Steven S (14 May 2011)
"U.S. states braced for invasion of cicadas as they hatch after 13 years underground"


 
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U.S. states braced for invasion of cicadas as they hatch after 13 years underground

Last updated at 1:23 PM on 12th May 2011

 
  • Harmless to humans but can kill baby trees and plants
Their haunting chirrup strikes fear into the heart of every gardener.
For thirteen years this cicada hoard has lain dormant in its underground lair, awaiting the right time to strike. And it appears that that time has come.
Even at this very moment, billions of the winged insect are crawling from their exoskeleton cages, ready to suck the sap out of every plant, tree and bush that gets in their way.
Invasion: Cicadas feed by attaching a nodule onto a branch and suck the nutrients from its juicy core while females lay their eggs in tree twigs, which hatch after six to eight weeks

Invasion: Cicadas feed by attaching a nodule onto a branch and suck the nutrients from its juicy core while females lay their eggs in tree twigs, which hatch after six to eight weeks

But they are here to breed, laying eggs in the twigs and branches of trees as they call out to mates with their deafening song.

THE CICADA LIFE CYCLE

After a 17-year nap, Cicadas climb up a telephone pole Sunday, May 16, 2004 in Annandale, Va.

While most cicadas go through a life cycle of between two and five years, the North American species - Magicicada - has a much longer cycle of 13 to 17 years.
Scientists believe this long dormant stage evolved as a means to outlive predators, such as the circada killer wasp and praying mantis, whose own life cycle if a far shorter two years.
Cicadas spend most of their lives as nymphs underground at depths of between 30cm and 250cm.
They survive by feeding on root juice which they obtain using their strong hind legs for digging.
During the final nymphal stage, they dig a tunnel to the surface, climb out and shed their skin on a plant. Cicadas then set about mating.
Females cut slits in the bark of trees where they leave their eggs after mating, until hundreds are built up.
After the eggs hatch, the newborn nymphs fall to the ground and then burrow underground - and the life cycle starts again.
The red-eyed army has already reached the southern states of America, prompting many farmers to cover their crops with heavy protective netting.
'There are billions of them in the trees,' Greta Beekhuis told USA Today from her home in Pittsboro, North Carolina. 'The sound of the cicadas is clearly audible over the line.
 
'When I drove from my house to the grocery store, I ran over thousands of them. They're everywhere. The air is just thick with them.'
There have been reports of mass-hatchings in South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Arkansas.
But now the inch-long insects are heading north, desperate to continue their breeding frenzy.
The cicada, however, is completely harmless to humans, apart from the intense racket males make when singing for mates which can reach up to 120 decibels. And they get in hair, cars, picnics and houses.
But their clamorous buzzing fills the air for only one month as they reproduce.
And although ordinary people may find them annoying, scientists are eager to study the rare phenomenon - as they wont have another chance until 2024.
Scientists call these cicadas the Great Southern Brood or Brood XIX.
'They have red eyes; they don't sting; they don't bite,' Carol Reese, horticulture specialist at the UT Agricultural Extension, told the Jackson Sun. 'It scares the heck out of you when they buzz, but they really don't do you any harm.'
Steve Frank, assistant professor in the department of entomology at N.C. State University, told the Herald Sun: 'The idea of animals coming out in mass is pretty common.
Ugly bug: A cicada crawls from its exoskeleton. When they first emerge they are while with bulging red eyes. But as they grow older, they turn brown and their skin hard

Ugly bug: A cicada crawls from its exoskeleton. When they first emerge they are while with bulging red eyes. But as they grow older, they turn brown and their skin hard


 
'It is generally understood to inundate your predators. The first ones that come up fall prey to birds and other predators.

CICADA BROOD XIX: FACTS

Brood XIX last filled U.S. skies in 1998.
They are the largest cicada variety in the world and only emerge every 13 years to breed.
Females lay their eggs in tree twigs which hatch after six to eight weeks.
The annoying din they are famous for is the sound of males singing for mates.
About an inch-long, they feed by attaching a nodule onto a branch and suck the nutrients from its juicy core.
'The ones that come up later have a better chance to survive since their predators may already be engorged on cicadas.'
They only emerge from the soil every 13 to 17 years to mate, depending on their variety. Their loud noise is generated by rubbing their legs together.
And experts are keen also to point out that they are not locusts, a common misconception, and are unlikely to kill any adult trees and larger plants they prey on. 
But younger plants can buckle under the strain of housing too many larvae.
They feed by attaching a nodule onto a branch and suck the nutrients from its juicy core.
The females lay their eggs in tree twigs, which hatch after six to eight weeks.
In all there are 15 known broods, as the offspring groups are known: 12 that come every 17 years and three that come every 13 years.
 

Gen 12:1-3
Genesis 12

12:1 Promises to Abram

(Acts 7:2-5)

Now the LORD had said to Abram:

"Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father's house,
To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
NKJV


Steven