This is the year of the Brood X cicadas! What does that mean exactly? Brood X is one of 15 broods of periodical cicadas and these groups emerge from the ground on the same time cycle. Why are these ones so cool?! Because they only emerge every 13 to 17 years! Although Brood X appears in over 14 states in the US, New Mexico is not one of them. But don’t be discouraged fellow cicada enthusiasts. We still have cicadas in the Land of Enchantment; they just don’t appear in the overwhelming numbers that they do in other places. (We should be grateful.)
Here are some fun facts about these amazing little insects:
They have the longest insect life spans. Cicadas hatch above the ground and then drop to the ground and burrow into the soil. This is where the majority of their life is spent in the immature stages of development. They get their nutrients from tree and plant roots. When their time comes to emerge, they mature into adults but typically die after only a few weeks.
The reason for swarming is a survival strategy. Their synchronized emergence is deliberate and known as predator satiation. Predators gorge themselves on a cicada smorgasbord and become overly full. This increases the chance of survival for the cicadas’ young.
Have you ever found a cicada skin on a tree? When they emerge from the ground, this is their first order of business. They shed their skin and transform from nymph into adult. The mature adults have wings that allow them to go about singing and mating in their short but sweet period of adulthood.
There are so many interesting facts about cicadas and these are just a few. Cicadas are not harmful to people or pets. They are harmless to most plants except juvenile trees. So you don’t have to worry about your garden! We would just like to educate you about these amazing little creatures. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!