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May 31, 2005

Brood XI: Alive?

Filed under: Brood XI | Magicicada — Dan @ 11:29 am

It is possible that Brood XI is not extinct. Brood XI hasn’t been recorded since in 1950’s, however, David Marshall of the University of Connecticut “would not be surprised if there are small patches of them that have been missed since much of southern New England is not that densely inhabited”.

If you’re in the Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island area this spring and you hear or see a Magicicada, please let us know.

1907 Map of Brood XI from Marlatt, C.L.. 1907. The periodical cicada. Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology.

Marlatt 1907 11 Brood XI


  1. Is Magicicada erg gevaarlijk voor mensen?

    1. Dan says:

      Cicaden zijn niet gevaarlijk voor mensen.

  2. Ace says:

    It’s interesting to see that people are coming back to this forum and are just as curious as I am too see if Brood XI still exists. I live quite far from the CT/RI/MA area, but the mystery of this brood still fascinates me. If any still exist, they will emerge this summer. Because of this, I created a subreddit, r/BroodXI, to document it and serve as a discussion board. Also, if possible, perhaps it might make search efforts a lot more efficient if a map with certain areas of interest were created and could be updated if something is found or not found within that area? Just a suggestion, but maybe it could help. I wish all the best of luck to those who are searching for this brood!

    1. Selena Millard says:

      I actually had a pretty remarkable encounter last week at Watchaug Pond in Charlestown, RI. Just before dusk there was an abrupt eruption of an extremely loud group insect call over a fairly small geographic area from trees along either side of the water at the state beach on the southeast side of the pond. I’ve lived in Rhode Island for 44 years and have more recently lived in the southern part of the state for 16 years and have never heard this insect at this location before.
      Google Maps coordinates
      41.3800283, -71.6789289

      It occured to me that it was likely cicadas, but sounded very different from the species that we routinely hear daily late July through August. The sound was more musical and oscillating. Similar sounding to the brood X experience I had in Reston, VA in 2004.

      1. Selena Millard says:

        Returning to the site last night to record audio, I believe these are Megatibicen auletes.

  3. Julie Carson says:

    I stumbled upon this site the same way too – googling for Brood XI. I am half tempted to take a two week vacation next summer to the previous Brood IX grounds, from Oklahoma. Wouldn’t it be neat to get a group together for that purpose?

  4. Alex Dz says:

    How ironic.. I too have heard (well is here now) Brood X but upon learning about it I discovered that brood XI was extinct and it was found in my home state. I can’t grasp it being extinct especially during that time when it was last seen in 1954. During a time where CT had already began to see new tree growth and environments increase, as well as global warming. Especially since with global warming the other broods are expected to become bigger. Tho there are threats such as developments and pavement but especially in the eastern area of Connecticut it is very sparsely populated. I will be on the hunt next May im marking my calendar, I am also going to check back to hopefully find others interested as well. I think I might even begin to build some arduino / raspberry pi devices that could b setup in numerous remote locations to try to help identify them

  5. C. Bret Miller says:

    I’ve been somewhat obsessed with determining if Brood XI truly is extinct since I was a boy of six. I was born in 1982 and spent the first 18 years of my life in Bethlehem, CT. In the summer of 1988, when I was a wee lad of 6, my friend and I found a cicada on the side on the side of the road that appeared to be half dead. In retrospect, it likely had flown into a car windshield or suffered some similar fate. Anyhow, weakest it in a makeshift terrarium, but by the end of the day, it had died. Now, even back then I was somewhat of an amateur entomologist, and while I didn’t know about Brood XI or it’s plight, I was rather adept at insect identification. The point of all this is, I am quite certain that it was a periodical cicada, and not an annual one, such as the pervasive dog-day harvest fly. I say this as it undoubtedly had the distinctive black and yellow hollering and red eyes, and I was quite familiar with the local annual cicadas.

    So, upon growing up, living my life, earning my B.A., and later my M.S. (both, unfortunately in non-entomological fields,) I read of southern New England’s purportedly extinct magicicada brood. I looked for evidence of it in 2005 in areas around southern CT, but to no avail. So… I’m certain that was a periodical cicada we had, and I’m certain it was 1988. Could it have been potentially a straggler from the previous year’s Great Eastern Brood, Brood X? Absolutely. Actually, that’s a more probable explanation, as 17 year cicadas often have a few stragglers emerging in subsequent years. I say this because Northwestern CT was never known to be home to Brood XI, even when it was extant. That being said, stranger things certainly have happened, and in a town of (at the time) 2500 people, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some old field was home to a few remaining members of Brood XI, and no one paying them much heed. So… that’s why I’ve always been fascinated with Brood XI. Heck, in Pokémon Sapphire, I named my Ninjask (a Pokémon whose name is a portmanteau of ninja and mask and is based upon a cicada,) Brood XI. Well, I’ll be looking all over Connecticut, and even parts of Rhode Island come the Summer of 2022. I hope any other amateur entomologist that stumbles across this message board does the same.

    Oh, as a final aside… I just wanted to mention that the 1988 Cicada was found just past the little old (there’s graves from the late 1600’s’ in there) cemetery on Bellamy Lane in Bethlehem. Right before the left onto Lake Drive towards Long Meadow pond.

  6. Albert Chen says:

    Ah, I see that the post and last message were from 2005. IT is now 2021… what a hell of a ways we have come.

    I stumbled upon this website by looking up “Brood XI” on google. I was drawn into researching cicadas since I read a news article that said Brood X was coming in May of 2021 (this year). In the article it mentioned how Brood XI is now extinct, so I looked up Brood XI

    Anyways, in the 16 years since the last comment (could you imagine?) there has been no updates on brood XI. We will see if anything else comes, but I think it is not likely

    I thought to write this message since I saw that there were no new posts, and wanted to leave a message for any new visitors that might stumble upon this site.

    It is very likely that this post will not be seen again for a very, very long time. I hope this message finds anybody in the future well. Goodbye, my friends!

    1. Amber Polster says:

      I too stumbled upon this Thread after Googling Brood XI. Interested to see who else finds this thread, Currently all the trees and bushes in my yard are covered in cicadas. I found one today who appeared “albino” Its exoskeleton has yet to harden. It is really a fascinating thing.

  7. AJay says:

    With much warmer weather about to arrive by Sunday, this will be the time to look. South facing slopes should be best. I will also be looking for possible stragglers around Connetquot River State Park soon and will travel to Princeton.

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