Roy Troutman provided this video featuring a Magicicada nymph 12 day transformation before final molt. It’s an excellent view of what nymphs look like right before they emerge from the ground and become adults.
April 7, 2011
March 12, 2011
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:
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 64Âº Fahrenheit (18Âº 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.
1907 map from Marlatt, C.L.. 1907. The periodical cicada. Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology.
- mid to northern Alabama
- northern Georgia
- mid to southern Illinois
- south-western Indiana
- west Kentucky
- northern Louisiana
- mid to northern Mississippi
- North Carolina
- western Oklahoma
- north-west South Carolina
- random places in Virginia
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.
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.
January 11, 2011
Brood XIX 13 year cicadas will be emerging this year in the USA, and folks are already making plans for the emergence.
Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator for the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Conservation Science Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, is organizing a “Cicada Watch” / Brood XIX Magicicada Monitoring Project. Read an article about Cicada Watch in the Charlotte Observer: Cicadas return – and you can make it count.
If you live in the Mechlenburg County area, and are interested in participating in Cicada Watch, here is more information:
Mecklenburg County Brood XIX Magicicada Monitoring Project
Brood XIX, a 13-year brood (or year-class) of periodical cicadas, is set to emerge in 2011. Known as the “Great Southern Brood”, this emergence of cicadas is expected to appear in portions of 15 states. In North Carolina, the cicadas should emerge across much of the piedmont region, including the greater Charlotte
Periodical cicadas appear to be declining in parts of their range throughout the eastern United States, and some broods are now thought to be extinct. Impacts such as development, habitat changes and climatological factors may be contributing to these declines.
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s Division of Nature Preserves and Natural Resources will be collecting data on the emergence of Brood XIX in Mecklenburg County in the Spring of 2011. The help of volunteers and local residents is needed to obtain baseline data on emergence locations and areas of activity within the county. Some of these areas will be monitored throughout the emergence period and can be re-visited in future emergence years to determine whether or not local populations are stable. Data collected during this Cicada Watch will help us to understand the status and future of Brood XIX in Mecklenburg
Cicada Watch volunteers can assist in any of the following activities:
1. Observe their property and neighborhood for periodical cicada activity and report findings to staff
2. Survey areas of the county where emergences may be expected
3. Collect routine monitoring data from active locations throughout the emergence period
4. Follow up on leads of periodical cicada activity, such as reports of exit holes, emerging nymphs, shed skins, or active adults
For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, please contact :
Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator
Phone #: 704-432-1390 E-mail: email@example.com
July 1, 2010
Note: no major broods emerged in 2010.
I wanted to mention that I heard several Periodicals(cassini) in blue springs around the first week of June. Maybe a total of about 15 0r 20 in 2 trees.
Comment by Steve Karan — July 1, 2010 [AT] 2:01 pm
Heard a cassini singing in the trees for about 45 minutes today in Loveland. It was finally sunny and warm enough for it after 7 days of cool weather.
Comment by Roy Troutman — May 22, 2010 [AT] 6:15 pm
May 15, 2010 M cassini, Milford, OH (Cincinnati)
Comment by Jennifer Taylor — May 14, 2010 [AT] 7:53 am
I forgot to mention that the greenway is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. The largest concentration of cicadas was observed between the 3-mile and 3.25-mile markers (between Johnston Rd and Hwy 51). Also, several adults had the Massospora cicadina fungal disease.
Comment by Lenny Lampel — May 11, 2010 [AT] 6:05 am
I observed a small emergence of one year early stragglers of Brood XIX on Monday, May 10. There were several dozen calling along a one mile stretch of the Lower McAlpine Greenway. The emergence appeared to be entirely Magicicada tredecassini. Interestingly, the emergence occurred in a floodplain forest. Good numbers of exuviae were observed on wetland shrubs and grasses and numerous live adults were on the ground and flying between trees. Several grackles were seen eating the cicadas and yellow-billed cuckoos and great-crested flycatchers were also in the area and were extremely vocal.
Comment by Lenny Lampel — May 11, 2010 [AT] 5:59 am
May 26, 2010
Gene Kritsky wrote us to let us know that Brood III periodical cicadas are emerging in Iowa and Missouri.
I wanted to let you know that I have received emails with reports of
emerging periodical cicadas in Iowa and northern Missouri in Brood III
territory. These cicadas would be emerging four years early similar to
the early emergences observed in 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2009.
Check our Brood Chart to see where the next batch of periodical cicadas might emerge.
May 11, 2010
Update: Brood XIX straggler photos by Lenny Lampel.
Here’s a treat. Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Conservation Science Office in Charlotte, NC, uploaded these videos that feature the calls of Magicicada tredecassini to YouTube.
A small chorus of one year early Magicicada tredecassini stragglers of Brood XIX calling from the Lower McAlpine Greenway in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 10, 2010.
One year early Magicicada tredecassini stragglers of Brood XIX calling from the Lower McAlpine Greenway in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 10, 2010.
May 6, 2010
Magicicada cicadas are emerging early across America! You might know them as periodical cicadas, 13 or 17 year cicadas, or “locusts”. When cicadas emerge early (or later) they’re called stragglers.
Chances are they’re from Brood XIX or Brood XXII:
– Brood XIX is set to emerge in AL, AR, GA, IN, IL, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, VA next year.
– Brood XXII is set to emerge in LA, MS in 2014.
If you see one of these cicadas, report them to Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org). Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) records the location of cicadas and adds them to a map, for scientific purposes.
Image of Magicicada:
Here’s what they sound like:
March 29, 2010
Elias went digging for Magicicada nymphs on 3/21. Here’s a gallery of the nymphs he found.
August 20, 2009
Note: no major broods emerged in 2009.
Mary — those are Tibicen cicadas, and they’ll be around for the rest of the summer.
Comment by Dan — August 20, 2009 [AT] 9:00 pm
Yes. Buy The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott and Wil Hershberger. It has many songs of North American cicadas.
Comment by Dan — August 20, 2009 [AT] 11:55 am
does anyone know of commercially available cicada song/call recordings?
I live in Philly Pa. &
we have annual cicadas.
Don’t know the specie
but it produces a metallic/castenet type of sound.I think it’s really cool.
Comment by Bob — August 20, 2009 [AT] 11:42 am
I have seen these in Northern VA/DC area the last two weeks….primarily at my front and back door lights in the evenings. I can hear the trees full of them, which compeltely freaks me out now that I know what they look like.
How long can I expect them to be hanging around town?
Comment by Mary — August 18, 2009 [AT] 5:42 pm
Hello Chris. The Periodical cicadas have come and gone (a small emergence was noted in New Jersey). I live in New York and heard an annual cicada call 2 days ago. They usually take another week or two before they begin a noticeable chorus. Lets keep our fingers crossed and keep listening.
Comment by Elias — July 5, 2009 [AT] 5:32 am
i have a question for the experts im in nj and have not heard cicadas yet and its early july are they going to come in late or not come due to the cold spring?
Comment by chris egan — July 4, 2009 [AT] 11:11 pm
I have more than a dozen holes in my garden and have seen about eight left shells on the house, tree or swing. I have seen this Cicada (see website: http://agiesea.blogspot.com/2009/06/was-ist-das-fur-ein-insekt.html) about two weeks ago and now the neighbor hood is full of the singing. Not all time but loud. What brood is it and what type of Cicada is it. I come originally from Germany and never heard about Cicadas. My position is Virginia Beach, VA, USA
Comment by Drachenfanger — June 30, 2009 [AT] 5:51 pm
Magicicada (the red eyed periodical cicada) ususally are done by the beginning of July in most northern areas. The latest I caught one here was July 2nd in Brookhaven, Long Island. This was last year during the very end of Brood XIV.
Comment by Elias — June 30, 2009 [AT] 7:55 am
How long do they keep up their racket?
Comment by Pam — June 24, 2009 [AT] 12:21 am
Day 20 for my Magicicada and she is no more. Almost 3 weeks, the longest I ever kept one in captivity. Hopefully there are some stragglers still left out there although the cool and rainy weather is not helping at all!
Comment by Elias — June 20, 2009 [AT] 7:18 am
Day 16 for the female from Staten Island. She is still going strong. This is the longest I have ever kept a cicada alive in captivity. Has anyone else seen any Magicicada? May make a trip to Brookhaven soon to see if there was any activity from Brood XIV. Last trip to Fanwood and S.I. revealed no cicadas.
Comment by Elias — June 15, 2009 [AT] 7:20 pm
Day 14 for the Magicicada septendecim female that was captured in Staten Island. A few days ago she oviposited. Not clear if she was able to mate with one of the New Jersey males as she was fairly young while they were in their prime. She looks strong so far. Hopefully she will get the record for longevity!!
