cicadas the underground species

Cicadas | Species that lives Underground

Cicadas are insects that spend most of their lives underground and emerge from the soil mainly to mate.

Cicadas | Species that lives Underground

Source | Indian Express


GS Paper III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.



cicadas the underground species

Key Takeaways

  • Cicadas are insects that spend most of their lives underground and emerge from the soil mainly to mate. 
  • The insects are found in the America’s as well as New Zealand and Australia.

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Context: A brood of periodical cicadas, noisy insects that breed underground for as long as 13-17 years are expected to emerge into some states on the east coast of the US this year.

What you need to know about Cicadas?

  • Cicadas are insects that spend most of their lives underground and emerge from the soil mainly to mate.
  • The insects are found in the America’s as well as New Zealand and Australia.
  • There will be major outbreaks of periodical cicadas in 2020 and 2021.
  • There are three species of 17-year cicadas and three species of 13-year ones.
  • The name 13 and 17 year refers to the number of years that cicada nymphs take to reach adulthood. It is not clear why their development period is so long.
  • After emerging from the ground in billions, they shed their exoskeletons or outer skins to take their winged form.
  • The lifespan of adult ones is short, about two to four weeks during which time they feed relatively little and mate.
  • This year, the grouping dubbed Brood IX will emerge after spending 17 years underground, into states including Southwest Virginia, parts of North Carolina and West Virginia.
  • There is an expectation of the emergence of over 1.5 million cicadas per acre.

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