Invasion of the magicicada

JASMIN K. WILLIAMS Amsterdam News Staff | 5/23/2013, 4:29 p.m.
Get ready for Swarmaggedon. From North Carolina to Connecticut, the East Coast is bracing itself...
Invasion of the magicicada

After nearly two decades in the ground, the cicadas will have their fun, but their time in the sun is short. Males die soon after mating and females die soon after laying their eggs. After a few weeks of development, the newly hatched nymphs literally rain down from the trees and burrow into the ground, where they will spend another 17 years before the cycle starts all over again.

The next magicicada wave happens in 2030 and will be the ninth generation of Brood II cicadas to emerge since 1894. Check out all things cicada at

Magicada Fun Facts

  • It's estimated that between 30 billion and 1 trillion Brood II cicadas will emerge.
  • If all the cicadas were lined up head to tail, they would reach to the moon and back--some 477,714 miles.
  • You can eat cicadas. They are best before they morph into adults. They are full of protein and have a nutty flavor. Animals love to eat cicadas. Even fish love them.
  • Cicadas don't eat solid food. Instead, they suck juices from trees and plants.
  • Cicadas are about the size of a large paper clip.
  • Cicadas only sing during the daytime and make the loudest sound of any insect. They can be heard half a mile away.
  • Cicadas have five eyes--two big red ones called compound eyes and three smaller ones called ocelli situated between them. The smaller ocelli are used to detect light and darkness.


  • LOOK IT UP: Use the Internet or other reference source to learn more about cicadas.


Cicadas use their massive numbers to survive. What are some other methods that plants, animals and insects use to survive?

Write it down

Cicadas are insects. What is the difference between a bug and an insect? Draw a cicada and note the different body parts.

This Week in Black History

  • May 13, 1950: Happy birthday, Stevie Wonder! Steveland Hardaway Judkins is born in Saginaw, Mich.
  • May 15, 1918: Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts become the first Americans awarded the Croix de Guerre, France's highest military honor, for their valor in World War I.
  • May 17, 1988: Renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Patricia Bath patents a device that effectively removes cataracts using laser technology.