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Are the Magicicada Periodical Cicadas coming to your town?

The 2014 periodical cicada season is over. Brood IV and Brood XXXII will emerge in 2015. Brood IV cicadas have a 17 year life cycle and will emerge in IA, KS, MO, NE, OK, and TX. Brood XXIII cicadas have a 13 year life cycle and will emerge in AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, and TN. More info below...

Read this first:

  • This page is strictly dedicated to Magicicada periodical cicadas (aka 17 and 13-year cicadas, and "locusts").
  • This does not cover annual cicada species in the U.S.A. (cicadas that arrive every year), or cicadas outside of the United States.
  • Magicicadas only emerge in the Spring and very early Summer (April-June). If you find cicadas in mid July or later, they are not Magicicadas.
  • If you're in the right area, but in the wrong year, you might find some "stragglers", which are Magicicada that emerge ahead of time (or after).

Consult the Brood Chart:

Check out the Year of Emergence, State, and Maps...

Magicicada Brood Chart
Brood 17 or 13 Year Year of Emergence Stragglers Possible State Maps Species H* Blog Posts/News
I (1) 17 1944, 1961, 1978, 1995, 2012, 2029 2016, 2025 TN, VA, WVA Brood I Map M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula Ae, Cm, Dm Brood I News
II (2) 17 1945, 1962, 1979, 1996, 2013, 2030 2017, 2026 CT, GA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OK, PA, VA Brood II Map M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula Ae, Ce, De Brood II News
III (3) 17 1946, 1963, 1980, 1997, 2014, 2031 2015, 2018, 2027 IA, IL, MO Brood III Map M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula Aw, Cw, Dw Brood III News
IV (4) 17 1947, 1964, 1981, 1998, 2015 2016, 2019, 2028 IA, KS, MO, NE, OK, TX Brood IV Map M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula Aw, Cw, Dw Brood IV News
V (5) 17 1948, 1965, 1982, 1999, 2016 2015, 2017, 2020, 2029 NY, OH, PA, VA, WVA Brood V Map M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula Am, Ce, Cm, De, Dm Brood V News
VI (6) 17 1949, 1966, 1983, 2000, 2017 2016, 2018, 2021, 2030 GA, NC, SC Brood VI Map M. septendecim, M. septendecula Ae, Am, De, Dw Brood VI News
VII (7) 17 1950, 1967, 1984, 2001, 2018 2017, 2019, 2022, 2031 NY Brood VII Map M. septendecim Ae Brood VII News
VIII (8) 17 1951, 1968, 1985, 2002, 2019 2015, 2018, 2020 OH, PA, WVA Brood VIII Map M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula Am, Cm, Dw Brood VIII News
IX (9) 17 1952, 1969, 1986, 2003, 2020 2016, 2019, 2021 NC, VA, WVA Brood IX Map M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula Ae, Am, Ce, Cm, De Brood IX News
X (10) 17 1953, 1970, 1987, 2004, 2021 2017, 2020, 2022 DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WVA, Washington DC Brood X Map M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula Ae, Am, Ce, Cm, Cw, Dm Brood X News
XIII (13) 17 1956, 1973, 1990, 2007, 2024 2020, 2023, 2025 IA, IL, IN, MI, WI Brood XIII Map M. septendecim, M. cassini Aw, Cw Brood XIII News
XIV (14) 17 1957, 1974, 1991, 2008, 2025 2021, 2024, 2026 GA, IN, KY, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WVA Brood XIV Map M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula Ae, Am, Ce, Cm, De, Dm Brood XIV News
XIX (19) 13 1972, 1985, 1998, 2011, 2024 2015, 2023, 2025 AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, VA Brood XIX Map M. tredecim, M. neotredecim, M. tredecassini, M. tredecula Aw, B, Cw, De, Dm, Dw Brood XIX News
XXII (22) 13 1962, 1975, 1988, 2001, 2014, 2027 2015, 2018 LA, MS; OH, KY Brood XXII Map M. tredecim, M. tredecassini, M. tredecula B, Cw, Dm Brood XXII News
XXIII (23) 13 1963, 1976, 1989, 2002, 2015 2016, 2019 AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, TN Brood XXIII Map M. tredecim, M. neotredecim, M. tredecassini, M. tredecula Aw, B, Cw, Dm, Dw Brood XXIII News

* H stands for Haplotype group. Information from Teiji Sota, Satoshi Yamamoto, John R. Cooley, Kathy B.R. Hill, Chris Simon, and Jin Yoshimu. Independent divergence of 13- and 17-y life cycles among three lineages of periodical cicada lineages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Most of the maps come from C.L. Marlatt’s The periodical cicada: an account of Cicada septendecim, its natural enemies and the means of preventing its injury…. Those Brood Maps are about 100 years old; go to Magicicada.org for updated maps.

Note: Stragglers can emerge 1 or 4 years early or 1 or 4 years late. Don't be surprised if you see some periodical cicadas emerge earlier than planned this year. 17 year brood members are most likely to straggle 4 years early, and 13 year brood members are most likely to straggle 4 years late.

Perhaps you've noticed there are no Brood XI (11), XII (12), XV (15), XVI (16), XVII (17), XVIII (18), XX (20), XXI (21), XXIV (24), etc. Don't worry about that. They never existed or are exinct (XI, XXI).

