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Exoskeleton Apocalypse

If you remember their last emergence, you probably hate them: cicadas are the bugs we love to confuse with locusts from the Old Testament. If nature makes you queasy, stop reading now, because scientists are saying that the so-called Great Eastern Brood of cicadas, including hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions that live in Michigan, will soon be waking up after burrowing underground for 17 years in their larval state—and they’re going to swarm the outdoors as soon as the soil warms to around 64 degrees.
Cicadas don’t bite and are harmless to humans. But they like to amass in parks, woods, and neighborhoods. Apparently, they won’t damage property. But (in our opinion), they’re terrifying to look at. They have bright red eyes and clear, membranous wings with black veins. They’re just over an inch long with a three-inch (seven-centimeter) wingspan. And when they’re ready to fly off, to sing, and to mate, they leave their sticky exoskeletons behind, on, for one, the trunks of trees.
The good news (maybe) is that they may all emerge in one place. Entomologist Gary Parsons told clickondetroit.com in 2004, the last time they emerged, “The only place I personally know of…was at the Cherry Hill Nature Preserve on the northeast side of Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti.”
But Parsons also added, “When they emerge, cicadas generally do not move far from the emergence site, since that is where they hope to find mates. Also, isolated cicadas outside the emergence area would be more likely to be picked off by predators. So they are always found in a specific area from emergence to emergence, and I expect they will still be at or near Cherry Hill again this year.” So if you want to see them or hear them, you’ll have to travel. If not? Steer clear of Cherry Hill and cross your fingers they won’t emerge at your favorite picnic spot.The post Exoskeleton Apocalypse first appeared on Sensi Michigan Magazine .