spring in parts of the U.S.

Trillions of cicadas are expected to emerge across 15 U.S. states this spring after spending 17 years underground.

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.

This year experts are expecting Brood 10 to contain 1.5 million, 17-year cicadas per acre, showing up in areas between Georgia and New York.

Brood 10 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, Newsweek says.

Cicada - Wikipedia File photo of Magicicada septendecim cicadas. Courtesy: Wikipedia/Public domain.


You've no doubt heard cicadas buzzing before. For many, their mating calls are one of summer's defining sounds.

Cicadas are one of the loudest insects known to man, there are over three thousand different species, and they only come out when it's hot.

Males are the noisy ones and they make their buzzing sounds to attract females from far distances, Andalyne Tofflemire, a manager and naturalist at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, told The Weather Network in 2020.

As the weather gets warmer, they tend to get louder. That's because once above ground their life span is short, leaving no time to waste when it comes to securing a mate.

You can find cicadas on every continent, except Antarctica.

And while they emerge in large numbers and their buzzing may be disruptive, they don't cause any harm to people, animals, or property.


Cicadas are grouped into roughly 15 broods, 12 of which are 17-year periodicals and 3 of which are 13-year. They all pop up at different times.

There are also species of cicadas that aren't periodical, and emerge annually.

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