17-Year Cicadas Are Coming ... as Many as 1.5M an Acre

Get ready Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2016 7:55 AM CDT
Updated Apr 17, 2016 1:35 PM CDT
17-Year Cicadas Are Coming ... as Many as 1.5M an Acre
A periodical cicada sits on a tree leaf near Park View, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Quad-City Times, John Schultz, File)

There will soon be a buzz in the air in the Northeast. Billions of cicadas with a 17-year life span have spent the entire 21st century underground in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, reports Fox News. But when nighttime soil temperature hits 64 degrees for four consecutive days beginning next month, as many as 1.5 million bugs per acre will emerge from their hiding places to mate and lay eggs; the Washington Post reports females can lay as many as 400 eggs apiece. Death will follow three to five weeks after the cicadas have been above ground. Once the cicada eggs hatch, the ant-sized nymphs will head underground to suck sap from tree roots just like their parents and only emerge in spring 2033, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Unlike the greenish-black cicadas that resurface every year and "make a ch-ch-ch-ch sound," the 17-year periodical cicadas are black and orange and produce "a continuous buzzing sound," according to Cleveland Metroparks. Farm and Dairy explains there are 13 "broods" of 17-year cicadas, with each brood bearing a Roman numeral from I through XVII as name; the numeral indicates the possible year the cicadas will emerge. As Penn State's College of Agriculture Science explains, "The numbering of the 17-year broods began with the 1893 brood which was designated as Brood I. In 1909, Brood XVII appeared, and in 1910, Brood I appeared again." Those coming shortly are Brood V. Different broods occupy different parts of the country. Ohio, for instance, is home to four broods. CicadaMania.com shares the locations within the aforementioned six states where the creatures are most likely to emerge. (Scientists recently cracked the monarch butterfly's secret to not getting lost.)

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