24 March 2013

Periodical Cicada are expected this year

The seven year itch is nothing compared to the emergence of Periodical Cicada (Magicicada septendecim) and 2013 is expected to be their year.

From Smithsonian Magazine's blog (http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2013/03/after-17-years-the-northeast-is-about-to-be-blanketed-by-a-swarm-of-cicadas/)

"A mass of winged creatures, red eyes glowing, the cicadas “are expected to emerge and overwhelm a large swath of land from Virginia to Connecticut — climbing up trees, flying in swarms and blanketing grassy areas so they crunch underfoot,” says http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2013/mar/11/cicadas-are-coming/.
Great Plains Nature Center
ONE TO FIVE MILLION cicadas PER ACRE is what's expected according to Magicada at http://www.magicicada.org/magicicada_ii.php (Those shouting capital letters are my editorial comment. I could have said euu or yuk or duck! . . . ). 

They live in the ground and eat tree roots, emerge when the soil 8-inches below the surface is 64 degrees. Then they molt, mate and lay eggs. The nymphs crawl underground and emerge in 17 year cycles. They are noisy but to not bite or sting.

Want to know more? Here's the OK State University Fact Sheet on them
http://entoplp.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/periodicalcicada.htm

The PA State Fact Sheet is at http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/periodical-cicada

Thanks to the PA Master Gardeners' blog for the tip - http://franklincountymgs.blogspot.com/.




4 comments:

Jason said...

I am so glad this swath does not include Illinois. I wouldn't mind the damn things except that they make such a huge racket and come out in such huge quantities in their big years.

Carolyn ♥ said...

These little creatures are so interesting to me. I did a post on them some time ago after find pupa in my soil.
Fortunately, we have never had a deluge of Cicada here. Yet.

Molly said...

Hi -
I agree with both Jason and Carolyn. Insects interest me but when I'm out doing yardwork, sweating, bent over and they dive bomb me it's disconcerting to say the least.

Molly said...

Hi -
I agree with both Jason and Carolyn. Insects interest me but when I'm out doing yardwork, sweating, bent over and they dive bomb me it's disconcerting to say the least.