Several broods of cicadas were identified over the territory of the United States, each of them having a different emerging cycle. This year, time has come for the family from Ohio to get out of the ground and spread their incredible noise over the lands.
The periodical cicadas (those who unearth themselves once every seventeen years) are different from those that appear each year. They are smaller than the usual ones; their color is black, and their eyes are red. The incredible loud noise is one of the main clues on how to recognize them. This irritating sound is a part of their mating game.
Cicada’s life cycle over the ground is very short. After hiding for years into the soil, after they reach the surface they live only for a couple more weeks and after the new generation is created, they die.
While still underground, cicadas feed on the roots of various trees. When time is right, the nymphs start to dig tunnels and reach the surface of the earth. Then, they hide under vegetation and complete their maturation process which can take from three to five days.
The famous sound is produced by an adult male who is trying to find his pair. After the mating game is over, adult cicadas die. The eggs need about six weeks to hatch, and then young nymphs crawl back into the ground and wait for the cycle to begin again.
The period of 13 and 17 years has a mathematic explanation. It seems that this choice of prime numbers makes it difficult for predators to match their lifespan with the cicadas’ emergence.
Researchers say that cicadas must have a type of molecular clock, which informs them of the exact time when it’s safer to get out from the underground. None of this has been proven scientifically, yet it is believed to be a system similar to the one which orientates birds in the migration process.
Brood V of these periodical creatures can be seen in the Mansfield area, starting from May until the middle of next month. There are no less than three different species present into this brood.
Another family situated in the northwest of Ohio is expected around 2019.
Next year, cicadas will emerge in northern Georgia, in North Carolina, and South Carolina. This time, the visit will be made by Brood VI.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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