JONESBORO Cicadas that have spent years in hibernation are emerging in Arkansas and other states, creating sometimes-high noise levels in the areas where they abound.
Tanya McKay, an associate professor of entomology at Arkansas State University, said the type of cicadas emerging in northeast Arkansas are 13-year periodicals and in about a month, they will be gone for another 13 years, the Jonesboro Sun reported Monday.
“These guys, and I’m not sure why, come out at the same time,” McKay said. “This is very exciting.”
The emergence of the cicadas is “a neat phenomenon” although quite noisy at times because of their numbers, McKay said. The male cicada makes noise by stroking “tymbals” on his underside in an effort to attract females, she said.
Experts say the 13-year cicadas are emerging in parts of 16 states, including Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina, and will move further north as soil temperatures reach 64 degrees.
The cicadas do not bite but do suck liquid from tree branches.
There are about 80 species of cicadas that have different lengths of time between appearances, McKay said.