Periodical cicada Brood IX (9) emerged in the spring of 2020 in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The last time this brood emerged was in 2003. It will emerge again in 2037.
Brood IX is interesting to researchers because it’s located very close to 5 other broods. In a normal year, researchers would be able to drive the roads of the area and map the location of the brood so we can get data as to where the broods intersect, but because of the current situation in the U.S., most if not all researchers will be able to travel — so we need you to let us know where they’re at. Read more on Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org).
What, when, where, and why:
- Cicada insects with a 17-year life cycle.
- Some people call them “locusts” but they’re really cicadas.
- Which species: All three 17-year species, Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini and Magicicada septendecula. How to tell the difference between the species.
- NOT the green ones that arrive annually.
When: Typically beginning in mid-May and ending in late June. These cicadas will begin to emerge approximately when the soil 8" beneath the ground reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit (Heath, 1968). A nice, warm rain will often trigger an emergence.
Other tips: these cicadas will emerge after the trees have grown leaves, and, by my own observation, around the same time Iris flowers bloom.
- Virginia municipalities: Blacksburg, Bland, Callands, Christiansburg, Covington, Dry Pond, Ferrum, Martinsville, Roanoke, Salem, Vinton, and more.
- Virginia counties: Allegheny, Bland, Franklin, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Roanoke.
- North Carolina municipalities: Chestnut Hill, Ennice, Francisco, Hays, Kernersville, McGrady, Millers Creek, Mt Airy, North Wilkesboro, Purlear, Thurmond, Westfield, and more.
- North Carolina counties: Ashe, Alleghany, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes.
- West Virginia municipalities: Camp Creek, Elmhurst, Hinton, Jumping Branch, Spanishburg, and more.
- West Virginia counties: Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, Monroe, Pocahontas, Summers.
A quick tip using data from the Cicada Safari app team:
Cicadas in the north-west areas are Brood IX (red). Cicadas south & east of that area (purple) are Brood XIX emerging early.
Maps, Apps, and Tips:
- Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) has the most up to date maps.
- The Cicada Safari App is available for Android and Apple devices. Use it to see where people are finding cicadas, and to report your own sightings.
- Historical county data is from the Cicada Central Periodical Cicada Record Database. Cities come from May 2003 reports and June 2003 reports.
- Not sure? Ask someone in your community who lived there 17 years ago.
Why: Why do they stay underground for 17-years? The prevailing research suggests they’ve evolved a long, 17-year lifecycle to avoid predators that can sync up with their lifecycle & emergence. Why are there so many?! Research suggests that their huge numbers allow them to overwhelm predators, so enough of them will live on to breed and perpetuate the brood.
More facts and fun:
- Use the correct image when talking about these cicadas.
- Use the Periodical Cicada Emergence Checklist for the Maximum Magicicada Experience.
- All cicada questions that are frequently asked.
- A video to help you tell the difference between the species.
- The 17 Most Interesting Periodical cicada facts.