Cicada Brood VII emerges after 17 years


ONONDAGA, N.Y. (AP) — Students from Japan and a researcher from New Zealand are among the scientists and hobbyists flocking to central New York for rare sightings of a big bug.

The area’s cicada brood emerges once every 17 years.

The Post-Standard says the eastern U.S. is one of three places in the world with periodical cicadas. The others are the Pacific Ocean island of Fiji, where cicadas emerge every eight years; and northern India, where they emerge every four years. (The latter is called the World Cup cicada, for its coincidence with the soccer contest.)

The U.S. has about a dozen “broods” of periodical cicadas, with cycles of 13 or 17 years. Central New York’s 17-year Brood VII is unusual for several reasons: It’s composed of a single species instead of several, it’s the smallest known brood and it’s the farthest north.

In New York, some of the cicada fans have congregated at a farm and brewery in Onondaga, just south of Syracuse. Several researchers recorded audio and video as the cicadas’ call vibrated in the background.

John Cooley, a University of Connecticut entomologist, demonstrated a cicada researcher party trick: How to get a male cicada to attempt to mate with a standard light switch.

“It has all the characteristics the male cicada is looking for,” Cooley said, as a male ambled down his arm toward the toggle switch he clicked in his hand. As the male got closer, it emitted its second call, a sort of “I’m on my way,” signal, and finally gave its third call, the rapid clicking sound that means he is about to mate.

“It’s not going to work quite right,” Cooley said dryly, “because this a light switch.”

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Information from: The Post-Standard, http://www.syracuse.com

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Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

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