They're Baaaaaack!

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By Dave Bell

Cicadas emerged last week from their underground homes of the past 13 years and began their above-ground life cycle. The noisy insects inhabit wooded areas and the males can be heard "singing" to attract females. Their song has been described as a slow repetition of the word "pharaoh."
In its nymph stage, the cicada is wingless and lives underground. Once the insect emerges from the ground, it sheds its nymphal skin, above, and unfolds a large pair of wings. The process is nearly complete in the photo at right, as the adult cicada dries its wings while still holding on to its former skin. The adult cicadas are about 1.5 inches long and have bright red eyes.