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Cicadas Arrive Early In Indiana
Updated May 25, 2017 4:39 AM
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(UNDATED) - Hoosiers may have noticed a few more cicadas than normal this year.

"They are actually four years ahead of time," says Lee Townsend, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky. "There's a group of them that have gotten out of sequence, and that's what we're seeing now."

Adult cicadas make high-pitched, droning noises -- love songs -- to help find a mate.

The most common type of cicadas fare about an inch long, have a stout body with two pairs of transparent wings and are green or black in color.

Cicadas go through a metamorphosis, similar to butterflies. When they hatch, they burrow into the soil where they grow and shed their skin multiple times as they get bigger. Cicadas stay underground for anywhere from one year to 17 years depending on the species.

If critters make you cringe, don't worry! Cicadas don't harm humans, pets or livestock. Their love songs, though, may keep you up at night.

Experts says bugs' early emergence "fits that pattern" of climate change, driven by a general increase in soil temperatures in recent years.

Professor Keith Clay of Indiana University, who has studied cicada broods, says the cicadas appearing in Indiana early. Brood X typically surfaces every 17 years, and the next major emergence event isn't until 2021.

Dr. Gene Kritsky, Dean of the Behavioral and Natural Sciences Department at Mt. St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, says the early emergence of these cicadas has been seen in Ohio, Indiana, Maryland and Washington D.C. as well as other states.

"It's a bit of an unusual situation," he said.

Blair Leano-Helvey, an entomologist at Idlewild Butterfly Farm, said the emergence of these cicadas, though, may not be the real deal. She said we'll have to wait at least another week to see if the lifecycle for all of the 17-year cicadas in the region has been sped up.



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