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Members of the public invited to track the rise of the cicadas


Cicadas are best known for the loud buzzing noise that males make
Cicadas are best known for the loud buzzing noise that males make

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer

April 23, 2013 — Sometime in the near future, billions of cicadas will rise from the earth along the U.S. east coast -- and experts want you to help track them.

Every 13 to 17 years, cicadas rise from underground to mate and this spring, there will be billions of them.

Experts say that in some parts of the U.S., there will be enough to blacken the sky.

While the insects aren't bothersome or destructive, they sure are noisy.

Males have special organs on their abdomens that release a loud mating call. 

While the impending rise of the cicadas has left the squeamish feeling - well, squeamish - it has caught the attention of National Public Radio’s Radiolab, a popular science-based podcast.

According to some experts, the insects' emergence may be dependent on soil temperature. It's believed they prefer to make an appearance when the soil temperature exceeds 17°C at a depth of 20 centimetres.

Members of the public are invited to help Radiolab monitor the soil and predict the arrival of the cicadas by planting temperature sensors and reporting their findings.

Visit the Cicada Tracker to learn more.

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