This is the first of several Brood XIV Magicicada posts to help you enjoy this year’s cicada mania experience:
When will they appear?
In April people will start to find cicada nymphs close to the surface of the ground, under stones, while landscaping, etc. This is what a nymph looks like:
If you find a nymph in the soil, leave it alone so it will have the opportunity to become an adult.
Adults will emerge once the temperature is right, typically at dusk. The best method we know of is using Gene Kritsky’s emergence formula. This is a tool that will allow you to determine the approximate time when the cicadas will emerge in your area.
Generally speaking, Magiciadas will begin emerging in the last 2 weeks of May, and the last adults should have passed by the first week of July.
Where will they appear?
In 2008 they’re set to appear in eastern Massachusetts, Long Island New York, south-western New Jersey, south-eastern Pennsylvania, south-eastern and north-western West Virgina, southern Ohio, most of Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, southern Indiana, and bits of Virgina.
and this is the Cicada Mania map, made by Roy.
Do some research:
Okay! So now you know where the Magicicada might appear, but how will you know if these cicada will appear in your yard, neighborhood or local woods? Time for some investigation:
- Ask people who were around 17 years ago. Old timers, townies, local press — anyone how was around 17 years ago.
- Go to the library and check old news papers.
- Contact local colleges and universities. Try the entomology department or agricultural extensions.
- Encourage the local press to cover the cicadas, and let them do the research. The local press have the most resources to do this research.
Note that old timers call Magicicadas “locusts“; Magicicadas are not true locusts, but the term might help jar people’s memories. Magicicadas can also be called periodical cicadas, as well as 17-year cicadas. Don’t forget to use those terms while asking around
What do they look like?
You already saw what the nymph form looks like, but what does an adult look like? They look like this:
Black heads and and upper bodies, black and orange bellies (belly is not a scientific term), reddish-orange eyes, orange legs and wings. Yes, sometimes the eyes can be brown, yellow, orange and even white or blue!
By the way this is NOT a Magicicada:
It’s a (possibly less exiting) Tibicen cicada. These appear in many parts of the USA every year, but in much smaller numbers than Magicicadas.