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March 7, 2024

2023 North American Annual Cicadas Location Project on iNaturalist

Filed under: Annual | Proto-periodical — Dan @ 4:47 am

Neotibicen tibicen aka Morning Cicada aka Swamp Cicada formerly Tibicen chloromera is the winner!!

August 11 Neotibicen (small)

Summary below and on iNaturalist.

As of December 31st, 2023

Neotibicen tibicen, aka the Swamp Cicada aka Morning cicada, is the winner.

Is there a chance another annual or proto-periodical cicada is more plentiful in North America? Yes of course, but in areas where people are using the iNaturalist app most frequently, which is likely not isolated or out of the way areas, Neotibicen tibicen was most plentiful.

1) Downloaded *Research Grade* data from the 2023 North American Annual Cicadas project.
2) Combined sub-species with species counts. In other words, I totaled Neotibicen tibicen + Neotibicen tibicen tibicen + Neotibicen tibicen australis to get Neotibicen tibicen.
3) The 1 species per user + location column reduces the number by one species per user per location. In other words, if I submitted 50 Neotibicen tibicens in Edison, New Jersey, it only counts as 1 (one).

Cicada 1 species per user + location Species totals
Neotibicen tibicen 402 437
Neotibicen lyricen 193 201
Neotibicen superbus 188 263
Megatibicen resh 155 232
Neotibicen pruinosus 139 178
Neotibicen canicularis 125 134
Megatibicen grossus 76 81
Neocicada hieroglyphica 54 63
Neotibicen robinsonianus 47 51
Pacarina puella 41 56
Neotibicen linnei 34 36
Diceroprocta apache 28 35
Neotibicen winnemanna 23 26
Megatibicen pronotalis 23 25
Neotibicen davisi 18 19
Megatibicen dealbatus 17 17
Quesada gigas 15 16
Megatibicen dorsatus 14 16
Megatibicen figuratus 13 14
Diceroprocta vitripennis 9 11
Platypedia putnami 7 19

Tibicen tibicen wins!

About the project

There are 3 types of cicada lifecycles:
1) Periodical: cicadas with a life cycle set to a specific number of years, with a predictable series of emergence years. Magicicada, for instance, emerges every 17 or 13 years depending on the species, and we have a calendar of years when and where they will emerge. Some “stragglers” do emerge each year.
2) Annual: cicadas that emerge every year without fail.
3) Proto-periodical: cicadas that emerge in small numbers every year (annual), but the size of the emergence varies significantly from year to year. Examples include Platypedia (see Platypedia putnami survey at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space by Tim McNary) and Okanagana (see Predator avoidance leads to separate emergence cycles in the protoperiodical Okanagana magnifica).

Considering there would only be Periodical stragglers in 2023, it was a perfect year for an iNaturalist project focusing on cicadas that emerge annually: 2023 North American Annual Cicadas Location Project.

2023 Project

This project includes all of North America, which includes Mexico, the United States, and Canada. iNaturalist determines the geographical footprint. It seems like most of the folks using the iNaturalist app are in the United States.

Typically cicadas in the southernmost, warmest areas (Mexico, Texas) emerge first. Cicadas that have black bodies like Platypedia can tolerate colder temperatures because the sun warms them up, so they’ll emerge in northern areas before other types of cicadas.

As of September 2nd

#1 Morning Cicada, #2 Superb Dog-day Cicada, #3 Resh Cicada, #4 Northern Dog-Day Cicada, and #5 Lyric Cicada. My prediction is that the Northern Dog-Day cicada will surpass Resh in a week or so.

Screen Shot 2023-09-02 at 10.42.25 AM

As of August 25th

#1 Superb Dog-day cicada, #2 Morning Cicada, #3 Resh Cicada, #4 Northern Dog-Day Cicada, and #5 Lyric Cicada.

As of August 11th

#1 Superb Dog-day cicada, #2 Resh Cicada, #3 Morning Cicada, #4 Lyric Cicada, and #5 Northern Dog-Day Cicada.

Scissor(s) Grinder slipped to 6th place.

As of August 6th

#1 Superb Dog-day cicada, #2 Resh Cicada, #3 Morning Cicada, #4 Lyric Cicada, and #5 Scissor(s) Grinder.

As of July 30th

#1 Superb Dog-day Cicada, #2 Resh Cicada, #3 Morning Cicada, #4 Lyric Cicada, and #5 Hieroglyphic Cicada.

As of July 23rd

#1 Superb Dog-day cicada, #2 Resh Cicada, #3 Morning Cicada, #4 Hieroglyphic Cicada, and #5 Little Mesquite Cicada.

The Texan cicada hunters are dominating…

As of July 18th,#1 Superb Dog-day cicada, #2 Resh Cicada, #3 Hieroglyphic Cicada, #4 Little Mesquite Cicada, and #5 Morning Cicada.

As of July 7th, the top 5 cicadas are The Superb Dog-day Cicada, the Resh Cicada, Hieroglyphic Cicada, the Little Mesquite Cicada, and the Lyric Cicada.

As of June 30th, the top 5 cicadas are: The Superb Dog-day Cicada, the Resh Cicada, the Little Mesquite Cicada, Hieroglyphic Cicada, and Putnam’s Cicada (a Platypedia).

Screen Shot 2023-06-30 at 9.14.13 AM


  1. Rhonda Hurst says:

    I’m in Florida, will we have a problem in South Florida or do they make it this far with hot temps

    1. Dan says:

      You won’t have a problem because the cicadas in Florida are mellow. Here is a list of Florida cicadas.

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