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Cicadas Swarm over East Coast, Making Quite A Racket! - 2004-05-28


Cicadas are emerging from the ground after their 17 year underground banquet of sap from tree roots. They will shed their skins and lounge around on leaves and stems of low growing shrubs and flowers until their gossamer wings dry enough to carry them aloft in search of a mate. Cicadas are very awkward flyers. They zig-zag across the landscape, looking like little round-bellied cargo planes, about two inches long.

In the older neighborhoods, with lots of trees, the cicadas will make their way into the trees and the males will start calling for mates. The noise becomes louder and louder until you can't hear anything else.

After finding a mate the females cut a slit in a tree branch and deposit their eggs. The adults then die, and the egg-laden branch falls to the ground, letting the baby cicadas burrow into the ground for another 17-year feast.

Click on the link to the right for more information, and don't forget to listen to Prabhassara's feature story above.

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