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Brood X Cicadas Are Invading, But Some Foodies Are Feasting

Cicadas can be found in abundance every year. But the Brood X cicadas that have been underground for the last 17 years are really running rampant this summer in the U.S. They are big, loud, sex-crazed, and number in the billions. But they aren't dangerous, don't harm the environment, and some foodies consider them a delicacy. Here's a chance to view these periodical insects up close, while still keeping your distance.

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Brood X Cicadas Are Invading, But Some Foodies Are Feasting
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    Above Ground After 17 Years

    Above Ground After 17 Years

    A cicada on a picnic table in Cumru Township, Pennsylvania.

    Face It

    Face It

    A Magicicada periodical cicada begins to molt from its nymph state as it clings to the bark of a tree in Takoma Park, Maryland.

    Nymphs

    Nymphs

    A Magicicada periodical cicada nymph (bottom) clings to another teneral cicada as it emerges from its shell on a leaf covered with shells left by previously molted cicadas.

    Buggin' Out

    Buggin' Out

    A periodical cicada nymph climbs a tree after crawling out of the ground at the U.S. Capitol on May 20, 2021.

    Two Mating Cicadas

    Two Mating Cicadas

    Two Magicicada periodical cicadas, one infected with a fungal parasite, engage in a mating process May 25, 2021, in Takoma Park, Maryland.

    Protecting the Trees

    Protecting the Trees

    Young trees are draped in netting to protect their small branches from being damaged by periodical cicadas laying their eggs in them in Takoma Park, Maryland.

    Bite Sized

    Bite Sized

    Entomologist Maru Losada samples some grilled cicadas during Cicadafest on May 22, 2021, in Crofton, Maryland.

    Bug Sushi

    Bug Sushi

    Fried cicadas are rolled into a sushi roll by Chef Bun Lai at Fort Totten Park in Washington, D.C.

    Chicken Deed

    Chicken Deed

    Lucy, a domesticated golden buff chicken eats a newly molted periodical cicada on May 20, 2021, in Takoma Park, Maryland.

    Beats Nuts

    Beats Nuts

    A squirrel holds the body of a periodical cicada in its mouth while climbing a tree on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

    Fowl Grub

    Fowl Grub

    A bird uses its beak to thrash a periodical cicada in its newly molted tendrel stage before eating it in Takoma Park, Maryland.

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