Cicadas Life Cycle

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The loud and possibly annoying buzz wakes residents of the eastern North American area every 17 years. Who is the culprit? They are called periodical cicadas, exclusive to the eastern coast of the US. They achieve something rare called true periodicity, which is fixed life cycles lengths, a period when no adults are present, and synchronized adult appearances. What is its life cycle? How are there so many? Do they impact others? Finally, why do they do this? What is the life cycle of these extraordinary creatures? First, the female cicada uses her ovipositor and lays her rice-shaped eggs into a crevice in a tree branch. It is seen through EyeInHand (2013), that the 6-8 weeks after it gets laid, tiny translucent nymphs hatch, fall, and burrow underground. Their first stage, the young nymph, happens now when they tap a nearby tree root and suck fluids. The nymph stage is next. Over the course of 13 or 17 years, cicada nymphs shed and grow out of four exoskeletons and use the changing qualities of root juices to determine when to awaken. Finally, the nymph uses its now strong legs to burrow out; it detaches itself from its last…show more content…
But, how do they attract each other? Each individual cicada species, or even each brood, has a unique sound, or “song” they make, and these are essential to their process. In order to ensure the best genetics for their offspring, male cicadas crowd together and make songs for females, who respond by clicking their wings. The songs they make are usually a clattery, buzzing noise (Milius, 2013). So, how do they make the songs? Male cicadas have two tymbals, located beside its abdomen. Because a cicada’s abdomen is hollow, when they tighten the muscle around it, the sound is amplified, therefore creating a loud buzz. This mating system can ensure that females lay the most amounts of eggs, around 600 per individual (Pringle: 10-14,

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