An American cicada whose nymphs emerge from the soil in large numbers periodically. The mature nymphs of the northern species ( seventeen-year locust) emerge every seventeen years; those of the southern species emerge every thirteen years. A cicada brood can be so abundant that the shrill sound emitted by the males can damage the human ear.
- Genus Magicicada, family Cicadidae, suborder Homoptera: six species.
- It is not known how periodical cicadas synchronize their life cycles over 13 or 17 years - or how they manage to count out the years.
- The fact that periodical cicadas emerge after a prime number of years could be just a coincidence.
- But the lack of a viable predator control of the periodical cicadas doesn't mean the periodical cicadas have no predators, or no effect on their predators' lives.
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Syllabification: pe·ri·od·i·cal ci·ca·da
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