Martin R. Kalfatovic says so long to Brood X with some detailed materials from the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
What to do when cicadas crash your outdoor wedding? Embrace the buzz:
And remember: At the very least, cicadas make for a memorable wedding. “It was actually quite fun to lean into the cicada theme,” [Lauren] Migaki said. “My little brother wore a cicada bolo tie; our favors were cicada-shaped chocolates with caramel pop rocks; and I donned a pair of gold cicada earrings for the reception in our backyard.”
“I loved hearing the noise of them in the trees above us,” she added, “feeling like we had hundreds of wedding guests.”
Brood X has peaked, the little red-eyed guys have done what they set out to do, and they are passing away.
“When animals die they have a pretty distinct BAD smell,” wrote Paula Shrewsbury, also a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, in an email. “As part of the decay process there are a number of interactions between enzymes and microbes that result in the ‘smell of death.’ Cicadas are no different than other animals; when they die they smell bad.”
Of course Ed Yong found a different angle on the arrival of Brood X: “Cicadas Have an Existential Problem.” And a clever analogy to illustrate what’s going on.
If you live in the mid-Atlantic, you’ve probably heard that Brood X is about to join us after its 17-year nap. Some links to prepare you:
- My field report from 2004.
- Melissa Block points her mic at “a zillion cicadas,” back when ATC could spend 7 minutes on a story like this.
- Pics and recipe pointers from Alonso Abugattas.
- Ditto from Kevin Ambrose of the Capital Weather Gang.
- Views of the instars from John Cooley and Chris Simon.
- Interactives of the various broods by year and geography by Jonathan Corum.
- David Attenborough messes with an amorous male.