- Associated Press - Sunday, May 17, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Entomologists are predicting a noisy summer in Missouri as two broods of long-living cicadas emerge.

A batch that spent 17 years underground will make a ruckus in the northwest part of the state, while another group will surface in the southeast part after a 13-year subterranean existence, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1JL7BYs) reports. Neither batch is expected to significantly affect the St. Louis area.

Rob Lawrence, a forest entomologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, said “it could be deafening” as the male cicadas try to attract mates.

The cicadas’ emergence will mark the only time this century that a 13-year and a 17-year brood are arriving at the same time in Missouri. And it will be another 221 years before these two broods come out to mate at the same time in the state.

“When people think of cicadas in the summer, they usually hear one or two and it’s usually in July or August,” Lawrence said. “This is going to be much different. Much louder, and earlier, like May and June.”

The exact population of a brood is unknown but researchers say the numbers can range from 10,000 cicadas per acre to 1.5 million an acre.

The 13-year brood is already singing in Mississippi and Tennessee, causing a stir in the process. Blake Layton Jr., an entomology professor at Mississippi State University, said there have a “lot of calls” as people see pinkie-sized black insects with red eyes flying around. They are finding half-inch diameter holes in their yards where the insects burrowed through. And, of course, they are hearing a clamor, he said.

There are subtle differences in the 17- and 13-year broods, Lawrence said. But few people would be able to tell the difference by sight or sound, he said.

“Most people are just going to say: ‘Those bugs are making a lot of racket,’” Lawrence said.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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