Friday, March 5, 2021
Home WorldNews Deafening invasion of ‘head-splitting’ cicadas to bombard East Coast after 17-year hibernation

Deafening invasion of ‘head-splitting’ cicadas to bombard East Coast after 17-year hibernation


A DEAFENING invasion of cicadas is expected to bombard the East Coast of the United States, after the critters have lain dormant for 17 years.

A particularly loud breed of the winged insects will soon swarm out from their long slumber in up to 15 different states.

Periodical cicadas have a distinctive black body with red eyes

3

Periodical cicadas have a distinctive black body with red eyesCredit: Alamy
The critters' next reappearance was expected in Spring, when they would likely emerge in 15 states on the East Coast

3

The critters’ next reappearance was expected in Spring, when they would likely emerge in 15 states on the East Coast

These include Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C.

Brood X, or the Great Eastern Brood, is a variety of periodical cicada, USA Today reported.

Unlike greenish, annual cicadas, periodical cicadas have black bodies and bold red eyes. They were unique to North America.

Brood X was known for the critters’ deafening buzz, which was described as sitting between a “buzz” and a “rattle”.

John Cooley, an entomologist (insect scientist) at the University of Connecticut, acknowledged that most people didn’t realise the bugs were “always there”.

They lived underground in a “wingless nymph form” and would feed on sap from tree roots before their reemergence into the world.

Howard Russell, entomologist at Michigan State University, said things would get “pretty loud” when the bugs reared their heads.

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CICADAS?

  • Cicadas are a superfamily, the Cicadoidea, of insects.
  • Cicadoidea are physically distinguished by their stout bodies, broad heads and clear, membraned wings.
  • There are more than 3000 species of cicadas.
  • These are categorised into two categories; annual cicadas, and periodical cicadas.
  • Annual cicadas are found over the world, while periodicals are unique to North America.
  • Cicadas don’t eat vegetation, but rather, drink the sap from tree roots.
  • Adult cicadas die within about four to six weeks of reemerging from hibernation.
  • Cicadas are known for their buzzing or clicking noises, produced with vibrating membranes on their abdomens.

Source: National Geographic

BUGS EMERGE AFTER 17 YEAR HIBERNATION

They would burrow their way to the surface when soils reached a certain temperature.

At this point, Russell said they would climb up on the nearest thing they could find, and molt for the final time.

“At that time they are white – their exoskeleton hasn’t hardened yet. That takes five or six days. 

“Then the adult is ready to look for a mate.”

It was not known what changed in the critters’ 17th year of hibernation, that prompted their reappearance.

The ear-splitting sound that the bugs were known for meant that the male cicadas were up in the trees, where they were trying to attract a female.

After mating, the female cicadas would lay eggs in soft new twigs, using a sharp organ to cut into the branches.

Laid eggs would hatch in six-ten weeks.

After the baby cicadas had hatched, they would burrow into the ground and begin the lengthy process again.

When the baby cicadas had hatched, they would burrow into the ground and start the hibernation process again

3

When the baby cicadas had hatched, they would burrow into the ground and start the hibernation process againCredit: Getty Images – Getty



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular