Cicada Mania

Dedicated to cicadas, the most amazing insects in the world.

May 5, 2012

Six Cicada Experiments and Projects

Filed under: Community Science | Magicicada | Periodical | Video — Dan @ 4:18 am

Here are six cicada projects and experiments you can try during the coming Brood XIX 13-year periodical cicada emergence in America.

White eyed Magicicada by Dan from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Find a White or Blue Eyed Magicicada!

(Magicicada only)

White or Blue eyed Magicicada are very rare! Typically they have red or orange eyes. There was even an urban legend that scientists were offering a reward for white-eyed Magicicada (well, that was a legend, until Roy Troutman actually offered a reward in 2008). Aside from Blue or White-eyed Magicicada, you can find other colors like yellow eyes, and multicolored eyes.

Try this: Have a contest amongst your friends and family for who can find the most white, yellow and multicolor-eyed cicadas.


Wing Clicks

(Magicicada only)

How do you get a male cicada to sing? Imitate a female cicada. Female cicadas don’t sing, but they do click their wings together to get a male cicada’s attention.

Try this: snap your fingers near cicadas almost immediately (half-second) after a Male stops singing. Male cicadas will hear the snap and think it’s a female clicking her wings, and they may sing in response.

You can also try imitating male cicada calls to get the females to click their wings. Magicicada tredecim and Magicicada neotredecim are probably the easiest to imitate with their “Waaah Ooh”/”WeeOoh” calls. You can find sound files on the Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) site so you can practice.

Cicada Free-Styling

(Magicicada only)

One of the best ways to locate cicadas is to simply listen for them. When you’re driving or biking around town, take note of where you hear cicadas. If you hear cicadas in a public place, don’t we afraid to stop and observe them.

Try this: Travel around listening for cicadas, document their location and numbers, and report them to magicicada.org.

Tips:

  • Learn the songs of the periodical cicadas, and learn what they look like, including the different phases of development (nymph, teneral adult, adult) and species. Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) has sound files and images of what they looks like.
  • Study the maps and other documentation of previous sightings
  • Network with friends to find out where they are
  • Drive with your windows open (so you can hear them)
  • Car pool to save gas (or use you bicycle)
  • Respect private property
  • Document the specific location. Some smart phones and GPS devices will give you the latitude and longitude coordinates, but street addresses and mile markers work fine as well.
  • Document: how many cicadas you saw, and what phase they were in (nymph, white teneral cicadas, live adults, deceased adults).
  • Document the cicadas: take photos, take video, share your experience on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
  • Report the your discovery to magicicada.org

Document the Cicada’s Life Cycle

(Works for most cicadas)

You can observe many phases and activities of a cicada’s life while they are above ground.

Try this: Photograph or film as many stages of a cicada’s life as possible, then create a slideshow or movie depicting the life of a cicada. Post your finished slideshow or movie on the web (YouTube?) so other people can enjoy it.

Phases of a cicadas life you can try to capture:


Test Gene Kritsky’s Cicada Emergence Formula

(Magicicada only)

Cicada researcher Gene Kritsky developed a cicada emergence formula to try to predict when the cicadas will emerge based on the mean temperature in April.

Try this: on May 1st, go to our cicada emergence formula page, follow the instructions and find out when the cicadas might emerge in your area. Document when the cicadas emerge in your area, and compare the results. Note whether the cicadas emerge in sunny or shady areas.

Magicicada nets from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

How to Keep Cicadas in Captivity

(Works for most cicadas)

People ask: “what’s the best way to keep a cicada in captivity?” The answer depends on how long you plan on keeping the cicada, and how happy you want the cicada to be.

Wooden and plastic bug houses (“Bug Bungalows”, “Critter Cabins”, “Bug Jugs”, etc.) will suffice as temporary homes for cicadas. The classic jar with holes punched in the lid works too. Add a fresh branch for them to crawl on and drink fluids from (or at least try). Remember not to leave it in the sun so the cicadas inside don’t bake!

Butterfly Pavilions are collapsible containers made of netting that you can use to gather cicadas, and provide them with a temporary home. People also use Fish Aquariums to keep cicadas in their homes for extended periods of time — add plenty of vegetation for the cicadas to crawl around on and some water for the cicadas to sip.

