Millions of cicadas are about to rise after 17 years underground

One of the cicadas with the longest life cycle in the wild will rise to the surface to molt this summer.

One of the longest-lived insects in the wild will rise to the surface to molt this summer.

A variety of animals have been invading the United States in the past such as wasps, giant lizards and moths. Not stopping there, experts warn that many areas will continue to face the "rise" of another pest, the periodic cicada, Brood IX, this summer.

Picture 1 of Millions of cicadas are about to rise after 17 years underground
Cicadas periodically have a life cycle of 17 years in the United States. (Photo: AFP).

Periodic cicada (Magicicada) is one of the insects with the longest life cycle in the nature, is classified into two main groups of cicadas periodically 13 years and 17 years. Brood IX is a 17-year-old breed, meaning the last time an adult flew in the sky was in 2003-2004.

The larval stage occupies almost the entire life cycle of the Magicicada. During 17 years of living underground, they did not hibernate but experienced many growth stages. They molt a total of 4 times and after each, the larvae grow larger than 0.5 inch (1.27 cm).

Scientists have yet to explain why this cicada spends so much time underground. One theory is that it is a tactic to avoid predators.

Picture 2 of Millions of cicadas are about to rise after 17 years underground
The Magicicada larvae crawl into a tree and molt into adult cicadas. (Photo: Cicada Mania).

The time when the Magicicada larvae crawl to the ground to make final molting into adult cicadas is highly dependent on surface temperature. Around the beginning of May in the southern region of the United States, and the end of May to June in the northern region is an ideal time. The ground then had a temperature of about 18 ° C.

Experts predict up to 1.5 million cicadas will appear in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina this summer, per acre (≈ 0.4 ha). Magicicada does not threaten humans but causes significant damage to plants, especially woody plants.

In contrast to the very long larval stage, adult cicadas mature only about 4 to 6 weeks. After completing the reproduction tasks, they quickly disappear and only reappear after 17 years.

« The king cobra dies with extremely poisonous black Mamba: Does the owner of the 'kiss of death' win?
Scientists take pictures of the planet being born »