Fun Finds Friday: Strangely Strategic Cicadas

[dot_recommends] May 7, 2021 Uncategorized

Surviving Through Synchronized Life Cycles

map of periodical cicacda broods in the US

This week on Fun Finds Friday we’re intrigued with periodical cicadas. 2021 is a big year for periodical cicadas. Soon trillions—yes trillions—of cicadas will swarm across 15 U.S. states. Every 17 years Brood X (pronounced 10), the largest groups of periodical cicadas in the world emerges from the ground. And 2021 is a Brood X year. Curious if your area is affected? The image above shows all the known periodical cicada broods by color.

cicada - photo by NPR

Pilgrims and Brood X Cicadas

Some may find the sudden appearance of trillions of huge red-eyed insects disturbing rather than fun. But think about how incredible this periodic event really is! The first record of the 2021 brood was made by pilgrims in Massachusetts in 1634. Every 17 years since then, they have emerged.

Strategic Survival

Why do they stay in the ground for 17 years and then all come out at once? Spoiler alert. What seems mysterious is actually quite practical. What do insects fear most? Being eaten before ensuring the next generation has a chance. Birds, mammals, reptiles, other insects, spiders, even people, eat cicadas. Timing their life cycle so that swarms of them are above ground together lets them survive as a species.

Even though there is a practical explanation for the incredible behavior of the periodical cicada, it’s still a rare event for Brood X to appear. And if we live in an affected region, we cannot avoid them. So, we might as well look on with wonder at their amazing survival strategy.

Here at StratMg we are all about strategy. Fortunately, great sales-driven marketing strategies do not require years underground! We take a partnership approach to co-designing strategies that fit your goals and needs. We’re always interested in talking with you about how we can help with your sales growth strategy. Get in touch!

–parin
Managing Partner

Image credit: University of Connecticut

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