Periodical cicada Brood IX (9) will emerge in the spring of 2020 in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The last time this brood emerged was in 2003.
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 (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.
🗺️ 🇺🇸 Where:
- 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.
Maps, Apps, and Tips:
More facts and fun:
There’s a new cicada subfamily: Derotettiginae.
The five subfamilies are:
- Derotettiginae (NEW)
Here’s the paper:
Chris Simon, Eric R L Gordon, M S Moulds, Jeffrey A Cole, Diler Haji, Alan R Lemmon, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Michelle Kortyna, Katherine Nazario, Elizabeth J Wade, Russell C Meister, Geert Goemans, Stephen M Chiswell, Pablo Pessacq, Claudio Veloso, John P Mccutcheon, Piotr Łukasik, Off-target capture data, endosymbiont genes and morphology reveal a relict lineage that is sister to all other singing cicadas, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, , blz120, https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blz120
Here’s the abstract:
Phylogenetic asymmetry is common throughout the tree of life and results from contrasting patterns of speciation and extinction in the paired descendant lineages of ancestral nodes. On the depauperate side of a node, we find extant ‘relict’ taxa that sit atop long, unbranched lineages. Here, we show that a tiny, pale green, inconspicuous and poorly known cicada in the genus Derotettix, endemic to degraded salt-plain habitats in arid regions of central Argentina, is a relict lineage that is sister to all other modern cicadas. Nuclear and mitochondrial phylogenies of cicadas inferred from probe-based genomic hybrid capture data of both target and non-target loci and a morphological cladogram support this hypothesis. We strengthen this conclusion with genomic data from one of the cicada nutritional bacterial endosymbionts, Sulcia, an ancient and obligate endosymbiont of the larger plant-sucking bugs (Auchenorrhyncha) and an important source of maternally inherited phylogenetic data. We establish Derotettiginae subfam. nov. as a new, monogeneric, fifth cicada subfamily, and compile existing and new data on the distribution, ecology and diet of Derotettix. Our consideration of the palaeoenvironmental literature and host-plant phylogenetics allows us to predict what might have led to the relict status of Derotettix over 100 Myr of habitat change in South America.
Tweets from Chris Simon @CicadaScience announcing the new subfamily:
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It’s been about six weeks since the emergence of Brood VIII in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Oklahoma. Now (first week of August) is a good a time as any to check for periodical cicada nymphs that have hatched from eggs laid in branches. Once they hatch they’ll find their way to the ground, where they’ll find and begin feeding on roots for the next 17 years.
Look on branches where cicada laid their eggs.
An illustraition of egg nests:
A nymph on a branch with adult male finger for comparison:
Another close up:
This year Brood VIII periodical cicadas emerged in the Pittsburgh area, and I traveled to see and map them. Unfortunately, I only had 3 days, so I only saw the western side of the Brood.
All things considered — including cool, cloudy weather (which cicadas don’t like as much as hot & sunny) and a very rainy spring — Brood VIII was the least impressive brood I’ve witnessed, in terms of the sheer number of cicadas. I hope no one in the Pittsburgh area takes offense to that statement — Brood VIII is your brood, and you should be proud of it. It is just that as we humans build more and more, and continue to alter the environment, the numbers of cicadas will steadily dwindle. and I think we’re seeing that happen to Brood VIII.
Here’s an impromptu map of the places I saw cicadas:
And a list of places:
- Allegheny Township
- Bethel Township
- Black Lick
- Blue Spruce Park
- Boyce Park
- Brush Valley Township
- Center Township
- Crooked Creek Horse Park
- Derry Township
- Hempfield Township
- Homer City
- Hoodlebug Trail
- Keystone State Park
- New Alexandria
- New Florence
- Parks Township
- Pine Ridge Park
- Rayne Township
- Round Hill Park
- St Clair Township
- Two Lick Creek Dam
- Washington Township
- West Wheatfield Township
- White Township
- Yellow Creek State Park
And some photos:
Video of the amazing cicada that was just a head.
A very cool Brood VIII cicada frisbee:
Mount St. Joseph University has released a new app called Cicada Safari. Its purpose is to help you identify periodical (Magicicada, 17-year, 13-year, “locusts”) cicadas, and share the location you found them. Scientists like Dr. Gene Kritsky, of Mount St. Joseph University, will use the data to determine exactly where periodical cicadas exist.
See a map of sightings reported by the app.
Judging by screenshots of the app, it looks like you can 1) identify cicadas, 2) take a photo and share it, 3) map the location where you found it, 4) compete with other cicada scientists for the most cicadas found. Looks that way at least.