For those of you that don’t know, parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and of course West Virginia are experiencing an invasion of the most derp-y insects you’ve ever seen. They are called the 17 year cicadas, living most of their life cycle underground and emerging by the thousands as adults (every 17 years 0f course). The WVU arboretum held a Magicicada festival, where the community came together to celebrate the species and learn more about them.
I call them derp-y because they are so terribly slow and apparently blind. (They will fly into anything and everything.) In fact, their only defense for survival is predator satiation. There are just so many emerging, that there is no selection pressure. They don’t need to adapt.
Later this week I will be covering trees I’ve planted with mosquito netting. This prevents the females from laying eggs in the branches and prevents the nymphs from eventually killing the tree.
Despite their annoying traits, I love these guys and will continue to enjoy them for the next 5-7 weeks (not culinary-ly though). They are a beautifully strange animal.