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Broods of Cicadas May Become Zombie-like After Emerging

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Starting in mid-May 2024, two different broods of cicadas will begin emerging. The two broods have not appeared at the same time since 1803.

The ground temperature, about 8 inches deep, must reach about 64 degrees before the insects emerge. Brood XIX emerges once every 13 years, and they will live in 14 states across the Southeast and Midwest.

Meanwhile, Brood XIII only appears once every 17 years and lives in the Midwest. The two broods may overlap in Iowa and Illinois.

In addition to it being highly unusual for the two broods to emerge simultaneously, the cicadas may become affected by a fungus spore called Massospora cicadina.

Massospora Cicadina

Massospora cicadina affects the abdomen and sexual organs of the cicadas. The fungus is the longest-living fungus of any known to man.

Many scientists believe that the fungus attacks the cicadas underground when they are about a year old. Cicadas live underground except for about seven weeks when they emerge to mate.

Other scientists believe that the insects become infected shortly before they emerge or as they reenter the ground. The fungus spores attack males and females equally.


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