Where do cicadas go in the winter?

Answered by Willie Powers

Cicadas, like many other insects, spend the winter in their immature stage. They go through a process called diapause, which is similar to hibernation in mammals. During this time, cicadas are in a state of dormancy and their development slows down significantly.

In the case of cicadas, they spend the winter as larvae underground. After hatching from their eggs, the cicada nymphs burrow into the soil and create tunnels where they will live and feed for several years. These tunnels can be as deep as several feet underground, providing the nymphs with protection from the cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions of winter.

The nymphs of cicadas are well adapted to survive underground during the winter months. They have a tough exoskeleton that helps protect them from the cold, and they are also able to extract moisture from the soil to stay hydrated. Additionally, they have specialized adaptations that allow them to extract nutrients from the roots of trees, which is their primary source of food.

During the winter, cicada nymphs remain mostly inactive. They do not feed or move around much, as their metabolism slows down to conserve energy. Instead, they rely on the stored nutrients they have acquired during their feeding period in the previous months.

As spring approaches and the weather starts to warm up, the cicada nymphs become more active. They continue to feed on tree roots and grow, undergoing several molts as they develop. Eventually, when the time is right, they will emerge from the ground as fully formed adults.

The emergence of adult cicadas is a remarkable event, as they come out in large numbers and create a loud buzzing sound that is characteristic of their species. After emerging, the adult cicadas will mate and the females will lay their eggs in the branches of trees. The eggs will then hatch, and the cycle will begin again.

Cicadas spend the winter as nymphs underground. They enter a state of dormancy called diapause, where their development slows down and they conserve energy. This allows them to survive the cold temperatures and harsh conditions of winter. When spring arrives, they emerge as adults, mate, and start the cycle anew.