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periodical cicada


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A cicada of the genus Magicicada of the eastern United States whose 17-year or 13-year life cycle consists almost entirely of a nymphal stage spent underground. Upon emerging from this stage, the periodical cicada transforms into a winged adult, mates, lays eggs, and dies shortly thereafter. Also called seventeen-year locust.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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


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