Sydney NSW, Australia
For your information
Cicadas Emerge In Maryland

The Brood X cicadas have started appearing in Maryland above ground for the first time in 17 years.

Elizabeth Janney, Patch Staff
Since 2004, the Brood X cicadas have been burrowed underground feeding on sap from tree roots.

Brood X periodical cicadas, also known as the Great Eastern Brood, are only found in the eastern United States and emerge once every 17 years.

Their sound is one distinguishing characteristic.

"Male cicadas produce the loudest sounds in the insect world," according to the National Park Service. "Entomologists believe that the sound protects these insects by hurting predators' ears."

The emergence of the insects en masse is also believed to help protect against predators.

Billions of cicadas are expected this year, according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Once soil temperatures rise above 64 degrees, the insects come out.

Residents may see exit holes that are about 0.5-inch in diameter, according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Those in Silver Spring, Columbia and Cecil County reported seeing the holes in late April and early May.

Once the bugs push above the surface, they shed their nymphal exoskeletons.

"The next stage of the periodical cicada's life only lasts for a couple of weeks and has one sole mission: to reproduce," according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Once they are fully grown, male cicadas "sing" their mating call to attract females in a volume that is comparable to a lawn mower, leaf blower or chainsaw, officials say.

These sounds will usually last from late May to late June and will be loudest in the afternoon. Females will click in response.

For about a month, cicadas will be above ground before mating and dying. The female will burrow into tree limbs to lay her eggs. Trees may be damaged unless they are protected with cheese cloth.

Once the eggs hatch, the tiny white nymphs fall from trees and burrow underground, where they live until 2038.

Because the nymphs — or immature insects — grow at different rates underground, the National Park Service reports some cicadas have emerged in 13-year and 21-year intervals as well.

Based on the last emergence, in 2004, state officials expect the cicadas to be found in these areas: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, eastern Garrett, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and Washington counties and Baltimore City.

"Much of the eastern shore likely won't get much action due to the sandy soils, but some periodical cicadas might emerge," officials say.

In late July to early August, the cicada eggs will hatch.

To track the cicada emergence, Gene Kritsky, the dean of Behavioral and Natural Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati and the author of "Periodical Cicadas: The Brood X Edition," developed the Cicada Safari app.

Gov. Larry Hogan issued a proclamation declaring May and June 2021 ass Maryland Magicicada Months to generate public awareness about the insects.

Have you seen any cicadas? Tell us in the comments and share your pics on Patch!



No responses yet...