Try this: get some flexible netting and wrap it around a branch on a tree, making sure not to leave any openings, then put your cicadas inside. Cicadas in this kind of enclosure will be more likely to sing and interact because life trees are their natural habitat.

You can also try wrapping netting around a small, potted maple tree.


Want to keep your cicadas forever? Try the Massachusetts Cicadas guide to preserving cicadas.

April 30, 2012

A Brood I Magicicada Periodical Cicada Primer for the 2012 Emergence

Filed under: Brood I | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 8:11 pm

Brood I will next emerge in 2029.

This page was last updated in 2012.

When will they emerge?

Adult Magicicada

They are emerging now. Due to warmer than normal temperatures, Brood I cicadas have started to emerge sooner than expected. Typically, once the soil 8 inches (20cm) below the surface gets to 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18º C) they will emerge. Cicadas in sunny areas will emerge before cicadas in shady areas.

Where will they emerge?

Historically, Brood I has emerged in counties along the border of the Virginias, including the counties: Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Botetourt, Grant, Page, Pendleton, Rockbridge, and Rockingham. Visit the Magicicada Database Query Page to search historical records, or Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) to see a live map of the emergence.

Important: Magicicadas won’t emerge everywhere in the counties mentioned above. They might not exist in your town or neighborhood (particularly if there’s lots of new construction, which removes trees). The key to seeing them if they don’t emerge in your neighborhood is communication: networking with friends and family, checking the interactive maps on magicicada.org, checking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

What you should look for

Look out for cicada chimneys, turrets or holes the diameter of an adult’s finger near the root system of a tree. These are sure signs that cicadas will emerge in the area.

You might discover some cicada nymphs while turning over stones or when performing landscaping chores. They are a golden-brown color, with black coloration in the area behind their heads.

Here is a great video of Magicicada nymphs once they have emerged from the ground:

Magicicada cicada nymph mania from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Once cicadas nymphs have emerged from the ground, they will try to find a tree, and then begin the process of exiting their old nymph skins, drying their wings, and changing to their adult coloring. If you have the time, a flashlight and a camera you can record this amazing transformation.

Molting cicada

What are they?

Magicicada is a genus of periodical cicadas known for emerging in massive numbers in 17 or 13 year cycles/periods. The cicadas emerging in 2012 have 17 year life-cycles. Magicicada are also organized into broods. There are 12 broods of 17 year cicadas, and the brood emerging in 2012 is Brood I (Brood One).

There are 3 species of 17-year Magicicada: M. septendecim (aka “decims”), M. cassini, and M. septendecula. The adults of all three species have black bodies with orange markings and red-orange eyes.

Perhaps the best way to visually distinguish the adults of the three species is by observing the coloration on their abdomens: M. septendecim have broad orange stripes with more orange than black; M. cassini has black abdomens with virtually no stripes at all, and M. septendecula has stripes that feature as much black as orange. Visit this Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) species page for detailed information, including photos and audio.

M. septendecim also have an area of orange coloring between the eye and the wing: color magicicada septendecim

Another great what to tell their difference is to listen to their song.

Here is some video and audio of 17 year Magicicada. This will give you an idea of what to expect:

Cicada Mania, best of 2007, part 1 by Dan from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Note: some folks call these cicadas “locusts”, but they are not true locusts.

Why?

Why do Magicicadas wait 17 years and why do they emerge in such large numbers? There are many theories why, but the primary reason could be that they’re trying to beat the predators. Since they emerge only once every 17 years, no species can anticipate their emergence (except man), and emerging in large numbers ensures that at least some of them will survive to reproduce. See more about Cicadas and Prime Numbers.

Who?

People have many reactions to Magicicada including fear, disgust, panic, mild curiosity, fascination, and fanaticism. We hope that YOU will find them fascinating, and get involved by helping to map the emergence, upload your cicada photos and videos to sites like YouTube, Pinterest, and Flickr, and participate in discussions on Twitter and discussion forums like Reddit.

More information:


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

Marlatt 1907 01 Brood I

April 23, 2012

The Brood I Cicada Emergence Has Begun

Filed under: Brood I | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 6:51 pm

The Brood I Cicada emergence has begun early, as predicted, due to the warm weather in recent weeks. The first Brood I cicadas were spotted in Roanoke, Virginia. See our Cicada Mania Facebook Page for a photo and the person who found them. Unfortunately, the cold weather seems to have hurt the early emerging cicadas.

First we had unnaturally warm weather, causing the cicadas to emerge early, and right when they start to emerge: cold, wet weather. This is bittersweet news.

BTW,

Here’s a list of counties where they should emerge:
Augusta
Bath
Bedford
Botetourt
Grant
Page
Pendleton
Rockbridge
Rockingham

April 1, 2012

Cicadas and Prime Numbers

Filed under: Anatomy | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 8:51 pm

Last week io9 published an article titled Why do cicadas know prime numbers? The gist of the article is that cicadas developed long, prime-numbered, periodical life cycles to avoid gaining a predator that can synch up with the cicadas.

It’s an interesting read, but it’s a little thin on facts and references. Here is part of what the article is missing:

Only seven out of the hundreds of species of cicadas have 13 or 17-year life cycles, and they all belong to the genus Magicicada. Three species of cicadas have 17-year life cycles: M. septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula. Four species of cicadas have 13-year life cycles: M. neotredecim, M. tredecim, M. tredecassini and M. tredecula. These are the periodical cicadas Stephen Jay Gould wrote about.

As one proof of the theory, there isn’t a wasp that specifically predates Magicicadas (the genus of cicadas with long, prime-numbered life cycles), but there is a Cicada Killer Wasp that predates Tibicen cicadas, which have shorter life cycles and emerge every year.

Although no animal predator has figured out their 17 & 13-year life cycle, one life form has: the Massospora cicadina fungus.

The book in which Stephen Jay Gould theorized about prime numbers and periodical cicadas is Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History. You can search through the book in Google Book Search, or just buy a copy (if you’re interested). I think I paid a cent for my copy (used).

Other species of cicadas also have life cycles of a prime number of years, but some do not. The Chremistica ribhoi is known for four-year life cycles, which coincide with the Fifa World Cup (association football event). The Raiateana knowlesi of Fiji has an 8 year life cycle.

Not all cicadas are periodical cicadas; the vast majority of cicada species appear every year even though their life cycles are longer than one year.

If you want to delve deeper into the subject of periodical cicadas and prime numbers, search for the paper Evolution of Periodicity in Periodical Cicadas by Nicolas Lehmann-Ziebarth et al.

This image is meant to be funny, but it’s a bit misleading…
A cicada counting prime numbers
It’s likely that periodical cicadas are counting in units of 4. 4+4+4+1 = 13. 4+4+4+4+1 = 17.

Prof. Douglas Galvao of the State University of Campinas has written a paper titled Emergence of Prime Numbers as the Result of Evolutionary Strategy. Download his paper from Cicada Mania.

Notes:

  • Cicadas do not incubate underground. Cicada eggs hatch above ground; typically in grooves in the stems of plants created by female cicadas.
  • Cicadas rarely sing at night. In rare circumstances, like in the presence of artificial light, they will sing at night. If you hear an insect at night it is likely a cricket or katydid (or frog).
  • Here’s another article with a practical application for web design called The Cicada Principle and Why It Matters to Web Designers.
  • Mathematical “locusts” an mathematical explanation of the cicadas and prime numbers phenomenon.

March 11, 2012

Is it hot enough for cicadas yet?

Filed under: Brood I | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 9:48 am

Update (4/23): The first Brood I emergence (that we heard of) occurred in Roanoke, Virginia. Unfortunately, the sudden cold, wet weather seems to have hurt the early emerging cicadas.

The rest of this post was originally from March 11th, 2012:

Next week temperatures are forecasted to reach 79°F in the parts of Virginia, where Brood I Magicicadas are expected to emerge this year. That’s hot for March, but is it hot enough for the cicadas? Periodical cicadas typically emerge when the soil 8″ below the surface reaches 64°F. Although temperatures will be in the 70’s all week, that might not be enough to heat the soil to the necessary temperature, but stranger things have happened.

Last year Brood XIX Magicicada started emerging in Abbeville County, South Carolina after only 3 days of temperatures in the 70s.

My guess is temperatures won’t heat the soil enough to launch a full-blown emergence, but a few cicadas will emerge in the warmest and sunniest areas. Keep on the look out. Take photos and video. Report sightings to magicicada.org. Check the Magiciciada database for locations; places like Rockbridge, Page, Botetourt, and Bath counties…

hot under the exoskeleton

December 26, 2011

Brood I cicadas will emerge in Virginia and West Virginia in 2012

Filed under: Brood I | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 9:51 am

The Magicicada periodical cicadas belonging to Brood I (one) will emerge in western Virginia and eastern West Virginia in the spring of 2012. Brood I cicadas have a 17-year life cycle. Three species of periodical cicada will emerge: Magicicada cassini, Magicicada septendecim, and Magicicada septendecula.

Brood I is also called the Blue Ridge brood because the emergence occurs in the Blue Ridge Highlands area. Brood I has historically emerged along RT 81 in Virginia, parts of George Washington National Forest, Jefferson National Forest, and around the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area in West Virginia. Visit the Brood I page on Magiciada.org for more information and maps.

Get ready…

Magicicada septendecim

June 12, 2011

Best Cicada News of the Week: Cicada Ice Cream?!

Filed under: Brood XIX | Cicada Arts | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 10:30 am

Brood XIX News

You can see the latest 500 cicada sightings on magicicada.org. Visit their “2011 Brood XIX sightings” map. The latest reports are from Illinois and Missouri.

The latest Science Cabaret Podcast is about cicadas, and in particular, the relationship of birds and cicadas. The podcast features Dr. Walt Koenig and is hosted by Dr. Holly.

I enjoyed this blog post Kingdom of the Cicadas. It features photos and videos of the emergence from Joplin, Missouri.

Cicada Ice Cream

There were a lot of news stories about Sparky’s Ice Cream shop in Columbia, Missouri, and their cicada ice cream. After reading dozens of articles, it seems that they only made one batch, and the local health official(s) only advised them not to make the ice cream, but did not specifically or legally stop them from making it.

Related… cicada pie, pizza and tacos courtesy of the University of Maryland’s PDF cookbook. The cookbook is circa 2004 (Brood X) but they still work.

(more…)

May 22, 2011

Best Brood XIX Cicada News of the Week

Filed under: Brood XIX | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 7:55 pm

Here’s a rundown of some of the best Brood XIX cicada news and multimedia from the week.

Emergence status:

It appears that Brood XIX’s emergence is now underway in every state they were supposed to emerge in, with the exception of Louisiana, but that could be that no one has reported in from Louisiana yet. You can see the progress of the emergence on Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org)’s 2011 Brood XIX Map. I’m starting to hear that the emergence is winding down in Georgia, while it’s just getting started in Illinois.

Brood XIX is truly the first periodical cicada emergence where social media (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo) became the primary method that people used to share and learn about cicada news and media. The Cicada Mania Facebook Page has been very active all throughout the emergence with many people sharing excellent photos and videos. I’ve been sharing the latest cicada news stories on the CicadaMania Twitter feed. If you want to keep up with the latest cicada news stories, Twitter is a great place to start.

The first white eyed cicada

Here is the first image of a white-eyed Brood XIX cicada that I’ve seen. The credit goes to biologizer on Flickr.

White eyed Cicada

If you’re on Flickr, you can add your photos to the Cicada Photos group, or if you simply want to see all the cicada photos showing up daily, search for cicadas.

The first Cicada Mania Brood XIX gallery

Thanks to David Green of North Eastern Arkansas for these photos of a Magicicada tredecassini.

Brood XIX Magicicada photos from North Eastern Arkansas taken by David Green. 2011.

Time Lapse videos of cicadas eclosing

A couple of time lapse videos of a cicada eclosing (leaving their old skin and becoming an adult) caught my eye:

Brood XIX Periodical Cicada 2011 from Mark Dolejs on Vimeo.

Interview of the Week

Dr. John Cooley of Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) was interviewed by Ira Flatow on Science Friday. Listen to the interview.

Cicada Humor

Singer / Songwriter Kathy Ashworth wrote a song called Sick of Cicadas, which you can listen to on her website.

This A Basic Guide to the Meaning of the Letters on Cicada Wings (pdf) will help you… figure out what the letters that appear on cicada wings mean.

More cicada videos

Here are some cicada videos that really stood out:

What else?

If you want to send in a cicada news story, video, etc, email us at cicadamania@gmail.com or find us on twitter at @cicadamania.

A word from our sponsor: The best way to remember a cicada emergence is with cicada apparel or mugs.

May 14, 2011

Periodical cicada fun facts to help you survive a cicada invasion

Filed under: Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 9:24 am

Cicadas and Temperature

Cold weather across the U.S. seems to have slowed the Magicicada emergence. It is true that cold temperatures will deter nymphs from emerging, and stop adult cicadas from flying around and singing. Cicadas are “cold-blooded” so they rely on air temperature and direct sunlight to warm up, and unless their bodies are warm enough, they won’t be able to fly, sing and mate. The black skin color of Magicicadas helps them warm up, just like how a black leather seat in a car gets hot to the touch in the summer.

Soil temperature is one of the indicators of when periodical cicada nymphs will begin to leave the ground. Typically they will start to emerge once the soil temperature reaches 18°C / 64°F or warmer (8″/20 cm beneath the soil surface).

Their body temperature needs to be a little warmer than that to fly. Their minimum flight temperature (MFT) is 18-21°C / 65-70°F. The temperature varies depending on the Brood and species. They’ll need a few more degrees before they’re fully functional, and start singing and mating.

Maximum voluntary tolerance temperature (MVT) for periodical cicadas is 31-34°C / 88-93°F, again depending on Brood and species. Maximum voluntary tolerance is the point at which cicadas seek shade and when thermoregulation takes precedence over other behaviors.

So, until their bodies are about 72°F (“room temperature”) they won’t be flying, singing and mating.

See Thermal responses of periodical cicadas: within and between brood parity (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada spp.) and Thermoregulation by Endogenous Heat Production in Two South American Grass Dwelling Cicadas (Homoptera: Cicadidae: Proarna) for more information.

The damage they do

Cicadas don’t cause damage to trees by chewing leaves like other insects do. Instead, the damage is caused because they lay their eggs in grooves in the branches of trees. Cicadas are technically parasites of the trees, and they need the trees to survive throughout their entire life cycle, so killing trees is not in the cicadas best interest.

The weakest limbs of a tree are often temporarily damaged or killed off, the result of which is called flagging, as the leaves of the branch will turn brown and look like a flag. They are doing the trees a favor by pruning their weakest branches.

Young trees, ornamental trees, and fruit trees will be more prone to damage as they are typically smaller and weaker than older native hardwood trees. I recommend placing netting around these trees and picking the cicadas off by hand if you’re concerned. Spraying them off the trees with a hose seems to work as well. I don’t recommend filling a bucket with cicadas and dumping them in your neighbor’s yard, as they can fly back to your yard, and your neighbor will become enraged.

The blue tape works well too: check out this photo of cicadas that can’t make it past the tape.

Grooves made by a cicada:

Marlatt 1907 Egg Nests

An image of Flagging caused by cicadas:

flagging

Do cicadas stink?!

Cicadas do stink, but only once they’re dead and rotting, like most creatures. When you get a pile of dead, wet cicadas they can kick up a serious funk, like putrefying bacon. It’s best to rake up their corpses ASAP, shovel them into a bucket or wheelbarrow, and then bury them, compost them, or use them for catfish or critter bait. Individual cicadas make excellent fish bait.

What do cicadas eat?

Cicadas don’t eat by chewing up leaves; instead, they drink their meals. Cicadas use their mouthparts to tap into trees and drink tree fluids called xylem. Occasionally you’ll see cicadas piercing a branch with their mouthparts to take a drink. They aren’t particularly smart, and occasionally mistake people for trees. Luckily cicadas are not venomous.

Do cicadas pee?

Yes, cicadas regularly pee to eliminate excess fluid. Allow me to recommend wearing a cicada hat.

Are cicadas attracted to the sound of lawnmowers and other machinery?

Yes, cicadas are attracted to the sound of lawnmowers, weed whackers, hedge trimmers, etc. Female cicadas think that these machines are males singing, and male cicadas show up to join the other males in what we call a “chorus”.

Why are there so many periodical cicadas?

Their strategy is called “predator satiation”. They reproduce by the millions in order to fill predators up. The idea is that all the squirrels, birds, possums, snakes, lizards, raccoons, varmints, teenagers and other predators will be so full of cicadas and tired of eating them, that a just enough cicadas will escape and get to mate and reproduce.

