Summertime means cicadas, and along the east coast this year, it means cicadas in abundance! For the past seventeen years, cicadas in these areas have been developing and living underground. This spring, as temperatures begin to rise, billions of cicadas dig tunnels up from the ground. Once in the open, they’ll crawl onto tree trunks, rocks, and other solid objects and wriggle out of their shells, finally taking wing and looking for mates. Harmless to plants and humans, residents will be able to see them from the Carolinas in early May all the way to New York by early June.
If you’re unable to see the swarming sight, you can still check out some of these great resources online and at your local library:
Cicadas!: Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle and Meryl Henderson
Cicadas (Bugs Bugs Bugs Series) by Margaret Hall
Cicadas (True Books: Animals Series) by Ann O. Squire
The Bizarre Life Cycle of a Cicada (Strange Life Cylces Series) by Greg Roza
National Geographic – “Cicadas” – Provides a photo and description of the insect, including diet, size, life span, and habitat.
National Geographic Kids – “Cicadas” – Designed just for kids, this site by National Geographic features photos and information about cicadas.
University of Michigan BioKids – “Cicada” – Discusses physical characteristics, diet, reproduction, and communication.
Kids Play and Create – “Cicadas” – a fun site with a lot of unusual cicada facts
Cicada Internet Activity by Cindy O’Hora – Features questions and activities about cicadas.
Science Net Links – “Cicadas” – Includes a cicada observation sheet.
Cicada invasion in 2007 in Park Ridge, Illinois (Youtube Video)
Photo by Happy Monkey