2024's Natural concert - Two cicada broods in harmonious emergence

Jan 29, 2024

By Farms.com

In an extraordinary natural occurrence set for spring 2024, two broods of periodic cicadas, Brood XIX and Brood XIII, will emerge simultaneously in the U.S. This event, last observed in 1803, offers a rare auditory spectacle. 

Brood XIX, emerging every 13 years, is the largest of its kind, covering 15 states. Brood XIII, with a 17-year cycle, is found in five states. These broods, known for their mass emergence, use their sheer numbers to evade predators. 

The life of a cicada is intriguing. They spend most of their lives underground, feeding on tree sap, and emerge all at once for mating. Their loud choruses, a part of the mating process, can reach deafening levels. 

Post-mating, the lifecycle continues with females laying eggs and adults dying shortly after. The nymphs then begin their subterranean phase, sustaining on sap from tree roots. 

Cicadas, often confused with locusts, are important to the ecosystem. They serve as a food source for various wildlife, playing a pivotal role in the food chain. 

The 2024 dual emergence is anticipated to be particularly notable in Arkansas and states like Illinois. This event presents a unique educational opportunity for students and nature enthusiasts to observe and study these fascinating insects.  

The cicada emergence not only highlights the wonders of nature but also underscores the importance of these insects in our ecosystem.