East Coast Cicada Invasion Slated To Begin In Next Few Weeks


The East Coast is preparing to welcome hoards of cicadas that have been hibernating underground for 17 years.

The insects, according to Craig Gibbs, an entomologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Queens Zoo, are called Brood II cicadas and are expected to appear between mid-April and late May.

"Brood II is a periodic cicada that hatches out every 17 years," said Gibbs. "The specific thing about these 17-year cicadas is they are going to be a very dark colored body. They have really bright red eyes, and they also have bright red wing veins."

The invasion will not be a dangerous one to humans, animals, or plants, but will be incredibly loud, according to Gibbs. The buzz created from millions of cicadas has been compared to a New York subway train.

This spring marks the end of the cicadas' nearly two-decade life span. The insects live the majority of their lives underground and feed off of roots of trees until they reappear above ground for mating.

"What will happen is the nymphs will come up and they will shed their nymphal skin and they'll crawl up into the trees and they'll take about five days to harden and then they'll start for next four to six weeks calling and looking for mates," said Gibbs.

The cicadas will appear when the ground temperature reaches 64 degrees, and will buzz around the East Coast for a month before disappearing back underground until 2030.

"It'll be noisy. There's no getting around the noise," said Gibbs. "And again that's just the males looking for females. What's noisy to a human is the sound of love to another cicada."

Sources: CBS, Patch.com


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