There may be a familiar buzzing ringing in your ears, but it’s not from Brood X. Annual cicadas, a different breed, pop out of the ground across the Midwest and East Coast.
Annual cicadas emerge every year in midsummer. While it is not known how long the eggs have laid, these cicadas only live around two to three years, more than a decade shorter than Brood X.
The last of Brood X’s cicadas died out earlier this summer, most in June and early July, after spending about six weeks buzzing in search of a mate.
The new brood of cicadas will sing a different tune than their predecessors but come out in smaller numbers, according to Gene Kritsky, dean of behavioral and natural sciences at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati.
“The adults can live for about four weeks and we will now see them until September,” he said.
What is the difference?
Annual cicadas are larger and also camouflaged.
Most species of annual cicadas are greener and brown with dark eyes and have a wider, stockier build. The members of Brood X are distinguished by their bright red eyes and dark body, and are somewhat thinner and smaller than annual cicadas.
Kritzky said that there are over 150 species of cicadas spread across the United States and Canada, and most have different calls and looks.
Annual cicadas come out in smaller numbers, so their buzzing may not be as noticeable as Brood X.
In the areas most concentrated during the emergence of Brood X, there were as many as 1 million periodic cicadas per acre.
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What happened to Brood X?
The adult members of Brood X are dead at this point, but their offspring are still above the ground.
Adult periodic cicadas emerge from their 17 years underground for one purpose: to mate and have baby cicadas, called nymphs.
Once a male cicada mates with a female cicada, it dies. The female cicada will then lay eggs in the thin, slender ends of tree branches, depositing them in a thin furrow that she makes with a tool on her abdomen. When her job is done, she too dies.
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After six to eight weeks, these cicadas hatch and fall to the ground. They will then burrow as quickly as possible to escape predators on the ground.
Kritzky said he heard his last Brood X cicada in early July.
“He was singing to possibly find a partner, but he missed the party,” he said.
After that, the cicadas will cling to tree roots and stay underground, sucking fluids from the trees for almost two decades before emerging and starting the process all over again.
The next brood will be born in 2038.
How long will the annual cicadas be there?
Annual cicadas emerge every year and will be present until September or early October, Kritsky said.
The life cycles of insects are similar to those of periodic cicadas, although much shorter.
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