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May 11, 2019

2019 Periodical Cicada Stragglers – Expect Them

Filed under: Periodical Stragglers — Dan @ 9:06 am

Where is everyone?

We expect some periodical cicadas to emerge earlier and later than expected this year:

  • Members of Brood IV, the Kansan Brood, should emerge in IA, KS, MO, NE, OK & TX. Brood IV last emerged 4 years ago.
  • Members of Brood XXIII, the Mississippi Valley Brood, should emerge in AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, & TN. XIX last emerged 4 years ago.
  • Members of Brood X are emerging, so far in the Virginia area, but they have the potential to emerge anywhere in DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, and WV. 2-year early emergences are rare, but it happens. Brood X is expected to emerge in 2 years.

We’re getting a lot of reports from the Anacostia area of Washington D.C. and Maryland.

Here’s an example of someone Tweeting about a Brood X “straggler” on Twitter.

Use the Cicada Safari App to report them.

Periodical cicadas are cicadas insects that emerge periodically, and not annually. In North America, there are 7 species of periodical cicadas, 3 of which have a 17-year lifecycle, and 4 have a 13-year lifecycle, and all 7 belong to the genus Magicicada. Here is a chart that shows where they are expected to emerge next. Magicicada regularly straggle — some emerge before or after they’re expected to.

Typically 17-year cicada stragglers emerge 4 years early, and 13-year cicada stragglers emerge 4 years late, but 1, 2 and even 8 year deviations are possible — see the probability chart.

At this point, most people question the use of the term “straggler” to define something that emerged early rather than late. If you’re uncomfortable using the term “straggler”, you can use the term “precursor” for cicadas than emerge earlier than expected. You might make up your own slang for them, like “deviant”, “pioneer” or “laggard” too.


  1. Billy Boehm says:

    Have seen several cicadas in the Fairfax City, Virginia area since the beginning of June 2019.

  2. Billy Boehm says:

    Have seen several cicadas in the Fairfax City area since the beginning of June 2019.

  3. Lori Gibbs says:

    I live in SE Columbus Ohio…just walked outside @1140pm…the cicadas r in full strenth in a tree in the next yard….very creepy…they seem 2 b asleep…snoring…

  4. Gail Mackiernan says:

    Hearing them along Northwest Branch Creek, a tributary of the Anacostia River, in Montgomery County. Maryland. Also heard some in
    Wheaton Regional Park. The two sites are exactly where we recorded early emergers two years ago.

  5. Rich Williams says:

    Thousands n thousands of them in our yard. The yard stinks because of them starting to die and the rain we had. We started sprinkling lime over them it smells so bad you can’t sit outside

    1. Dan says:

      @Rich. Lime — that’s a good idea. They’re good fertilizer as well.

      There’s usually a lot of casualties with the first wave of them, which is “by design”. The first wave gets slaughtered by predators, and the next wave gets buy and live on to sing and mate.

  6. Amy Piel-Glass says:

    Hearing periodic cicada calls from nearby Darby Creek metropark in Central Ohio. We’re in Brood X territory, but had stragglers in 2016.

    1. Amy Piel-Glass says:

      Sorry, correction, the stragglers were in 2017.

  7. Ned Russell says:

    Ned Russell May 24, 2019 Have not seen or heard a cicada yet this year. Tucson, AZ

  8. Olivina Yang says:

    My cat found a newly molted cicada in the middle of the street when I was out walking him this morning. When it dried I was able to identify it as a periodical cicada. Unfortunately it molted on the ground instead of on a tree, so its wings couldn’t develop fully. I live in Maryland.

  9. Stephen Wallin says:

    Brood X stragglers in my front yard two years ago (four years early) and again this year though to a lesser extent (two years early). Zip code 22312.

  10. Darlene Bienemann says:

    With all the holes in my yard, it looks like I’m getting a million cicadas!!! Yes I’m nervous, the sound is unbearable and it’s just creepy!!

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