Millions of cicadas will soon emerge in the U.S. Here’s why.
There are only seven species of cicadas that come out all at once every 13 or 17 years—a life cycle that’s unique among insects.
Each year, warm weather in North America brings the familiar buzzing and clicking of cicadas that have surfaced from their underground burrows in search of mates. Once every decade or so, though, that cacophony turns deafening as millions or more of the winged insects emerge at once in dense throngs. They stick around for about a month, and then they die.
This spring, a group of cicadas known as Brood X is expected to emerge throughout the mid-Atlantic for the first time since 2004. It is among the largest of the cicada broods with a 17-year life cycle, numbering in the hundreds of billions.
Of the 3,000 species of cicadas around the world, only seven species