Two broods of periodic insects coincide, US prepares for trillions of cicadas

The Cicada Emergence Phenomenon

In the midwestern and eastern United States, a spectacular event is about to unfold as trillions of cicadas, with their distinctive appearance resembling cockroaches and bulging orange eyes, prepare to emerge from the earth. This rare phenomenon will bring together two distinct groups of cicadas – Brood XIX and Brood XII, creating a chorus of insects not witnessed in hundreds of years, according to experts.

The Rarity of Periodical Cicadas

While there are thousands of cicada species worldwide, only 10 are classified as periodical due to their unique life cycle, involving underground dwelling and feeding on plant sap for years before their synchronized mass emergence to the surface.

The Cicada Emergence Event

This year marks the simultaneous emergence of Brood XIX, the largest periodical cicada group, after 13 years of dormancy, alongside Brood XII, a smaller group that emerges every 17 years. Trillions of cicadas are expected to surface across 16 states, from Maryland to Oklahoma, creating a phenomenon known as “cicada-geddon” or “cicada-palooza.”

The Ecological Spectacle

Despite the overlapping of the two cicada broods only in a small area of central Illinois, the emergence of all seven periodical species in the US will offer a rare ecological spectacle in various locations. The sheer biomass of terrestrial life during this event is a natural wonder that showcases the resilience of these fascinating insects.

Interactions with Cicadas

While some individuals plan trips to witness the cicada event, others may be concerned about the insects. However, cicadas pose no harm to humans or pets, as they lack biting parts and instead have a straw-like mouth. Interestingly, cicadas have been observed expelling jets of urine when threatened.

Environmental Impact

Cicadas emerge when the soil temperature reaches a specific point, usually around 64F (17C). The disruption of this natural process due to global heating caused by human activities could potentially impact the cicadas’ lifecycle, creating challenges for their survival.

Appreciating the Cicada Phenomenon

As the cicada emergence unfolds, observers are encouraged to marvel at this rare display of nature in their surroundings. It is a time for introspection, as this remarkable event will soon come to an end, prompting reflection on where one will be in the next emergence cycle of 13 or 17 years.

Read More of this Story at – 2024-04-07 17:20:00

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