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June 23, 2018

Brood VII, the Onondaga Brood, Will Emerge in New York State in 2018

Filed under: Brood VII,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 1:01 am

Update (June 17th): I just got back from Onondaga county and I can report that the emergence is in full swing. Lots of chorusing and mating. The best locations are around the Onondaga Nation reservation. If you visit, please do not trespass into the reservation — there are plenty of cicadas outside of it. John Cooley of Magicicada.org said there are also reports of cicadas in the Green Lakes State Park.

Here’s a video montage:

And a gallery:

Brood VII Magicicada septendecim 2018 Syracuse.

About Brood VII

Periodical cicadas (Magicicada septendecim, people call them “locusts”) will emerge in the Finger Lakes area of New York state in 2018.

This group of cicadas is called Brood VII (7) and is known as the Onondaga Brood. This brood is shrinking, and will likely be the next periodical cicada brood to go extinct

A pair of Magicicada septendecim:
A pair of mating Magicicada septendecims found in Woodbridge Township NJ

More details:

  • What: Brood VII is the smallest periodical cicada brood in the U.S., and is isolated in the Finger Lakes area of New York State. Only one species of cicada belongs to the brood: Magicicada septendecim (click link for sounds, video). This cicada has a 17-year life cycle. Sadly, Brood VII will likely be the next Brood to go extinct.
  • When: June, but perhaps May if it’s a very warm year. Magicicada cicadas typically emerge in the spring, once the soil underground where they live reaches approximately 64 degrees Faraihneght.
  • Where: the Finger Lakes area of NY State.
    • Where they appeared (last) in 2001: Onondaga and Livingston.
    • The following counties have had these cicadas in the distant past: Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wyoming, York.
  • The Onondaga Nation survived starvation one year by eating these cicadas

Further reading / viewing / listening:

Papers about Brood VII

  • The Historical Contraction of Periodical Cicada Brood Vii (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada by John R. Cooley, David C. Marshall and Chris Simon. J. New York Entomol. Soc. 112(2–3):198–204, 2004. Link to PDF download.
  • Decrease in Geographic Range of the Finger Lakes Brood(Brood Vii) of the Periodical Cicada (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada Spp.) by Cole Gilbert and Carolyn Klass. J. New York Entomol. Soc. 114(1–2):78–85, 2006.

30 Comments

  1. Rosita says:

    We have many kinds of cicadas in Mexico, many colors and sizes, some huge size that one single cucada can be heard loudly several blicks away. You should check Mexico, Veracruz state in particular for survivor cicadas, you would be surprised. I have pics and sounds.

    1. Dan says:

      Rosita, feel free to send photos to cicadamania@gmail.com

  2. Shelly says:

    The cicadas are destroying my young trees, especially my peach tree, which has fruit on it for the first time… Branches are just breaking in half and it is very sad. They are also destroying my young redbud tree. I keep chasing them away but they just come back… Any suggestions on how to protect my trees from this infestation?

    1. Dan says:

      Damage occurs when the cicadas deposit eggs in branches. Imported (peach trees are originally from China) and ornamental trees haven’t evolved to handle the egg-laying activity.

      Consult an arborist. They can tell you what to do and can help mitigate the damage that has already occurred.

      1. Bob Kozlowski says:

        Netting like that which is used to keep birds out of cherry trees and blueberry patches is effective though it may be a little too late.

  3. Bob Kozlowski says:

    How far do they range (generally) from the spot at which they emerge from the ground? I was back again yesterday (06/26) and it seemed slightly quieter. Fewer crashing into my windshield. The area around the ball field on the reservation still had a lot and much chorusing but also (now) lots of dead ones on the ground. I tried Cleveland Rd and saw plenty but could not find many spots to pull over. Likewise on Griffen Hill Rd. We could not find the hop farm on that road which is supposed to be ground zero off of the reservation. The people of the reservation did not seem to mind us. We stuck to the perimeter of the base ball field and since we went on three consecutive Tuesdays, we saw the guy mowing the field each week. Profound sadness to think they will all be gone by the end of next week.

    1. Dan says:

      Not too far. They’ll only move as far as there’s another tree to move to, and there’s enough of them to not be decimated by birds as they travel. There’s “safety in numbers” for these cicadas, and if they spread themselves too thin as they fly outside their ancestral range, birds will pick them off.

      1. Bob Kozlowski says:

        thanks dan

  4. Jennifer French says:

    My sister in law had one fly into her at a family dollar in upstate Ny. (Renselaer county)

  5. Does anyone know how long they will be around? Do you think they’ll be here through the end of June?

    1. Dan says:

      First week of July they should be gone.

      1. Cindy Schmidt says:

        Thanks, Dan.

  6. James P says:

    We have thousands … when does it end??? hundreds in pool every day..

  7. Bob Kozlowski says:

    There were thousands around the perimeter of the Baseball field on the Reservation on 06/12/18. The field is on 11A, approximately 1/4 to 1/2 mile past their firehouse but on the opposite side.

    1. Dan says:

      Thanks for the tip!

      1. Bob Kozlowski says:

        Did you find any other specific locations when you were there on the 17th. I went back this week on 06/19 and went to the same ball field ( a staff member at the reservation administration building recommended the site to me when I was there on 06/12). I would like to go back again this week and any added spots where they have been seen would be helpful.

        1. Dan says:

          Yeah. The area around Cleveland RD in Syracuse had a lot of cicadas, but was still outside the Onondaga Nation.

  8. Josh Stoneman says:

    We saw TONS of cicadas today, south of Onondaga Hill. We rode bikes south from downtown Syracuse, didn’t see any evidence of them until we were on 80 (aka S. Onondaga Rd), south of Dorwin Ave – then we saw tons of them along that stretch of 80. We then looped back north on Cleveland Road, and saw THOUSANDS, with beautiful chorusing UFO songs. They disappeared by the time we hit Horizon Terrace. So, I can confirm the south end of that triangle between 80 and Cleveland Rd is chock full of cicadas!

  9. Walt says:

    Male call 5/31. Nymph found a week prior

    1. Dan says:

      Good data. Chorusing should start next week.

  10. Michael J Lee says:

    I live in Onondaga County, up on Onondaga Hill and have noticed that they are emerging right now. It’s May 31st, 2018.

    1. Dan says:

      Fantastic news!

      1. Michael J Lee says:

        I did Dan! The cold the last few days kinda froze them a bit. They weren’t even singing. Today, with the warm breezes, they started singing!

    2. Jen Reid says:

      We were out hiking with a our 7 yr old son and a friend behind the cemetery on Valley Drive in Nedrow this morning. We spotted numerous empty burrows along the trail. In the bushes along the perimeter of the cemetery were dozens of casings. We spotted a number of adults and could hear a lovely chorus echoing throughout the valley.

    3. Cyndi Ester says:

      I live below you, in South Onondaga! They have been in FULL “chorus” for almost two weeks now!

  11. Cameron says:

    I’m afraid they won’t appear at all this year, considering it’s a shrinking brood. If they only appeared in two counties in 2001, they might not appear at all now. Do you think this can be?

    1. Cyndi Ester says:

      They’re all OVER the place, where I live (South Onondaga)

  12. Dave says:

    In 2001, we received a field report of cicadas out on the 4th of June.

    But that was also a season with a late frost in New England. This year they could be earlier.

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