National Geographic

So Long, Swarmageddon. My Post-Game Analysis In Today’s New York Times

I’ve lived in central Connecticut for ten years now, and so I missed their last emergence here in 1996. I was looking forward a June deafened by the songs of lovesick male cicadas, but my month turned out to be disappointingly quiet.

And yet, when my two daughters paid a visit to friends who live just seven miles away, they came home with a shoebox full of exoskeletons.

This year’s cicada emergence was anticipated by many millions of people in the eastern United States, but many of them missed it. But that doesn’t mean that the brood was a bust. Instead, it tells us something about they mysterious seventeen-year cycle of the cicadas.

In today’s New York Times I take a look back at Swarmageddon 2013, and look at what scientists learned about the bugs thanks to some newly invented tools. Check it out.

And see you next year in Iowa!

There are 2 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. E Johansson
    July 1, 2013

    Paraphrasing your NYT article: In the end we can only enjoy them and hope they come back…” – isn’t this a lame and irresponsible way of looking at habitat destruction? Why not suggest people plant native trees, work to conserve habitat, and learn about the natural world that we are part of?

    [CZ: The article is in the news section, not the editorial section.]

  2. JS
    July 6, 2013

    E J, Isn’t your comment a little too strong? Its not all about habitat destruciton. The article even mentions how cold winter weather can shut out some pockets of the population, and even how forest rebound helped the Brood II in the past.

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