Cicadas Return – After 17 Years

The drone of untold millions of singing insects will soon echo across parts of the eastern United States from a group of cicadas that emerges from the ground only once every 17 years.

The mating songs of brood IX are among the noisiest of their kind. Their habitat stretches from North Carolina to West Virginia, where as many as 1.5 million can surface per acre.

Cicadas are large, clear-winged insects with bulbous eyes that emerge every year or in cycles of 13 or 17 years. They then shed and leave their brown husks behind on trees and other objects. After breeding, their nymphs crawl into the ground for a 17-year slumber.

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