Cicadas Spend Most of Their Lives Underground


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • fascinate: to cause great interest
  • mature: to grow
  • periodical: reoccurring at specific times
  • droves: large numbers
  • brood: a group of living things that are hatched or born at the same time
  • emerge: to come out; to appear
  • overlap: to occupy the same space or time
  • schedule around: to plan the date or time of something at a different date or time than something else (to avoid overlap)

Pronunciation Note:
The word “cicada” can be pronounced in two ways:
“si-CAY-dah” OR “si-CAH-dah”

Cicadas Spend Most of Their Lives Underground

Cicadas are insects that fascinate bug lovers. The word cicada comes from a Latin word meaning “tree cricket”. The periodical cicadas in the US are the most . They have 13 or 17-year cycles. This means they spend 13 or 17 years maturing underground before emerging in droves to mate. their long lives, these periodical cicadas only spend as adults. They die shortly after mating, and the life cycle begins again. Some years no periodical cicadas emerge, while other years there are overlapping broods. Special charts called “brood maps” tell bug lovers exactly when and where the massive broods will emerge. Male cicadas make a loud humming sound to attract a mate. Even though cicadas don’t bite or sting, many people consider these large bugs to be pests. Some even use brood maps to schedule their outdoor weddings around mating season. Around the world, many other types of cicadas emerge in the summer. They have 2-5 year life cycles and don’t all emerge at once.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What is a periodical cicada?
  2. Why might a bride consult a brood map?
  3. Do all types of cicadas emerge this rarely? (Explain.)

Discussion Questions: A person who is afraid of bugs is called an “entomophobe”. A bug lover is called an “entomophile”. The word ending “phobe” means to fear while “phile” means to love. Are you a bug lover or a bug hater?

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