Associated Press Published

Subterranean Insects Ready to Emerge Across State in May


Researchers are expecting a new brood of subterranean insects to emerge from the ground and begin mating across West Virginia.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that members of the cicada population, known as Brood V, are expected to appear across the state’s northern and central counties around mid-May.

West Virginia Department of Agriculture entomologist Berry Crutchfield says the brood last came out in 1999. Crutchfield says the insects normally emerge when the ground is soft enough from rain to allow tunneling.

It normally takes the insects 17 years to emerge because the insects must complete five states of development during their subterranean years before transitioning from nymph to adult. Once they emerge and shed their exoskeletons, the insects begin a period of mating followed by egg-laying and death.