Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I recently had my first encounter with a periodic cicada. There was an emergence of these creatures here in Kentucky. Periodic cicadas are insects that live underground in nymph form for a certain period of years, depending upon the sub-species, feeding on juices in tree roots. These cicadas are from a specific brood of 17-year cicadas; brood XIV.

The periodic cicadas are different than the cicadas that we are used to seeing every year. Those loud, buzz-saw-like, insects are larger and differently colored. They are called annual or dog-day cicadas. "Annual" is actually a misnomer because, similar to the periodic cicada, the dog-day cicadas spend three years underground before emerging. There are different broods that emerge each year. Here is a picture of a dog-day cicada.

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