Written by Adweita Panigrahi, a grade 2 student.
This year a rare event is happening in the USA. Billions of cicadas are coming out from under the ground this summer. Named Brood X, these cicadas were born in 2004. They have waited for 17 years to step out into the sunshine. And, what’s interesting to know is that after they’ve been out for a few weeks, they will disappear again – for another 17 years!
What’s a Cicada
Cicada is a kind of insect, which has a length of 2-5 cm. It feeds on the sap of trees and plants and lays eggs under leaves and on twigs. Once the eggs hatch, the babies drop down and hide underground. There they grow, sucking on tiny roots, safe from predators.
What’s special about the American Cicadas
The cicadas found in the US live underground for 17 years. They wait patiently for the right year and the right temperature. When it is time, cicadas crawl out and start climbing trees where they start moulting. They shed their dry outer shell and step out as new adults. They live only for a few weeks as adults, eating and mating. The male cicada uses a very loud and shrill song to call the female. After mating, the female cicada lays up to 600 eggs. After the adult cicadas die, their children again go underground for 17 years.
Are cicadas scary
Cicadas are totally harmless. They don’t bite or sting anyone. When hundreds and thousands of cicadas make noise together, it can be extremely loud.
A plateful of cicadas
A long time ago, the people who lived in America used to eat cicadas. Now, few people around the USA enjoy eating cicadas. People share videos on how to cook cicadas and restaurants serve these as special dishes.
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