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Current Affairs

Brood X cicada group

Date: 12 June 2021 Tags: Disaster & Disaster Management

Issue

US President Joe Biden’s foreign trip was interrupted by a swarm of cicada that prevented his plane from take-off.

 

Background

Cicadas have been turning into a menace in many of the US states. These cicadas have been part of a main group called Brood X that contains billions of them.

 

Details

  • Cicadas are insects that mostly live underground for a majority of their lives. They come out of their underground burrows once in 17 years.

  • Brood is a cicada population that is separated from others based on their year of emergence and also locality. They usually feed on roots and plants underground.

  • Brood X is so far the biggest cicada group that has been observed over US. They are majorly found in Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

  • A similar group called Brood IX had emerged last year on the east coast. There are some cicadas that come out every year.

  • The factors responsible for cicadas to emerge include climate and temperature (17-18°C). They start emerging in May and stay till June.

 

Reason for underground dwelling

  • Cicadas have a five stage evolution that takes about 17 years to complete. Males come out from ground after they turn adults.

  • There is no clear reason why they take so time to develop. It is assumed that this practice would avoid predators living above the ground.

 

Emergence

Males come out and indulge in procreation. They die soon after this activity. The eggs are laid on tree branches and the young nymphs burrow into ground, emerging after 17 years.

 

Threats

Cicadas do not sting but their collective noise can exceed sound produced from a lawn mower and a jet flying above.

 

Benefits

They are suitable to be eaten due to the presence of high protein content. They are popular among new generation.