The lifespan of a cicada can be as long as 17 years, but only two to four weeks of a cicada's life is spent above ground. Some cicada species appear every summer, and others, known as periodical cicadas, remain in a larval state underground for many years.
According to National Geographic, periodical cicadas are only found in the Great Plains region of the United States. After hatching, these insects burrow into the ground in search of moisture. For periodical cicadas, reaching adulthood can take as long as 17 years. Once they emerge above ground, cicadas typically live for only a few weeks.