Magicicada Septendecim


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Magicicada Septendecim

Magicicada is the genus of the 13- and 17- year periodical cicadas of eastern North America. These insects display a unique combination of long life cycles, periodicity, and mass emergences. They are sometimes called "seventeen-year locusts", but they are not locusts.

Nearly all cicadas spend multiple years growing underground as juveniles, before emerging above ground for a short adult stage of several weeks to a few months. The seven periodical cicada species are so named because, in any one location, all of the members of the population are developmentally synchronized – they emerge as adults all at once in the same year. This periodicity is especially amazing because their life cycles are so extremely long – 13 or 17 years. Cicadas of all other species (perhaps 3000 worldwide) are not synchronized, so some adults mature each summer and emerge while the rest of the population continues to develop underground. Many people refer to these non-periodical species as annual cicadas since some are seen in every summer. The life cycles of most annual species range from two to ten years, although some could be longer.

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