Friday, May 16, 2008

17 years in the making

This cicada is just one of hundreds that showed up this week in my yard. Seems we had a similar invasion a few years back -- when I looked it up, I learned that these swarms come in what are known as broods (the last brood in this area was in 2004). There are 14 different broods of 17 year cicadas in the US and 5 broods of 13 year cicadas. This little guy is a member of the XIV Brood, which won't reappear until 2025. Click here to see the brood maps. They don't bite or sting, but the male cicadas do make quite a racket. They spend most of their lives 1 to 9 feet underground feeding on root sap and then emerge to moult (shed their skin) and reproduce. Click here to go to I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds this stuff fascinating!

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
--Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French Poet and Novelist


  1. I remember when the '87 brood 'hatched'. :shudder: I lived in the middle of nowhere Kentucky then, and all we could hear were the cicadas. I lived in the middle of Lexington during the 2004 hatching, so it wasn't as bad.

    Ugly little buggers, aren't they? And yes, I find these things interesting as well.

  2. You and Lee should find a way to turn the 2008 Brood into an alternative fuel source and patent it... you'd make millions!!

    When's the IPO for "Cicada Industries"???



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