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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Cicada-geddon



Two broods of periodical cicadas are emerging across the US. The event marks the first time in over 200 years these two broods—out of almost 3,400 known species—will appear simultaneously. 


While most cicadas surface annually, periodical cicadas burrow underground for up to 17 years, feeding off sap and roots before emerging once underground temperatures reach 64 degrees. Upon their debut, cicadas search for high ground, like trees, to shed their exoskeletons, mate loudly, lay eggs, and die, all in the span of four to six weeks (watch reenactment). This year, trillions of cicadas from Broods XIX and XIII—underground for 13 and 17 years, respectively—are surfacing together for the first time since 1803, when Thomas Jefferson was president. Some have begun to appear, while others are expected to join in the coming days. 


There is little geographic overlap between the two broods, which will emerge across the South and Midwest (see map). Illinois is expected to witness the emergence of both, with researchers predicting Springfield as the epicenter.

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