• Shawna Hemphill

Guess Who’s Coming to Visit this Summer?!?

Periodical cicada Brood X (10) will emerge in the Spring of 2021 and be with us for the Summer. Periodical cicadas have the longest insect life cycle; after hatching, nymph cicadas spend 17 years underground before crawling to the surface and transforming into adults. Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony in 1634 recorded the existence of periodical cicadas and Brood X was first reported in 1715 in Philadelphia.

The last time this brood emerged was in 2004 and we won’t see them again until 2038.

Cicadas don’t sting like bees or wasps but they do have prickly feet that could cling on to you. Cicadas are 1 to 2 inches long with a wingspan of 3 to 4 inches wide. Cicadas may be best known for the loud buzzing sound they make. Male cicadas contract the ridged membranes on their abdomens to make the sound in an effort to attract females. Each species has its own sound, and when cicadas all buzz together the sound can reach 90 to 100 decibels – as loud as a lawn mower.

Scientists expect this year’s cicadas to emerge in late April and early May, triggered by ground temperatures. Their lifespan is four to six weeks, so we can anticipate saying goodbye to the cicadas in late June or July.

Cicadas are likely to emerge at Charlotte’s Quest, so we hope to be able to share news of their arrival with you on our social media channels. If you see or hear cicadas while you’re out and about, you can help track them using the Cicada Safari app. You can also share your findings on social media using the hashtag #BroodX or #BroodXCicadas.



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