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May 17, 2012

The 2012 Tennessee emergence

Filed under: Brood I,John Cooley,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 12:09 pm

John Cooley of (don’t forget to report your sightings) wrote to tell us about the large emergence of periodical cicadas in Tennessee. See the picture below taken by John in Warriors’ Path State Park, TN.

The mystery is defining which brood these cicadas belong to. Are they brood XIV stragglers; are they an undocumented pocket of Brood I cicadas; or are they cicadas that straggled long ago, but finally established a healthy population in synch with Brood I? For now, it’s a puzzle.


See John’s map on that documents the 2012 Tennessee cicadas.

Update: A similar emergence occurred in 1995 (17 years ago) in the Warriors’ Path State Park, TN area. This could be an undocumented area of Brood I cicadas.


  1. Donnie Steadman says:

    We just moved to NC, Charlotte area, and we have over 2 acres of land. Over 1 acre is covered with holes left by the Cicadas. I have seen many, but the holes really bother me, I mean they freak me out. Is it common to have so many holes in such a large area? Some of the mounds are as high as 12 inches with a 2.5 hole. Are they digging out or in? Should I be concerned and remediate? I hope you will take the time to shed light on this for me. Thanks

    1. Dan says:

      Those aren’t cicadas. The holes cicadas make are only as wide as a finger, and when they make chimneys they’re only 3 or 4 inches tall max.

  2. Libby Wiser says:

    I am seeing and hearing what looks like Cicadas in my city of Hendersonville Tn (15 miles North of Nashville) why is this so? They are coming on my deck and in my yard. Large, green and noisey. Is this what it is?

    Thank you for a response,
    Libby Wiser

    1. Dan says:

      If they have green and/or rust coloring they’re probably Tibicen cicadas like these:

  3. Deborah Barber says:

    I live in Pleasant View Tn. its between Clarksville and Nashville and they are out in droves here. My cats love playing with them and they are getting noisier. They are everywhere here.

  4. M. Ross says:

    I live in Jackson TN, have been hearing steady “singing” from the tree line in my back yard….also noticed we have a lizard who has moved into the area…..saw a cicada carcass by the car yesterday. The last time I saw the cicadas was 1998, Nashville. I had just become a new mom and these things were everywhere. It was so scary to have a newborn and deal with cicadas getting into the car.

  5. katie b says:

    Just moved to Nolensville from Southern California… I can hear them every day and every night.. thought it was something ‘normal’ in these parts. Doesn’t bother me at all, sort of relaxing.

  6. Eddie says:

    I’m sitting on my porch in west Nashville listening to steady singing.

  7. Ashley says:

    I am sitting on my front porch in Fairview, TN and they are singing in the trees like crazy!! One group sings in a tree for about 5 seconds then another group picks up from another tree and it just keeps going from tree to tree!! The cicadas are everywhere!! I haven’t seen any flying around…just hearing them in the trees ALL day EVERY day!!

  8. Adrian says:

    I just heard a cicada in my back yard. Only sang for about two seconds but I am certain. Outside North Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 37129

  9. John Cooley says:

    This particular emergence (In TN and southern VA) covers such a large area, and it has been traced back several generations, so I’m leaning towards considering it an undocumented part of Brood I. The brood concept is really just a bookkeeping concept anyway– it’s important to remember that the biological meaning of “brood” for periodical cicadas is still not entirely clear.

    I’ve posted updates showing the emergence area on Ever since I’ve been using the data logger, there’s been a shift in the nature of the data I’ve been collecting via the web and using the datalogger– for Brood XIX and now Brood I, the web records submitted by the public consistently underestimate the extent of the brood. This is a real change from Brood XIV and before, when we didn’t have the same data logger to use. For those earlier mapping efforts, the records submitted via the web consistently delineated a larger area than we were able to cover in our own mapping efforts.

  10. Lyn says:

    We live in Scott County, VA .. and the Periodical Cicada is out in full force. Driving down I26 through Kingsport, TN you can hear them distinctly even from a car moving at 65 mph. And driving west out Hwy 58 towards Big Stone Gap, VA – very loud as well. Could be the Brood 1 – Blue Ridge Brood.

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