Billions of cicadas that have been growing underground since 1996 are set to emerge along much of the US east coast to begin singing and mating, according to a Reuters report.
"This year heralds the springtime emergence of billions of so-called 17-year periodical cicadas, with their distinctive black bodies, buggy red eyes, and orange-veined wings, along a roughly 900-mile stretch from northern Georgia to upstate New York.
"The precisely-timed arrival of the 1.5-inch (38-mm) plant-sucking, flying adults takes place after a lengthy period of development underground as juveniles.
"After maturing, males begin what cicadas may be best known for: their conspicuous acoustic signals, or 'songs,' to sexually attract females.
"When they suddenly emerge, the cicadas will be visible "on the sides of the trees, on the sides of the house, on the shrubbery — even on the car tires," said Simon
"To create their unique choruses, male cicadas use ribbed tymbal membranes on their abdomens to produce sounds, while females — lacking tymbals — click or snap their wings. This clamor is all done by July.
"After mating occurs, females lay their eggs on twigs; the eggs hatch later in the season, and the nymphs drop to the ground and burrow underground to restart the 17-year cycle."
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