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About the Cicada…(from the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology)…
The 17-year life cycle of Magicicada septendecim is of critical importance to its reproductive behavior. All members of the genus Magicicada remain in groups known as broods. In the case of M. septendecim, single brood emerges from underground together once every 17 years . In a year when a given brood has emerged to reproduce, female Magicicada septendecim mature and lay eggs in the twigs of trees. Hatching occurs during the middle of the summer, and the nymphs burrow one to three meters underground. Magicicada septendecim nymphs remain underground for 17 years, feeding and going through several juvenile stages. In the spring of the 17th year, the nymphs build exit tunnels, and generally emerge during the month of May. An entire brood sometimes emerges during one night. The nymphs then attach themselves to the bark of a nearby tree and undergo one final molt, becoming adults. Within four or five days of emergence, the males form singing choruses, as the females wait nearby. The males alternate between singing and flying until they find a female of their species willing to mate. Mating is achieved through copulation, and both males and females generally mate with several partners during the period. After a female has mated, she uses her needle-like egg-laying mechanism, called an ovipositor, to make small slits in twigs, where the eggs are to be laid. A single female can lay up to 500 eggs, and after this process, the female drops to the ground and dies. Neither the male nor the female lives past early July. The new nymphs, about 2.5 mm in length, hatch and journey to the ground, and the 17-year cycle begins anew (Cooley and Marshall 1997, Boyer 1996, Alexander 1990).
Explore the Cicada (Female, Male, Nymph), Magicicada septendecim (Linnaeus, 1758).
Alexander, R.D. and Moore, T.E. 1962. The Evolutionary Relationships of 17-Year and 13-Year Cicadas, and Three New Species (Homoptera, Cicadidae, Magicicada). Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 121.
Alexander, R.D. 1990. Boyer, P.S. 1996. 1996: a Year of the Cicadas. Cooley, J. and Marshall, D. 1997. Periodical Cicada Homepage.
Gene is a creative innovator and developer with a passion for developing scientific tools, exhibits, and educational programs that provide new ways of exploring the world both literally and figuratively.
Photography is a common thread in his life and work, which has come a long way since childhood years experimenting with unique perspectives, angles, filters, and time-lapse exposures.
He founded GIGAmacro to build robotic devices capable of capturing gigapixel photographs with microscopic detail and developing new visualization tools for comparison of complex imagery for research, science, and education.