America’s East Coast is bracing for a cacophonous summer as hordes of flying insects emerge for a once-in-a-generation phenomenon popularly known as “Swarmageddon”.
After 17 years underground growing from larva to bug, billions of cicadas are about to revel in the final four climactic weeks of their unusual life cycle.
At some point over the next few weeks, when the temperature at eight feet below ground reaches a steady 64F, the nymphs, as juvenile cicadas are called, will scramble out of the ground.
They will then embark on their noisy, short-lived adult life in pursuit of a mate. Males flex their tymbals, drum-like organs in their abdomens, making a distinctive clicking sound. Female cicadas answer by snapping their wings.