Cicada Mania

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July 15, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: B

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 10:29 pm

B is for Brood. Here’s the basics:

Marlatt 1907 10 Brood X Magicicada cicadas are American periodical cicadas that have 17 or 13 year life cycles. There are 12 groups of Magicicadas with 17 year life cycles, and 3 groups of Magicicadas with 13 year life cycles. Each of these groups emerge in a specific series of years, rarely overlapping (17 year groups co-emerge every 289 years). Each of these groups emerge in the same geographic area their parents emerged. These groups, each assigned a specific Roman numeral, are called broods.

Two examples:

Brood X (X is the Roman numeral for 10), emerges every 17 years, in DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, & WV. The last time Brood X emerged was in 2004, and it will emerge again in 2021.

Brood XIX (19) emerges every 13 years, in AL, AR, GA, IN, IL, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, VA. The last time Brood XIX emerged was 1998, and it will emerge next in 2011 (NEXT YEAR)!

When is the next Brood emerging in your area? Consult the Brood Chart.

I’ve only scraped the surface about the who, why, when, where and how of Broods. If you want to learn more I highly recommend Gene Kritsky’s book Periodical Cicadas: The Plague and the Puzzle. There are also online resources such as Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly, which has updated brood maps, and Cicada Central.

More cicada alphabet:

  • The Bagpipe Cicada, aka Lembeja paradoxa, is an Australian cicada known for its huge, bag-like abdomen. Here is a photo of the amazing Bagpipe Cicada. You can find this cicada in North-Eastern Australia.
  • The beak or rostrum of a cicada is the structure cicadas to pierce plants and drink the plant fluids:

  • Blue Moon cicadas exist in Australia and belong to the species Cyclochila australasiae. The interesting thing about Blue Moons is that they’re blue because they lack the yellow pigment necessary to make them green. When they’re green they’re called Green Grocers. Here is a gorgeous photo of a Blue Moon.
  • Cystosoma saundersii aka Bladder Cicada is a species of Australian cicada known for its large, green abdomen. See a photo of of a C. saundersii and behold its bladder-like belly.
  • Gerry Bunker is a cicada researcher and owner of the content-rich Massachusetts Cicadas website, and the Entomology – Cicadidae Yahoo! Group.
  • The Bush Cicada aka Tibicen dorsatus (formerly Tibicen dorsata) is an annual cicada that exists primarily in the Mid-West. Here’s a few Bush Cicada photos. This cicada is aka Giant Grassland Cicada and Golden Annual Cicada. Visit the Annual Cicadas of Arkansas site for more information.

1 Comment »

  1. Randi says:

    In central indiana we have a ton of cicada’s right now. Every seems to think it is kinda weird. They are about 2-3 inches long. Wings as long as their body. With paint white bellies. The stupid things keep smacking into every thing.

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