Prime Time for Periodic Cicadas

Over the next several weeks, as soil temperatures across parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland begin to climb above 64˚F, billions of periodic cicadas will emerge after 17 years living underground, filling the spring season with their deafening mating songs as they spend just a single season in the open air before dying.

This is Brood V of Magicicada, one of the fifteen geographical “brood” populations of a special genus of insects (they’re different from the brown cicadas many of us see/hear every year). 

It’s not uncommon for insects to have long larval stages, often underground, lasting months or years, but nothing compares to the Magicicadas. Chances are some of you weren’t born when this year’s brood went underground. What’s incredible is that a particular brood doesn’t emerge every 15 years, or 18 years… they only emerge in 13 or 17-year cycles. Prime numbers! 

That prime number emergence isn’t a coincidence. Find out why these insects rely on math to survive in this video!

You can learn more about the magicicadas at Cicadamania and see if they’ll be emerging where you live. Don’t let their creepy red eyes fool you, these are some incredible bugs!

The Cicadas are Coming!!!

The cicadas are coming, I repeat the cicadas are coming! This spring. To the east coast. BILLIONS of these guys….

You’ve probably heard them at one point or another in trees buzzing in warm and tropical areas. While there are many species of cicadas, the largest family are called magicicadas and they only come out from underground every 17 years and when they do… I hear you can’t miss them!

There’s several websites already predicting their appearances and paths based on previous years, but since these guys only emerge every 17 years, any area on the east coast is fair game. There’s even a website that teaches you how to make your own tracker, with events happening all over NYC!

For once, I am semi-happy that New York is still on the colder end of spring because they say as soon as the grounds hit 64 degrees 8 inches down, the cicadas start to come out! I’m also hoping that since we are on the northern end of the track we might get spared? Sorry friends down south in North Carolina and Georgia… According to reports, their mating season usually lasts 4-6 weeks and the billions of new bugs have been compared to producing sounds as loud as New York’s subway cars. Over-dramatized? Maybe? I guess only time will tell what this year’s Swarmageddon will bring!