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Cicadas

Cicadas And People

When they are breeding in abundance, some species of cicadas cause economic damage by the injuries that result when the females lay their eggs in the branches and twigs of commercially important species of trees. The periodical cicada is the most important species in this respect in North America. This species can cause a great deal of damage in hardwood-dominated forests in parts of eastern North America. The damage is not very serious in mature forests, but can be important in younger forests and nurseries.

Although cicadas are not often seen, their loud buzzing noises are a familiar noise of hot, sunny days in many regions. As such, cicadas are appreciated as an enjoyable aspect of the outdoors.

Bill Freedman

KEY TERMS

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Irruption

—A periodic, sporadic, or rare occurrence of a great abundance of a species. The periodic cicada, for example, is irruptive on a seventeen-year cycle.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Chimaeras to ClusterCicadas - Biology Of Cicadas, Life Cycle Of Cicadas, Cicadas And People