Billions of insects will swarm the US next month after spending 17 years underground.
The cicadas are expected to appear in dozens of states, including New York and Georgia.
Cicadas crawl off the ground and shed their skins before matingCredit: See Source – Alamy
According to The Conversation, insect experts are very much anticipating the event as they’ll have to wait just under two decades to see one.
The group of cicadas that is expected to appear in April is called Brood X.
The huge swarm of insects will create a loud, buzzing symphony when their mating ritual takes place for about four weeks.
After mating, the female cicadas lay small eggs in branches and then all of the adult cicadas die.
This map shows various breeds of cicada in the USA. The groups have their own Roman numerals to identify themPhoto credit: University of Connecticut, CC BY-ND
As soon as the eggs hatch, the tiny cicada nymphs fall to the ground and bury themselves.
They then stay underground and grow for another 17 years.
However, some species only remain underground for 13 years.
It is believed that there are 3,000 to 4,000 species of cicada worldwide.
The five underground tiers of the cicadasPhoto credit: Chris Simon, CC BY-ND
They crawl up trees and shed their clams before waiting for their bodies to hardenPhoto credit: EPA
Those in the eastern parts of the US are known for their long juvenile periods and mass mating events in adults.
Nobody is quite sure why the insects spend so long underground.
They go through five growth phases and feed on tree roots.
When they’re big enough, they crawl off the ground into trees so they can shed their skin and grow wings to fly to potential mates.
This is an adult cicadaPhoto credit: Getty
They are known as periodic cicadas because their synchronized formation has been predictable for years.
They typically appear every 17 years north of the Mississippi Valley and every 13 years in the south.
Experts believe that cicadas pop up in large numbers for safety reasons, as they cannot protect themselves well.
Large swarms mean that more insects find a partner.
They have many predators, including foxes and birds, but there are usually too many cicadas to eat.
Some clusters of leafhoppers are known to show up a few years sooner or later, and researchers are studying whether climate change will affect their cycles.
Cicadas are climate sensitive and need deciduous forests to survive.
Deforestation poses a major threat to the species.
Local volunteers living near broods in the United States are encouraged by researchers to download the Cicada Safari mobile phone app.
It allows people to enter information about the leafhoppers they see and to help with scientific research.
Cicadas are not harmful to humans.
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