LifestyleTwice in a Century: Dual Cicada Swarms Set to Invade the US

Twice in a Century: Dual Cicada Swarms Set to Invade the US

Large insects can be up to 110 mm in body length and have a wingspan of nearly 200 mm.
Large insects can be up to 110 mm in body length and have a wingspan of nearly 200 mm.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Catherine Avilez
6:14 AM EDT, April 17, 2024

In the USA, come April, billions of cicada larvae will begin to surface. The rarity of this natural phenomenon stems from the fact that two massive swarms will emerge simultaneously, an event occurring once every few centuries.

According to foreign reports, including those from Reuters, this spring, some areas of the United States will experience two massive swarms of periodical cicadas. These will be concentrated simultaneously in the Midwest, as well as in the Southern and Southwestern states.

Exceptional phenomenon

The concurrent emergence of two swarms of periodical cicadas, Brood XIX and Brood XIII, is an extraordinarily rare event. It was last witnessed 221 years ago, in 1803.

Unlike their ordinary counterparts, which appear gradually over time, these periodic cicadas emerge synchronously in the same year.

One species of periodical cicada, set to emerge in the United States in the coming days, develops over 13 years, while the other takes 17 years. During this extended period, their larvae reside in the soil, feeding on the juices from the roots of trees and shrubs, until finally emerging en masse from the end of April to June this year.

Scientists assure you that this year's cicada invasion in the USA will not pose threats to humans or animals. At worst, the insects might damage vegetation or devastate city lawns on a large scale.

Cicadas

Of more than 3,000 cicada species worldwide, only nine are periodical, seven of which are found in North America (from the genus Magicicada).

Cicadas are best known for the distinctive sound they produce. These sounds are the calls of adult males seeking to attract females. Although the 'chirping' of cicadas can be disruptive, it lasts only a few weeks at most because, after laying eggs, the insects die.

Source: PAP/Reuters

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