Comment by Elias — June 13, 2009 [AT] 6:00 pm
The search yesterday in Staten Island did not turn up any specimens. Saw many beautiful parks: Blue Heron Nature preserve, Clay Pits Pond Park, Wolfe’s Pond Park, and Conference House Park. Found a shell at Clay Pits Park and was told by a park ranger they came up about a week ago. No calling heard. Returned to Fanwood NJ too since I was by the Outerbridge Crossing. Saw lots of shells but they were probably left over from the previous 2 weeks. No calling and no specimens. Has anyone else seen any Magicicada? Seems like the accelerated emergence is all over.
Day 14 in the mini colony. The only one left alive from the original Fanwood Brood is the Massospora stricken cicada. Half the cicada’s body is gone yet she is still alive! This insect never ceases to amaze me!!
Comment by Elias — June 7, 2009 [AT] 6:09 am
Day 12 in the mini colony. Lost the first male yesterday. the second male appears to be tiring. did not hear him call this AM. 3 females still alive, one is the recent Staten Island specimen.
Staten Island news is picking up on the early cicadas and published an article here.http://www.silive.com/news/advance/index.ssf?/base/news/124411770745200.xml&coll=1
Will probably search again over the weekend.
Comment by Elias — June 5, 2009 [AT] 4:05 am
Day 9 in the captive colony. The two males are calling like crazy and the one infected with Massospora is still flicking her wings to keep them going. The female that mated last time has begun to lay eggs in the branches I have in there. I have seen all aspects of their life style. What a cool present nature gave me.
Hope some others are finding stragglers. There are a lot of people in Brood II and Brood XIV land!
Comment by Elias — June 2, 2009 [AT] 7:36 pm
Took a trip to Staten island today. Found 2 cicada burrows in Blue Heron Nature Preserve but no skins/adults. Then went to Wolfe’s Pond Park and found some cast off shells on Sycamore trees only. Then after a long day and a good stroke of luck, 1 nymph came up at 8:30PM on a sycamore tree. He is molting right now and so far the process is going well. Learned a technique from Gerry Bunker and that is to transport nymphs horizontally in a plastic container to prevent them from molting which leads to certain deformity. Day 7 for the rest of the colony. The two males are still calling and one pair mated already.
Comment by Elias — May 31, 2009 [AT] 8:55 pm
Update on my mini colony that is being kept alive in a Butterfly pavilion. One young male started to sing today. The amplitude is very low. Also a female in the cage responded with wing flick signalling. Brought home 8 from New jersey, 6 still alive. Today is Day #4. Next couple of days may need to look in Staten island or back to Fanwood. Anyone have any other reports? I know the weather is terrible. We need some sunshine!!
Comment by Elias — May 28, 2009 [AT] 8:17 pm
Thanks to Charlene’s post I went to Fanwood. found 7 tenerals and captured one nymph which will eclose here in the comfort of my home. Heard some light M. septendecim choruses. did not see any M. cassini or M. septendecula. Some trees where covered with at least 100 exuvia. Some had none. The question is have we seen the maximum yet or is it just starting? Please keep an eye out for further emergence sites here in the North East.
Comment by Elias — May 25, 2009 [AT] 1:10 pm
Can anyone tell me places where cicadas are being seen in New jersey or New York. I will travel to document this interesting accelerated emergence. Parks where they have been observed or street intersections would be of greatest value. Thank you!
Comment by Elias — May 24, 2009 [AT] 7:51 am
Charlene, yes, they’re stragglers even though there are so many. They’re stragglers by virtue of the fact that they’re arriving 4 years early.
Comment by Dan — May 22, 2009 [AT] 7:02 pm
Our NJ town (30 miles west of Manhattan) is covered in Magicicadas. Can they be straggers when the entire town is covered in them? Here are some photos I took today:
Comment by Charlene — May 22, 2009 [AT] 6:49 pm
Saw a whole lot of cicadas around Cedar Ridge Drive, in (Spotsylvania County) Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Comment by Selena Barefoot — May 18, 2009 [AT] 5:38 pm
We had one of these at our back porch light last night in Carroll County, Virginia. I thought it was some sort of very large bee (looked to be about the size of a humming bird!) but decided to do some research today after work and there it is! I see there have been a number of other sightings in Virginia recently.
Comment by Lori — May 18, 2009 [AT] 3:09 pm
July 5, 2009
I just finished watching the BBC mini-series Life in the Undergrowth staring several million invertebrates and David Attenborough. (I watched it in between the picnics, fireworks, and swimming that mostly occupies my time.) Fans of cicadas and land-dwelling invertebrates will love this show. Attenborough is the best when it comes to explaining the natural world to TV viewers.
BBC thoughtfully put the segment of the show about 17 year cicadas on YouTube.
I like the bit when he lures the male around by imitating the wing flicks of females.
You can buy it in the usual places, or rent it of course.