Cicadas - yep, the billions of "Brood X" will hatch in 2021 after a 17-year wait

lizkat

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For those with access, a WaPo take....


The map makes it clearer which states will have the best pickin' for all the critters who like to pig out on chowing down enough cicadas to fall into a coma. Yes, really. Some animals eat enough until they literally fall out from the caloric overload and have to sleep it off. Sounds like there will be plenty cicadas to go around this time. Billions, yes. Over a million per acre. Y'all in DC, Virgina and Maryland are ground zero, but the trigger is a ground temperature of 64ºF so it's Georgia and other southern states will see them first, in just a few more weeks.

In for a treat - billions of cicadas 2021.jpg

Cicadas are a Thanksgiving-like feast for wildlife. As they emerge, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, ants, raccoons, snakes, frogs and possums will gorge themselves for about a week until they collapse into food comas.

“What people will actually see is animals eating bugs,” said Gaye Williams, an entomologist for the Maryland Department of Agriculture and an avid cicada watcher.

Yes, she said, your dog will eat cicadas if given the chance.

“It’s very much like when you go to an all-you-can-eat crab feast,” Williams said. “The very first bunch that you throw down on your table, everybody grabs crabs and you start cracking them, and you take every last molecule of crab meat. About the fourth tray … people only take the claws. As this orgy of eating goes on, there are animals that actually won’t touch them anymore. They’re full.”
 
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For those with access, a WaPo take....


The map makes it clearer which states will have the best pickin' for all the critters who like to pig out on chowing down enough cicadas to fall into a coma. Yes, really. Some animals eat enough until they literally fall out from the caloric overload and have to sleep it off. Sounds like there will be plenty cicadas to go around this time. Billions, yes. Over a million per acre. Y'all in DC, Virgina and Maryland are ground zero, but the trigger is a ground temperature of 64ºF so it's Georgia and other southern states will see them first, in just a few more weeks.

These are so disgusting, LOL.
 

lizkat

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He just needs a bath, after that he'll look like he's ready for a night out on the town (their main reason for emerging from the ground is to get on with partying down with the opposite sex anywhere and everywhere possible) and to a lot of critters he'll look like party food for sure...

Not sure why their two compound eyes are so big since they spend so much of their lives underground... and they have three other eyes as well.... but then when they do finally come up top to look around, they need to be able to find beauty (everything is relative, eh?) in a potential mate as soon as possible.

Here some interesting tidbits about them, including the fact that if you run power tools while they're around, they'll gather around trying to find how to mate with you since to them you will sound like what they're trying to sound like... loud and buzzy. Also, it's said they're tasty to eat if barbecued...


Oh yeah, and "There's An App For That" as the above cited piece indicates. Have fun reporting your cicada encounters.
 
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He just needs a bath, after that he'll look like he's ready for a night out on the town (their main reason for emerging from the ground is to get on with partying down with the opposite sex anywhere and everywhere possible) and to a lot of critters he'll look like party food for sure...

Not sure why their two compound eyes are so big since they spend so much of their lives underground... and they have three other eyes as well.... but then when they do finally come up top to look around, they need to be able to find beauty (everything is relative, eh?) in a potential mate as soon as possible.

Here some interesting tidbits about them, including the fact that if you run power tools while they're around, they'll gather around trying to find how to mate with you since to them you will sound like what they're trying to sound like... loud and buzzy. Also, it's said they're tasty to eat if barbecued...


Oh yeah, and "There's An App For That" as the above cited piece indicates. Have fun reporting your cicada encounters.
These I saw in August, but I'm sure it's a cicada. There's a similar once in a friggin lifetime sort of bug where I grew up. I've always loved biology, but the only insects that could get me excited were spiders and mantids. Couldn't acquire a taste no matter how hard I tried.
 

Scepticalscribe

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For those with access, a WaPo take....


The map makes it clearer which states will have the best pickin' for all the critters who like to pig out on chowing down enough cicadas to fall into a coma. Yes, really. Some animals eat enough until they literally fall out from the caloric overload and have to sleep it off. Sounds like there will be plenty cicadas to go around this time. Billions, yes. Over a million per acre. Y'all in DC, Virgina and Maryland are ground zero, but the trigger is a ground temperature of 64ºF so it's Georgia and other southern states will see them first, in just a few more weeks.

I read a fascinating article in the Guardian last week about this very matter; a compelling and extraordinarily interesting read.
 

Clix Pix

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They are all over the place here and we have to watch where we're walking so we don't step on one, either one who is in the process of extricating himself from the exoskeleton which protected him for seventeen years or one who has successfully emerged and who is now in search of a tree and romance with a new lady friend with whom to start the next 17-year cycle!

Those who follow the Photo of the Day Thread will see that I've shared a couple of photos there of cicadas, plus one of a squirrel scampering up a tree with his mouth full of a crunchy cicada.....

These guys are LOUD, noisy as heck, serenading us all with a never-ending chorus as they seek out mates and celebrate being here in fresh air for the first time in seventeen years. I can hear them without my hearing aids, and that is saying something!

Shot this guy as I was setting out to take a stroll around the boardwalk and was watching carefully where I was walking.....

Hey, Please Don't Step on Me.jpeg
 

Scepticalscribe

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They are all over the place here and we have to watch where we're walking so we don't step on one, either one who is in the process of extricating himself from the exoskeleton which protected him for seventeen years or one who has successfully emerged and who is now in search of a tree and romance with a new lady friend with whom to start the next 17-year cycle!

Those who follow the Photo of the Day Thread will see that I've shared a couple of photos there of cicadas, plus one of a squirrel scampering up a tree with his mouth full of a crunchy cicada.....

Shot this guy as I was setting out to take a stroll around the boardwalk and was watching carefully where I was walking.....

View attachment 5585

Fascinating.

An extraordinary story.

Is the squirrel (with the mouthful of cicada) the same squirrel who used to visit you on a regular basis last year?
 

Clix Pix

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Might have been Mr Nervous, as the tail was kind of skimpy looking --- definitely not Smaug, though.

The Washington Post also has an article which is a really wittily worded description of the life cycle of the 17-year (Periodic) Cicadas. I'll have to fetch the link.....

Ah, here we go: all you ever wanted to know about the mating rituals of male and female 17-year Cicadas! LOL!



There are other stories just about every day about these fascinating creatures. One hilarious one was about a dog who had a Serious Problem: he just couldn't stop eating them!

Today has been chilly and wet so the paper assured us that not to worry, even though the little guys are not happy with this cold weather, they'll come bouncing back tenfold as soon as we get warmer temperatures again in a couple of days.
 
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