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Cicadas In U.S. South Emerge After 13 Years Underground (VIDEO)

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CICADAS US SOUTH 2011

Cicadas, the loud yet harmless insects, have begun rearing their unattractive heads across the southern U.S. after a 13-year lull spent underground.

States like Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia are reporting the insects emerging in droves, and are preparing for that incessant buzzing that will soon fill the atmosphere as the male cicadas seek out mates in a clamorous event that last occurred in 1998.

Meanwhile, scientists are bustling to study the enigmatic creatures, well aware they won't have another chance to do so until 2024. Nancy Hinkle, a professor of the department of entomology at the University of Georgia, told CVN News that these 13-year cicadas, also known as periodical cicadas, belong to Brood XIX in Georgia. There are other periodical cicadas in the U.S. that only appear every 17 years.

While many people see the mysterious cicadas as a nuisance and some find them frightening, they are actually harmless creatures that don't bite or sting in any way. According to the Jackson Sun, the red-eyed cicadas can even be eaten, and in some countries "are considered delicacies because of the high amount of protein they provide."

From The Tennessean

“There is no toxic component to cicadas,’’ [Grassmere Animal Hospital Veterinarian Carol] Machery said. “I’ve even heard of people storing them in a freezer for dog treats.”

WKSR reports that the cicadas should be around for 5-6 weeks before returning underground for another 13 years.

WATCH The Tennessean's report on the emerging 13-year cicadas:

Around the Web

Cicadas, Cicada Pictures, Cicada Facts - National Geographic

After 13-year sleep, cicadas return in full-throated song | ajc.com

13-year cicadas expected in middle Tenn. - UPI.com

Cicadas loudly return after 13 years | CharlotteObserver.com & The ...

13-year cicadas wake up, prepare to swarm | MNN - Mother Nature ...

Cicadas ready to buzz after 13 years underground

'Alien buzz' kicks off cicada mating season

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