Definitions for magicicada septendecim

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. seventeen-year locust, periodical cicada, Magicicada septendecim(noun)

    North American cicada; appears in great numbers at infrequent intervals because the nymphs take 13 to 17 years to mature

Freebase

  1. Magicicada septendecim

    Magicicada septendecim, sometimes called the Pharaoh cicada or the 17 year locust, is native to Canada and the United States and is the largest and most northern species of periodical cicada with a 17-year life cycle. Accounts of the species' life cycle cite reports of fifteen- to seventeen-year recurrences of enormous numbers of noisy emergent cicadas that people had written as early as 1737. Pehr Kalm, a Swedish naturalist visiting Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 1749 on behalf of his nation's government, observed in late May one such emergence. When reporting the event in a paper that a Swedish academic journal published in 1756, Kalm wrote: The general opinion is that these insects appear in these fantastic numbers in every seventeenth year. Meanwhile, except for an occasional one which may appear in the summer, they remain underground. There is considerable evidence that these insects appear every seventeenth year in Pennsylvania. Kalm then described documents that had recorded in Pennsylvania the emergence from the ground of large numbers of cicadas during May 1715 and May 1732. He noted that the people who had prepared these documents had made no such reports in other years. Kalm further noted that others had informed him that they had seen cicadas only occasionally before the insects appeared in large swarms during 1749. He additionally stated that he had not heard any cicadas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 1750 in the same months and areas in which he had heard many in 1749. The 1715 and 1732 reports, when coupled with his own 1749 and 1750 observations, supported the previous "general opinion" that he had cited.

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