As the so-called cicada invasion comes to an end, federal funding for the University of Connecticut’s $657,900 study of the large insects continues. The study is testing hypotheses of cicada evolution.
Cicadas made themselves known across the East Coast over the late spring with a loud chorus when they emerged from underground after 17 years to mate and then die leaving behind eggs for new cicadas, who do the same. The creatures are about two-inches long with red eyes and orange wings. They are spread from Connecticut through Georgia, according to The New York Times.
The National Science Foundation first issued a grant for the cicada study on July 15, 2010. The grant expires Aug. 31, 2014.
“The major goal of the current proposal is to reconstruct and interpret the evolution of the family Cicadidae worldwide as a model for the origin and transcontinental spread of insect biodiversity over the last 65 million years,” the NSF award abstract said.