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Live Cicada Cam Is for Those Bugged by Not Being on East Coast

Image: Live Cicada Cam Is for Those Bugged by Not Being on East Coast

By Alexandra Ward   |   Tuesday, 28 May 2013 08:54 AM

Though this summer's cicada invasion is only supposed to affect the East Coast, people everywhere can experience it with the Science Channel's new live Cicada Cam.

The live stream was launched to help promote the channel's new shows, "Swarm Chasers" and "Cicada Invaders 2013," which premiered Sunday, and gives users an up-close-and-personal view of a terrarium filled with the red-eyed insects.

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Billions of cicadas are expected to swarm the East Coast this summer, from Georgia to upstate New York, after a 17-year dormancy.

Cicadas spend much of their early lives underground, but every 17th year, a few weeks before emerging, they build exit tunnels to the surface. When the soil temperature exceeds 64 degrees Fahrenheit, nymphs leave their burrows after sunset, settle on a nearby tree or shrub, and start their final molt to adulthood.

Without their exoskeletons, they have stronger wings and the male cicadas make the loud, noisy sounds to woo the females. And then the cycle begins again. There are more than 1,500 Cicada species; it's Magicicada septendecim species that arrives every 17 years.

Although boisterous, cicadas do not sting or bite, and they aren't harmful to crops. But they may cause damage to young, small trees or shrubs, if too many feed from the plants or lay eggs in their twigs.

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