Brood II returns better understood
For a few weeks in 2013, a chorus of headlines about the raucous reproduction of periodical cicadas just about drowned out the real cicada news.
This was the year for a cohort of big, reckless, ruby-eyed bugs to break out of the soil for their first and only chance to mate after 17 years of sucking plant roots in the dark. Synchronized generations of three Magicicada species designated as Brood II reliably emerge every 17 years in a swath of the U.S. East Coast from the southern Appalachians to New York (SN: 7/13/13, p. 26).
In just about any year, one of the 15 numbered Magicicada broods emerges somewhere. But Brood II is big and pops out in cities with major news