Definition of periodical cicada in English:

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periodical cicada

noun

An American cicada whose nymphs emerge in large numbers in a seventeen-year (or, in the south, a thirteen-year) cycle.
  • Magicicada septendecim, family Cicadidae, suborder Homoptera. Alternative name: seventeen-year cicada.
Example sentences
  • 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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: peri¦od|ic¦al ci¦cada

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