Skip to main content

17 Year Cicada

Magicicada septendecim
There are a handful of Cicacads known as "periodicals," and the 17 Year is the largest and most northern living of the group.

These insects get their name from their long and unusual life cycle. For seventeen years you will never see them. The entire population will live underground as Juveniles, and then all at once they emerge as adults to breed and start the cycle over. And interestingly, though they live nearly two decades as juveniles, their adult life lasts only a few weeks-- just long enough to breed and lay eggs.

The timing of the cycle depends on the specific population. For example, one brood near by home state appeared way back in 2002, while another was more recent in 2007. One of the New England broods is even scheduled for 2013. People in North America have been tracking these Cicadas since 1715!

Unfortunately, their long reproductive cycle puts them in conservation trouble. If something were to happen to a brood it could be totally disastrous. For this reason they are listed as Near Threatened.

IUCN Status : Near Threatened
Location : North America
Size : Length up to 1.5in (4cm)
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Class : Insecta -- Order : Hemiptera
Family : Cicadidae -- Genus : Magicicada -- Species : M. septendecim
Image : Martin Hauser


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

10 Years?!

My goodness! It's been 6 years since I went on hiatus, and now more than 10 years since AaD was born, and what a world we've moved in to! Animal a Day is coming back- but in the meantime, check us out on Facebook, for your daily dose of #BIRDNEWS