They are big They are incredibly noisy. And they are coming by billions of people.
meet Magicicada cassinii, Well known as a cicada. Each year, a relatively small number of these insects emerge from the ground in the eastern United States. However, once every 17 years, a truly huge herd of cicadas arrives on the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West and fills the air with deafening mating hams that can reach up to 100 decibels.
The phenomenon is called Brood X, or Great Eastern Brood. It will be back in May 2021. For five to six weeks on the ground, you can’t miss the living cicadas and the crunchy exoskeleton.
Here’s everything you need to know about this rare phenomenon … and what it means for you and your plants.
Anyway, what is Brood X?
Scientists group cicadas based on the year they emerged as adults after spending years developing underground. Brood X is the name of a large generation of cicadas scheduled for the spring of 2021, as in 2004 and 1987.
Theoretically, there are 17 different generations of cicadas in 17 years, each of which should be linked to a different geographical zone and a different year of appearance. For example, the chick Brod IX, which emerged in 2020, has been localized to parts of Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina.
Some of these chicks have never been formally observed, suggesting that they may have become extinct long ago. (One of these “missing” chicks, Brood XI, was last seen in Connecticut in 1954.)
The upcoming Brood X (Roman numeral Blood 10) is the most popular and prolific of the known generation. Throughout history, it has appeared west to Missouri, south to Georgia, north to Michigan, and east to Long Island, New York.
You can see the most frequently witnessed areas on the map below.
Why do they appear once every 17 years?
Most insects appear every year in our homes and gardens, whether they love or hate them. So why do cicadas appear only every 17 years?
After all, these long cycles are part of Semi’s evolutionary strategy, which dates back 1.8 million years to the Pleistocene era. At that time, summers could be unexpectedly cold in the eastern United States. That’s a problem for cicadas. If the temperature is below 68 degrees and too long, it will be too cold to mate and survive.
As a result, cicadas have evolved different cycle lengths to increase their chances of survival. Hina can’t survive the cold summer on the ground, but it’s okay to survive the cold summer underground. The less frequently cicadas emerge from Earth, the less likely they are to be wiped out in an unusually cold summer.
The exact reason behind the number 17 is unknown, but scientists have several theories. One idea suggests that anomalous prime lifecycles prevent cicada generations from becoming accustomed to the lifecycle of bees that prey on them. Another theory is that a cycle of prime numbers reduces the chances of a 17-year-old cicada mating and crossing with a different species or generation of cicadas.
Such mating will reduce the size of these generations — bad news for species that need a large number to survive.
Why are there so many?
It’s not easy to become a cicada.
Once the cicadas appear on the ground, they will not face a shortage of predators. Birds, reptiles, fish, spiders, bees, and even domestic pets all consider cicadas to be protein-filled snacks. Many predators completely change their behavior for several years just to feed the cicadas.
Even worse for individual insects is the fact that there is virtually no way to dodge these predators. Cicadas are big and slow. And despite having wings, they don’t fly particularly well. If something wants to eat cicadas, it probably will.
So the only serious evolutionary defense that cicadas have against extinction is their large number. Many predators cannot eat everything because a large number of cicadas need to spawn in order to survive.
How do I prepare for the flock?
To be honest, if you live in one of the affected areas, there is not much you can do to avoid the huge cicada mass. There will be billions of cicadas.
The good news is that cicadas won’t bite you unless they mistake you for a plant.That way, they won’t spread the disease. It’s not toxic, so don’t worry if your dog or cat eats it. (Be careful not to make themselves a canyon, as the stiff exoskeleton and feathers of the cicadas can choke the pet.)
If you have an adventurous spirit, again.
However, cicadas are dangerous for young trees, especially fruit trees.
“When these cicadas appear next spring, these trees will simply be struck, so don’t plant them,” Mike Laup, an insectologist at the University of Maryland, told WTOP News. .. Trees planted in 2020 are also at risk.
If you have recently planted a tree, it is not too late to save it from the upcoming herd. According to Raupp, the pesticides will be blown off and the young trees will be netted by mid-April or late April. This prevents the cicadas from laying eggs on the branches.
“You need to use a fine net with a net size of about 1 cm or less and completely cover those trees. This protects these trees.”
Do they stick?
After mating on a tree branch and spawning, this chick dies. Cicadas that hatched in 2021 will fall to the ground and sneak into the earth for 17 years. It feeds on the water of the roots of the tree until it breeds in May 2038.
Therefore, this cycle is repeated.
What is BloodX, the epidemic of American cicadas coming in 2021?
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