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Annual Cicadas

August 21, 2013
Annual Cicadas

Annual Cicada Emerging and Mature Adult

Unless you are deaf than you’ve been hearing the song of this insect since late June when it finally warmed up around here. While throwing a ball to my dog this morning I strangely found both the emerging and fully mature adult stages of the annual cicada within a few feet of each other. There are several different species of the annual cicada throughout the U.S., these are the ones that have adapted to our location over eons. The songs we’ve all been hearing them sing are the males trying to attract the females.  They then mate, separate, and then the female lays her eggs in the bark of newer tender shoots of deciduous trees.   After about a six-week incubation they emerge, fall to the ground and begin digging downward to the root zone where they will live off the sap of these roots for anywhere from four to six years. So that means that even though you hear these ever summer, these cicadas are anywhere from five to seven years old. I saw a range because I couldn’t find any information on how long this specific species exists underground here in Northern Illinois. Stop and look around, they’ll be gone as soon as it starts to get cool at night.

Emerging Cicada

Winged Adult Cicada

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