The 17-year-cicadas (Magicicada) are coming out this year in this part of Ohio, as well as the Northern Panhandle of WV and parts of Western PA. They emerged last night on our lawn and began their adult form on our silver maples.
(All photos by Jenna Coleman).
The discarded exoskeleton of the Magicicada nymph:
An adult one is bursting through its nymph exoskeleton.
The adult exoskeleton is pasty and takes a few hours to harden into black.
Our maples are covered with discarded nymph exoskeletons, drying adults, and adults that are almost ready to start whirring in the trees.
The adult form is so oddly ugly that it is beautiful.
These cicadas have a life-cycle based upon brood. They spend 17 years underground. When that time comes in late May, they climb up out of the ground and begin mating and laying eggs. Their will be whirring loudly from the trees in a couple of days, and by the end of June, you won’t see a single one. This reproductive strategy is meant to overwhelm their many predators with so many easy targets that more than a few will manage to reproduce.
So we are ready for the weird noise of these cicadas as they complete their final life stage.
And we will soon be tired of it.