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!