Figuring out if they're coming to your town:

  1. Verify that they're coming to your state. Check the Magicicada Brood Chart on this page.
  2. Check Cicada Brood Maps linked from this page to see if they're coming to your general area.
  3. Check to see if they're coming to your neighborhood. Good sources include:
    1. Check the Cicada Central Magicicada Database to see the counties where cicadas have appeared in the past.
    2. Ask someone who lived there 17 (or 13) years before.
    3. Old timers (hint: old timers usually call them locusts).
    4. Check your local Library for old newspaper articles.
    5. Check with a local college: contact the biology or agriculture departments.
    6. Your local county and town parks department (parks and rec). Some county parks departments plan events around cicada emergences.
  4. When will they emerge?
    1. They will emerge sometime in the Spring, for sure.
    2. They typically emerge once the soil 8 inches below the surface gets to 64 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, they will start digging their tunnels to the surface. After a couple of days with above-ground temperatures near the 80's F, and after a good rain, they will definitely emerge.
    3. Cicadas in sunny areas of your yard will emerge before cicadas in shady areas.
    4. Cicadas in the southern-most states will emerge before cicadas in northern states.
    5. You can try the Cicada Emergence Formula as well.
  5. They're coming, and I have baby trees!
    1. Spray them off with a garden hose.
    2. Foil around the trunk (to keep them from crawling up) (thanks Deborah).
    3. Insect barrier tape.
    4. Place netting over your precious ornamental trees: Try a landscaping supply place - where you bought the baby trees in the first place.
    5. Bagpipes (no joke, it worked at my friend's wedding).
    6. Don't use pesticide - we like all insects (especially pollinating bees).
  6. They're coming, and they scare me!
    • Get a grip! They're only bugs.
    • Try a hat, an umbrella, a bee-keepers' outfit, a suit of armor...
  7. They're coming, and they're going to ruin my wedding!

Important: Magicicadas won't emerge everywhere in the states mentioned above. They might not exist in your town or neighborhood (particularly if trees were removed from your neighborhood). The key to seeing them, if they don't emerge in your neighborhood, is communication: networking with friends and family, checking the interactive maps on magicicada.org, checking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


What should you look for before they emerge?

Look out for cicada chimneys (follow the link for a photo) also known as turrets. These are structures cicadas build out of soil, positioned above the spot where they will emerge.

Cicada chimneys Exposed cicada chimney

Look for holes the diameter of an adult's finger near the root system of a tree. These are sure signs that cicadas will emerge in the area.

Many Magicicada emergence holes in Edison Memorial Tower park in Edison NJ

You might discover some cicada nymphs while turning over stones or when performing landscaping chores.


What do they look like when they emerge:

Here is a great video of Magicicada nymphs once they have emerged from the ground:

This is a recently emerged nymph crawling up a tree. Note that its eyes are red.

a Magicicada nymph

Once cicadas nymphs have emerged from the ground, they will try to find a tree (or similar vertical surface), and then begin the process of exiting their old nymph skins (ecdysis), expanding their wings, and changing to their adult coloring. If you have the time, a flash light and a camera you can record this amazing transformation.

a teneral Magicicada


How to tell the difference between the Magicicada species:

Note: the 13 year species are almost identical to the 17 year species. For more information about the slight morphological and behavioral differences between the 17 year and 13 year Magicicada varieties, visit the Magicicada.org Species page.

Magicicada septendecim (Linnaeus, 1758)

Similar 13-Year Species:

  • Magicicada neotredecim Marshall and Cooley, 2000. Virtually indistinguishable from 17-year variety.
  • Magicicada tredecim (Walsh and Riley, 1868). Lower pitched call. No dark bands on abdomen; very orange.

Appearance of their abdomens:

M. septendecim have broad orange stripes with more orange than black on their abdomens.
Magicicada septendecula male and female by Osamu Hikino
Male on left; Female on right.

M. tredecim, by comparison, have more orange on their abdomens: M. tredecim from Ohio in 2014.

Other features:

M. septendecim also have an area of orange coloring between the eye and the wing (pronotal extension):
Orange marking behind eye used to identify -decim Magicicadas.

Song:

Sounds like "Pharaoh, Pharaoh!"

Magicicada cassini (Fisher, 1851)

Similar 13-Year Species:

  • Magicicada tredecassini Alexander and Moore, 1962. Virtually indistinguishable from 17-year variety.

Appearance of their abdomens:

M. cassini have black abdomens with virtually no orange at all (orange stripes are possible in the mid-west).
Magicicada cassini male and female by Osamu Hikino
Female on left; Male on right.

Song:

Note how it makes quick burst of sound, followed by some rapid clicks.

Magicicada septendecula Alexander and Moore, 1962

Similar 13-Year Species:

  • Magicicada tredecula Alexander and Moore, 1962. Virtually indistinguishable from 17-year variety.

Appearance of their abdomens:

M. septendecula have stripes that feature more black than orange.
Femal Magicicada septendecula and Male Magicicada septendecula
Female on left; Male on right.

Song:

Note the "tick, tick, tick" rhythm of its call.


More Magicicada Information

Looking for cicadas that are not 17 or 13 year Magicicadas? Try our U.S.A. & Canada Cicada Search BETA and Cicadas by Genus and Species pages.