The Lope: Have You Seen this Cicada Recently?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Have You Seen this Cicada Recently?

(updated June 2)

This is a periodical cicada; they usually emerge every 13 years or every 17 years in large masses entomologists call broods. No broods are due en mass this year, 2010, but a small percentage of the wee black beasties with red eyes jump the gun and show up a year or more early. That's what I'm looking for this spring.

The photos above and below were shot near Eureka, Kansas, in 1998. There are minor differences in species of periodical cicada, but generally they are going to look like this.

A small percentage of cicadas from brood XIX, also called the Great Southern Brood, are emerging in parts of the Midwest and the South a year early, foreshadowing their 2011 mass-emergence. There are also reports from Paola and Osawatomie Kansas of periodical cicadas from a different brood showing up five years early.

If you see any of these cicadas, please comment on this blog and also and add your information to the data being accumulated at Here's a direct link to the page where you'd add your information.

This photo will give you an idea of the size of the critter we're talking about. They're harmless, as this fine young nature enthusiast can attest. The males sing nicely, too. (photo by Ace's friend, Barb)


Anonymous Tonya Pike said...

I thought some were on a seven year rotation. I know we had them badly at the Rail Haven two summers ago. One foreign group asked me what the humming was in the trees and by chance, there was a dead one in a flower bed. It was kind of like the night our pool was overcome by fireflies ... everyone had a fun, if not bizarre, time looking at the cicada carcass ...

Sun Jun 06, 10:52:00 PM  

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