Cicadas: The Methuselah Horde (And News About A New Column!)

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Periodical cicada. Photo by Alex Wild.

I’ve been writing about science for the New York Times for over eight years now, but today I’m starting something new there. I’ll be writing a column (called “Matter”) every week. The first column is just out. I take a look at the cicada invasion we’re facing here in the eastern United States, and step back to consider the fact that these creatures have the longest lifespan of any insect–seventeen years, almost all of which they spend underground. It’s a bizarre life cycle that’s been millions of years in the making.

My columns will appear each Thursday on the Science Times page online, and some will also appear the following Tuesday in the print edition ofthe  Science Times. Check it out! And do NOT miss Jonathan Corum’s fascinating timeline graphic of the past century of cicada broods.