Warning: Southern Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, Western Maryland, Northwestern Virginia and West Virginia-the cicadas are coming! The 17-year periodical cicada known as brood V will emerge this spring. Brood V consists of three species-Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini, and Magicicada septendecula. The periodical cicada is a North American native and also it’s longest living insect. They are designated into different broods that emerge in 17-year or 13-year cycles (the 13-year variety are a different suite of species) to mate. Broods are identified by Roman numerals. Brood V was last seen in 1999. Nymphs from a brood remain buried underground and emerge as a group after 17 years when soil temperatures reach 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Synchronized emergence helps to overwhelm predators. Soon after emergence nymphs shed their exoskeleton to become adults and begin mating. That lovely sound you hear when cicadas are about are male cicadas calling out for their lady friends (when cicadas cry). After they get their groove on the female cicadas lay eggs on tree branches that eventually hatch into nymphs that drop to the ground and bury themselves for a 17-year nap. After 17-years the party starts up again. Prince would be proud.
About the Illustration: Markers and micron pens. I should have drawn this little guy in purple 🙂