Female adult cicadas lay eggs on tree branches. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which fall to the ground and burrow into the soil, sometimes as deep as 6 feet. They suck juices from roots of perennial trees and shrubs as nourishment and, depending upon the species, may remain underground from 1 to 17 years.
By instinct, when the time is right, they leave their burrows to climb the trunk of a tree. Their skins split open, and the mature Cicada emerges.