Cicada Mania

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May 26, 2021

Brood X in Grover’s Mill, West Windsor & Plainsboro, New Jersey

Filed under: Brood X — Dan @ 9:47 pm

On May 23rd I made it out to eastern Mercer County, New Jersey to too look for Brood X cicadas. Specifically, I made it out to West Windsor Township, its famous neighborhood Gover’s Mill, and nearby Plainsboro Township.

Overall the emergence in the area was underwhelming. Some holes, some exuvia (skins), and even fewer cicadas. Throughout the area, I heard individual calls by Magicicada septendecim and Magicicada cassini, but no choruses. I was there between noon and 5 pm. The temperature was somewhere between 85 and 90 degrees fahrenheit. The soil and air were very dry.

The best location was Van Nest Park in Grover’s Mill (in West Windsor). There, every suitable tree had a dozen or more exit holes around its roots. Most trees had at least 12 exuviae on them, and a few had cicadas crawling in them.

Van Nest Park is best known for the War of the World’s monument on its grounds. In this photo, Orson is sharing a mic with a cicada:

Orson Wells

It breaks my heart to see cicadas with shriveled wings. This one was in Van Nest Park:

Adult with Shriveled Wings in Van Nest Park

Ronald Roger’s Arboretum, also in West Windsor, had plenty of exit holes along its hiking trails, but very few exuviae, and only one audible singing Magicicada septendecim.

In Plainsboro, the Lenape Trail offered nothing in terms of cicadas, but I could hear cicadas singing nearby. Waters Edge Park had exuviae hanging from tree leaves, but no visible adult cicadas, and a few audible M. septendecim. I did see one fisherman using a cicada for bait.

Either the Brood X emergence was very light in this area, and most were wiped out by birds, or it is still early. I will do my best to check this location again to be sure.

Picture semi-related:

Before Orson was frozen in carbonite


  1. Lori Minter says:

    Quakertown, PA is alive with them!

  2. Carol L. Heinick says:

    I live in Chester Springs, PA – southeastern part. I am disappointed that I haven’t seen any yet.

    1. Dan says:

      You might be outside the range.

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