Magicicada Great Eastern Brood

The Magicicada (Magicicada) is a 13-year or 17-year periodical cicada, an insect in the order Hemiptera.

The Magicicada photographed are from the 17-year periodical cicadas of Brood X (Brood Ten), called the Great Eastern Brood, which emerged in 2004. Periodical cicadas are grouped into broods based on the calendar year when they emerge from the ground. There were an estimated 1.5 million of them in 2004. Every 17 years, it tunnels to the surface of the ground to breed. The next emergence of the Great Eastern Brood is in 2021. 

The adult Magicicada Great Eastern Brood had red eyes and a black thorax. Its wings are translucent with orange veins. The underside of its abdomen is black, orange, or striped with orange and black, depending on the species.


Magicicada Great Eastern Brood

It measures 2-3.5 centimetres (1-1.5 inches) in length. The female is slightly larger than the male. 

The Magicicada Great Eastern Brood, or Brood X, is from eastern North America in states such as Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The adult sucks juice from plant leaves. 

The juvenile nymphs of the cicada lie dormant underground for 17 years, living on the sap of tree roots, called xylem fluids. They live about 60 centimetres (24 inches) underground.

Then all of them rise to the surface at the same time, in spring. It climbs on vegetation to complete its transformation into an adult, which takes about a week. The males attract females, by singing in chorus all together. The female lays about 600 eggs in the branches of trees or bushes, and then she dies.

The eggs hatch after 6-10 weeks into nymphs, which drop to the ground. They burrow into the ground and stay there for 17 years. 

Its predators include lizards, birds, squirrels, cats, and other small mammals. 

The lifespan of the adult Magicicada Great Eastern Brood is 4-6 weeks. 

Magicicada Great Eastern Brood
Magicicada Great Eastern Brood
Magicicada Great Eastern Brood

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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