Cicada Spectacle Emerges with Billions This Spring

Cicada Spectacle Emerges with Billions This Spring

Entomologist Jonathan Larson anticipates a ‘spectacular, macabre Mardi Gras’ this spring as two cicada broods simultaneously emerge in the eastern United States from late April to June, according to an NPR article. They say, 


“Much of the eastern United States can prepare for what one entomologist described as a ‘spectacular, macabre Mardi Gra’  this spring.


The event Jonathan Larson, an extension entomologist at the University of Kentucky, is referring to is the simultaneous emergence of two cicada broods that will erupt in states from Virginia to Illinois come late April through June.”


Thomas Jefferson was president the last time these cicada broods emerged together. Entomologist Gene Kritsky notes it’ll be 221 years before they coincide again. Periodical cicadas spend years hibernating underground, according to a Dallas Morning News article. It reports, 


“The last time these two broods emerged at the same, Thomas Jefferson was president. After this year, it will be 221 years before the broods appear together again, said Gene Kritsky, an entomologist at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati and author of the book ”A Tale of Two Broods,” about this year’s dual emergence.


These types of cicadas are periodical, spending most of their lives hibernating underground and feeding on tree roots. Cicadas in the Northern Illinois Brood have been hibernating for 17 years, and those in the Great Southern Brood for 13 years.”


Though Texas had no reports of Great Southern cicadas in the past two emergences, an early straggler was reported last year. Entomologist Gene Kritsky launched the Cicada Safari app to map sightings and monitor changes in cicada behavior.