8 May 2021.
Cicadas are the world longest living insects. They are winged, red eyed insects that live underground feeding on the roots. They emerge from the underground once in 12-17 years. Recently, it has been predicted that a group of Cicadas called the “Brood X Cicadas” are to emerge across the mid-Atlantic for the first time since 2004.
- In 1634, pilgrims in Massachusetts witnessed the insects springing from the earth.
- They called them “locusts” as they emerged in swarms.
- However, they are not harmful like locusts. This is because they mainly feed on tree leaves. This was the first written record of Cicadas.
- Around seven species of Cicadas emerge every 13 to 17 years in the East coast and mid west of the US.
What is Brood X?
- Brood X is the biggest of the fifteen known Cicadas.
- They are to emerge in Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, Washington DC, Indiana.
- Cicadas molt as they emerge from underground.
- Molt is to shed skin or hair or feathers paving way for the new growth.
- The molts add up to the nutrients to the soil.
- The total biomass of cicadas is greater than the biomass of cattle the area can support if it were to be turned into pastures.
- There are more than three thousand Cicadas on the earth. However, only seven are periodical. Some believe that the long underground periods are to avoid predators.
- As they emerge from the underground, they live in trees feeding on leaves.
- The desert Cicadas regulate their body temperatures by evaporative cooling.