MAGICICADA MORTALITY

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.  Just a few short weeks after emerging, the cicada infestation and their chorus slowly fades into oblivion.  With just enough time to sing, mate, and lay their eggs, the adults begin to die after completing what nature had intended for them.  Their bodies often pile up at the bases of trees where the smell of decomposition intensifies under the hot summer sun.  Predation, fungal infections, and inclement weather have also taken its toll on their once dense populations.  By early July, they will be all gone...  Leaving behind a memory of songs that won't be heard again for another 17 years......

Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

This cicada was partially eaten by an unknown predator. The horror story behind this was that the poor creature was still alive! Yikes!!! Photograph taken 1999 - Brood V Findley State Park Lorain County, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

Cicadas live for only a few weeks and drop to the ground upon death. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

This scene is vastly becoming a mass grave. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

This female died with her ovipositor still embedded into her final egg nest! Photograph taken 1999 - Brood V Indian Hollow Reserve Lorain County, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

Piles of the dead and dying. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

As time progresses, the carcasses begin to pile up more and more. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

This unfortunate cicada became trapped during eclosure and will eventually die. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

Some living individuals are trying to struggle through the sea of the dead and dying. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

Victims of the fungal infection, Massospora cicadina. Massospora cicadina. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

One poor cicada died involuntarily so another could live. A common problem with overcrowding during a large emergence. Photograph taken 1999 - Brood V Findley State Park Lorain County, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

Ants pick apart the remains of a fallen cicada. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

Ants eat hardily during a cicada emergence. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

An adult cicada failed to successfully eclose and has trapped itself inside its own exuviae. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

A victim of overcrowded conditions during a mass emergence. Photograph taken 1999 - Brood V Findley State Park Lorain County, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

Adult bodies fall to the ground where death takes them among numerous discarded shells. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

The forest floor can quickly become buried under all of the cicada remains. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

As the cicadas die, their remains become nutrients for the soil and plants. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

This cicada succumbed to a fungal infection known as Massospora cicadina. Photograph taken 1999 - Brood V Findley State Park Lorain County, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

A victim of the fungal infection known as Massospora cicadina.

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

These cicadas are trying to survive a rain storm while struggling with one another to keep from drowning. Photograph taken 1998 - Brood XIX. Robert Allerton Park Monticello, Illinois

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

The dead and dying pile up near the bases of trees. Photograph taken 1998 - Brood XIX. Robert Allerton Park Monticello, Illinois

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

The odor of death and decay can become overwhelming during summer heat. Photograph taken 1998 - Brood XIX. Robert Allerton Park Monticello, Illinois

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

This cicada takes refuge on the side of a building during rainy weather. Photograph taken 1998 - Brood XIX. Robert Allerton Park Monticello, Illinois

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

These cicadas are trying to survive a rain storm by clinging to a tree. Storms are believed to decimate as much as 40 percent of a cicada population. Photograph taken 1998 - Brood XIX. Robert Allerton Park Monticello, Illinois

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

This cicada fell victim to a predatory stink bug nymph. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

Stink Bug nymphs can tackle creatures many times larger than themselves. Photograph taken 2004 - Brood X Spring Grove Cemetery Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cicada Mortality
Cicada Mortality

The remains of the deceased litter the ground. Photograph taken 1999 - Brood V Findley State Park Lorain County, Ohio

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