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article image17-year cicada broods make their presence known in New Jersey Special

By Michael Krebs     May 26, 2013 in Science
Watchung - As the unusual cold snap broke on Sunday, the 17-year cicadas made their appearance known - emerging from the ground in swelling numbers.
The unusually wet and chilly weather that has enveloped New Jersey for the first half of the Memorial Day weekend has kept a very large number of the state's residents from emerging more vociferously to enjoy the sun's many offerings.
And the human populations stayed inside as well.
However, Sunday offered a return to more seasonal temperatures - and with that return came a more populous spectacle, as thousands of 17-year cicadas, also known as the periodical cicadas, made the beginnings of their presence known.
While their numbers appeared to have been muted due to the undesirable weather conditions, ( offers a humorous post on the cicadas appetite for warmer temperatures), the 17-year periodical cicadas have begun making their slow climbs through grass stalks and up tree limbs - transforming from a blind root-nibbling underworld grub to one of the loudest and most poetic crooners in nature.
In the coming weeks, it is expected that their numbers will total in the billions - and many leafy areas of New Jersey are expected to see magnificent waves of the red-eyed 17-year brood.
And just as quickly as they pay us this astonishing and alien visit, the lucky among them will sing and mate and die - and we will have to wait another 17 years to experience them again.
More about Cicadas, New jersey, Insects, 17year cicada, Memorial day
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