America’s East Abuzz with Cicadas

26 May

America’s East Abuzz with Cicadas

Much of the eastern United States is buzzing. The sound of periodical cicadas is becoming pervasive with the emergence of Brood X (Ten), or the Great Eastern Brood, which emerges every 17 years.The big, red-eyed insects come above ground after the soil temperature rises above 18 degrees Celsius, ending their long slumber.They are now in Virginia and much of everywhere across a 15-state eastern region in the United States. After spending nearly their entire 17-year lives underground, sipping sap from tree roots, trillions of nymphs are emerging to mate and then die. Cicadas shed their nymph shells as they hang on a tree near Alexandria, Virginia, May 24, 2021. (Photo by Diaa Bekheet)The male cicadas are making all the racket — a mating call produced by vibrating membranes in their abdomens. Their collective symphony approaches a level of 100 decibels — as loud as a motorcycle. The insects do not bite or sting, but many Americans consider them a noisy annoyance they will have to endure for several weeks.   

SJ

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