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Monday, May 11, 2015

Cicada Call

Have you been hearing a strange vibrating sound lately? Perhaps you've run across some bugs that seem a little alien? Our neighborhood cat has been incredibly intrigued by the recent visitors, although actually catching one would be way too much work for him. Periodical cicadas are out in Mississippi again and they are a wonder to see. (And to hear!)

According to the Mississippi State University Extension Service, "there are only three broods of 13-year cicadas in the world and Mississippi is the only state where all three broods occur." They are notable for their black bodies, orange tinted wings, and red beady eyes. These guys have spent the thirteen years of their lives underground, feasting on tree roots, and only appear above ground to molt, mate, and die. The loud humming noise we all hear is the males calling to the females. MSU says that in an ideal environment, there could be over one million cicadas in one acre. No wonder they're so loud!
If you're a B-horror movie fan, we recommend watching The Beast Within while the cicada songs are in full swing. The movie was actually filmed in Bolton, Jackson, and Raymond, Mississippi, and it features a rampaging cicada-man-beast. It was based on the book The Beast Within by Edward Levy. Unfortunately, there are no rampaging cicada-man-beasts in the book.

Check out the MSU Extension Service for more detailed information on cicadas. We hope you enjoy this cicada season. If the noise gets to be too much, maybe we can all invest in some earplugs.

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