Brood II cicadas are getting closer to bursting from the ground and making a racket for people living from North Carolina to Connecticut.
Periodical cicadas are sub-grouped in 12 "broods." Brood II last appeared in 1996, but some broods appear in 13-year intervals. The inspects will shed off a crunchy shell, mate, then die during their short lives.
The chirping noise that makes the inspects infamous is made by males to attract female mates.
According to National Geographic, there may be "millions" of cicadas per acre in some areas once the ground warms to 64°F. In 2012, the magazine notes, Brood I cicadas — found in eastern Tennessee and western Virginia, according to data posted to magicicada.org — emerged in mid-April after a mild winter, but this year the cicadas may not emerge until May.
Around the world, cicadas are incorporated into local diets. In the U.S., however, only the most adventurous people venture a nibble. College of Mount St. Joseph cicada expert Gene Kritsky told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that cicadas taste like canned asparagus.
Kritsky also said that it's possible for humans to interact with the insects. "If you know how to do this, you can actually snap your fingers and the male will respond and walk toward you," said Kritsky.
The website cicadamania.com notes that there are several varieties of cicadas that reappear every year. Periodical cicada broods, however, get all the attention.
What to expect: