Periodical cicada Brood VIII (Eight) is emerging in 2019 in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and the tip of the northern panhandle of West Virginia. The last time this brood emerged was in 2002.
Special note: Apparently, they’re also in Oklahoma. Around Lawton, and north of Tulsa. Read this article.
If you find a periodical cicada, and you’re not in OH, PA, or WV, it could be a straggler from brood X, VI or XXIII!!
Feel free to ask questions in the comment section.
What, when, where, and why:
- Millions of these:
- 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. 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.
📱 You can report cicada sightings using the Cicada Safari App, available for iPhones/iOS and Android phones. The app helps you identify periodical cicada species, take photos and add your findings to a map. See a map of sightings reported by the app.
- Pennsylvania Counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, Lawrence, Venango, Washington, Westmoreland.
- Pennsylvania Cities: Aliquippa, Apollo, Baden, Beaver, Belle Vernon, Burgettstown, Center Township, Cheswick, Chippewa, Cranberry, Economy Boro, Ellwood City, Fawn Township, Finleyville, Freedom, Gilpin, Greensburg, Harmony, Hopewell, Indiana, Leet Township, Midland, Murrysville, Natrona Heights, New Brighton, Pittsburgh, Rector, Robinson Township, Rochester, Sewickley, Shelocta, West Deer, and more.
- Pennsylvania parks: Keystone State Park
- Ohio Counties: Columbiana, Mahoning. Trumbull, Ashtabula.
- Ohio Cities: Boardman, Calcutta, East Liverpool, Girard, Glenmoor, Lisbon, Mineral Ridge, New Waterford, Toronto, Wellsville, Youngstown, and more.
- West Virginia Counties: Hancock
- West Virginia Cities: Weirton, and more.
- West Virginia parks: Tomlinson Run State Park
More Location Tips:
- County data is from the Cicada Central Periodical Cicada Record Database and Periodical Cicadas, the Plague and the Puzzle by Gene Kritsky. Cities come from 2002 reports.
- Brood VIII does overlap with Brood V (which emerged 3 years ago in 2016). Most of Brood VIII is east of V.
- As a general rule, if you experienced Brood V in 2016, or did not experience Brood VIII in 2002, you won’t experience them this year.
- Not sure? Ask someone in your community who lived there 17 years ago.
Visually, the cities mentioned above look like this:
Why: Why do they emerge in massive numbers every 17-years? In a nutshell, the long life cycle has helped them avoid gaining a specific above-ground predator, and the massive numbers allow them to satiate predators in general, allowing enough to survive and reproduce.
Video of newly emerged periodical cicada nymphs:
More facts and fun: