Periodical Cicadas Set To Emerge Simultaneously In Parts Of The US

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Environmental News, Wildlife

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Some regions in the US are on the brink of witnessing a unique natural event as two massive adjacent broods of periodical cicadas are poised to emerge simultaneously. The emergence of over a trillion of these loud insects is expected to commence in April. This simultaneous emergence of the two broods, one predominantly in the U.S. Midwestern states and the other in the South and Midwest, with a limited overlap in Illinois, occurs once every 221 years.

Globally, there are over 3,000 cicada species, but the rare periodical cicadas are a select few, with only nine known species. Among these, seven belong to the Magicicada genus and are found in North America. In India, the Chremistica genus boasts a periodical species emerging every four years, and in Fiji, the Raiataena genus hosts a periodical species with an eight-year cycle.

Periodical Cicadas Set To Emerge Simultaneously In Parts Of The US

After a 13-year cycle, Brood XIX is poised to surface in the spring of 2024 across 14 states in the Southeast and Midwest. Simultaneously, the 17-year Brood XIII will emerge in five Midwestern states, marking the first occurrence of this double emergence in 221 years, as reported by Cicada Mania. Brood XIII is expected to appear in states such as Iowa, Wisconsin, and potentially Michigan. Meanwhile, Brood XIX will surface in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

ScienceAlert.com notes that this unique event will not repeat until 2245. The anticipated overlapping of these broods is projected to take place in Illinois and Indiana, among the states experiencing the emergence this year.

Although the mating call of these insects can be bothersome, cicadas pose no harm to humans. They do not sting or bite and are non-poisonous. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that cicadas can serve as a valuable food source for birds and contribute nutrients to the soil as they decompose. While they might be detrimental to young trees if female cicadas choose to lay their eggs in them, the EPA recommends safeguarding trees by covering them with mesh or netting with holes measuring ¼-inch or smaller.

 

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