As anyone who isn’t living in a hole knows, Brood II of the 17-year Magicicada species of cicadas is emerging this spring. Contrary to what the mainstream media is reporting, however, Brood II is not “the big one” in terms of sheer numbers. That would be Brood X, not scheduled to make a reappearance until 2021. (You can read up on the various broods at the Cicada Mania website, which fabulously has a link to a “cicada wedding planner.”)
But any emergence of long-term cicadas — they come in both 13-year and 17-year flavors — is very, very cool. These species have a fascinating life history, which is being explored in gorgeous high definition, time-lapse detail by filmmaker Samuel Orr. He’s been working on a one-hour documentary since 2007, and has a Kickstarter project to help finance the film’s completion. Below is a sampling of what he has so far, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this is BBC “Planet” quality in terms of the videography. My favorite scenes are those of the insects’ transformation from the larval form to the winged adult form…and I had to rewind and watch again after realizing that I’d just seen a new adult turn black.
Do yourself a favor and watch it in full screen.
(Hat tip to Inge.)