Think of it this way: Aunt Betsy and Uncle Steve always show up to the barbecue and eat up all the best cuts of meat; few if any meat escapes them. What you want to do is fill Betsy and Steve up with cheap snacks like pork rinds, chips, and Coke, so some of the meat will escape their grasp.

How long do they live?

Adults can live a few weeks, but they often don’t get to live that long, as many are born crippled, they get infected with mold, they run out of energy, they get eaten, etc.

An emergence can last locally up to 6 weeks from start to finish. They should all be dead six weeks after you see your first cicadas.

About 98% of cicadas die within the first two years of life. Imagine if they all survived to adulthood! There would be 4800% more of them.

What eats them when they’re underground?

When they’re underground they’re often eaten by moles, but enough of them escape the moles to survive.

Stragglers

If you have a lot of cicadas today, chances are you’ll have a couple next year. Not a lot, just a couple that forgot to emerge this year.

Other ideas to help you enjoy Brood XIX

March 12, 2011

A Brood XIX Periodical Cicada Primer

Filed under: Brood XIX | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 4:45 pm

Brood XIX (19) will next emerge in 2024.

This page has last updated in 2011.

What are they?

Magicicada is a genus of periodical cicadas known for emerging in massive numbers in 17 or 13-year cycles/periods. The cicadas emerging in 2011 have 13 year life-cycles. Magicicada cicadas are also organized into broods. There are 3 broods of 13-year cicadas, and the brood emerging in 2011 is Brood XIX (nineteen).

There are 4 species of 13-year Magicicada: M. tredecim, M. neotredecim, M. tredecassini and M. tredecula. The adults of all four species have black bodies with orange markings and red-orange eyes. M. tredecim and M. neotredecim are very similar, and you can only tell them apart by their song in areas where their ranges overlap (or by looking at DNA). They are, however, larger than M. tredecassini and M. tredecula, and have a noticeably different song.

Visit this Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) species page for detailed information, including photos and audio.

Here is some video and audio of 17 year Magicicada, which look and sound remarkably similar to the 13 year variety. This will give you an idea of what to expect:

Cicada Mania, best of 2007, part 1 by Dan from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Note: some folks call these cicadas “locusts”, but they are not true locusts.

When will they emerge?

The Brood XIX Magicadas will emerge this spring. When they emerge depends on the weather. Generally speaking, once the ground temperature gets to 64º Fahrenheit (18º C) around 8″ (20 cm) deep they will emerge. There’s an emergence formula too. Brood XIX cicadas in Georgia will most likely emerge before the cicadas in Illinois, for example, because Georgia is typically warmer than Illinois.

Where will they emerge?

Historically, Brood XIX has emerged in as many as 14 states. The emergence will cover the most area in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee. Other states like Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina should have strong emergences in limited areas, and states like Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Virginia will have very limited emergences.

Important: Magicicadas won’t emerge everywhere you see on the map below. They might not exist in your town or neighborhood (particularly if there’s lots of new construction, which removes trees). The key to seeing them if they don’t emerge in your neighborhood is communication: networking with friends and family, checking the interactive maps on magicicada.org, checking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Marlatt 1907 19 Brood XIX
1907 map from Marlatt, C.L.. 1907. The periodical cicada. Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology.

States:

  1. mid to northern Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. northern Georgia
  4. mid to southern Illinois
  5. south-western Indiana
  6. west Kentucky
  7. northern Louisiana
  8. Missouri
  9. mid to northern Mississippi
  10. North Carolina
  11. western Oklahoma
  12. north-west South Carolina
  13. Tennessee
  14. random places in Virginia

Why?

Why do Magicadas wait 13 years and why do they emerge in such large numbers? There are many theories why, but the primary reason could be that they’re trying to beat the predators. Since they emerge only once every 13 years, no species can anticipate their emergence (except man), and emerging in large numbers ensures that at least some of them will survive to reproduce.

Who?

People have many reactions to Magicicada including: fear, disgust, panic, mild curiosity, fascination, and fanaticism. We hope that YOU will find them fascinating, and get involved by helping to map the emergence, upload your cicada photos and videos to sites like YouTube and Flickr, and participate in discussions on Twitter and discussion forums.

More information:

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