The 17 Year Cicada Emerges But Not in Western New England

This spring, the region will miss out on a what’s know as a brood of 17-year cicadas. They are swarms of flying insects well recognized by their mating call and take this many years to mature.  You know a cicada when you hear one…  

2013 is the year for a brood to emerge from under the soil. massachusetts and connecticut used to be on the fringe of where this periodical cicada lived. But UMass Amherst entomologist Robert Childs says it’s likely – over time development disrupted native habitats. Childs says, the brood is almost ready to surface further south, between North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states. And then the insects reestablish fairly quickly. that is, the  mating ritual begins: 

“And the male periodical cicada makes a ringing sound and when you have millions of them for acres, you can hear them from quite a distance. they trap females, They mate and the females lay their eggs in the 2 or 3 year old stems of trees. The eggs will stay in the stems until mid to late august and they hatch and the little larvae come out of the holes that the females have made and they just drop of the stems of the trees to the soil.”

And they burrow in and that’s where they stay for the next 17 years. This region has one small 17 year brood left, on lower Cape Cod. Mark your calendars, It’s expected to emerge in 2025.