Cicadas are large insects, they will spend up to 17 years living underground as a nymph before emerging to climb (the Males) and call out with a shrill almost electric call to attract the females.
Years before this, they were deposited under tree bark as an egg. After hatching into a tiny nymph, they drop to the ground, burrow under, where they feed until emerging years later. The nymph climbs up a tree, attaches itself, and molts into an adult.
Although they live underground for years as nymphs, they will live for only a short while as adults, up to 4 weeks, mating as often as possible before dying.
There are more than 2,500 species of cicadas worldwide, but only a few species are found in the Pacific Northwest.