Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The 17 year cicada

illustration of the seventeen year cicada

Magicada is the genus of the 13- and 17-year periodical cicadas of eastern North America.There are 12 broods that have a 17-year life cycle and three that mature every 13 years.
Magicada spend most of their lives underground feeding on fluids from the roots of deciduous forest trees.
After 13 or 17 years, mature cicada nymphs emerge at any given locality, synchronously and in tremendous numbers.After such a prolonged developmental phase, the adults are active for about 4 to 6 weeks.
The males aggregate into chorus centers ( the equivalent of a train passing in the not too far distance) and attract mates.
Within two months of the original emergence, the life cycle is complete, the eggs have been laid and the adult cicadas are gone for another 13 or 17 years.
Wild estimates were tossed around to describe how many sex-starved cicadas were expected to crawl out of the ground, some said there would be up to 30 billion, while others said cicadas would outnumber humans 600 to 1.
All of their biology is focused on maintaining large population sizes, 'cicadas strategy is to overwhelm their predators (and us) with such huge numbers that it's impossible for their entire population to be eaten, unless us humans start to mingle of course, some people cleverly deducted that these highly nutritious animals maybe a treat for us humans too.

Check out this wonderful "return of the cicadas 2013" video by Samuel Orr.


  1. Great article... you might be interested in some cicada recordings I've been making and ringtones for the iPhone....

    1. Checked it out, pretty cool, like I said the other day , when people started complaining about their noise, "they don't make noise, they make a sound, leafblowers make noise".