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Embracing the swarm

The Science Life

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3:17pm, May 16, 2013

Entomologist Michael Raupp is enjoying Swarmageddon. The giant batch of cicadas began emerging from the ground in late April and will be heard in some northeastern states through June.

“You see the insects in a mad, desperate dash for the trees so they can survive and mate,” Raupp says. “Birds and squirrels will be eating them. It’s life, it’s death, it’s romance. It’s a massive display of Mother Nature’s wonder — in my opinion, at its best.”

Likewise, scientists get only so many chances to study each cohort, or brood, of cicadas. This particular cycle of 17-year cicadas is called Brood II and occurs from northern North Carolina to Connecticut and New York’s Hudson River Valley.

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