Currently viewing the category: "17 Year Cicadas"
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Is this Locust Pupa
Location: West Central Illinios
May 12, 2011 2:36 pm
I have some leaves composting in my front yard , Flipped the bag and these I think Locust Pupa ?? Not Sure??
Signature: Teresa

Cicada Nymph

Dear Teresa,
Only insects with complete metamorphosis have a pupa, and Cicadas have an incomplete metamorphosis.  The life cycle of a Cicada includes a period of time underground as a growing nymph.  In the case of the Periodical Cicada, the period of time underground may reach 13 or 17 years, hence the common name 17 Year Locust.  This is a Cicada Nymph, and it is likely about to transform into an adult, which is why it is on the surface.  We just posted a photo of a Brown Thrasher feeding on a Cicada Nymph, though the angle of the prey in that photo made identification somewhat difficult.  Your photo shows the immature Cicada quite nicely.  Since your photo has come quite early in the year, and since Brood XIX is about to emerge in Illinois, we suspect this is an immature 13 Year Cicada from Brood XIX.  Periodical Cicadas appear earlier in the year than Annual Cicadas which generally emerge in July and August.

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big yellow bug with big black eyes, wait, red eyes
Location: Williamsburg, Va, USA
May 3, 2011 2:48 pm
Hello! Last night I was sitting on my patio with my dog. I was waiting for her to do her business when I heard her sniffing at something. Usually, she would go on about her business but she just kept sniffing at something. So I went to take a look and saw this big yellow bug, a little over two inches. It has a larg abdomen and six legs. On top of it’s head, at first, I thought to be two large black eyes. I looked from another angle and saw that it infact had two red eyes and that the black dots were perhaps a sort of defense pattern. What I found most strange were the slightly transparent, yellow, soft leaf/petal like elements, one on each side of the head that almost looks like a collar. I took a hand shovel to push it a little so test its reaction and it did little to nothing. I tried aggravating it a little so it would walk onto the shovel so I could throw it over the fence. Since I do not know what that insect is capable of, perhaps poisonous if injest ed, I did not want my dog to eat it. Thanks for answering!
P.S. I apologize for the blurryness. I was using my cell phone camera with night vision, it’s very hard to keep absolutely still. I didn’t want to miss the chance of capturing an image.
Signature: Curious Bugger

Periodical Cicada: Brood XIX

Dear curious Bugger,
Despite the extreme blurriness of your photograph, we are quite confident that this is a newly emergent Periodical Cicada thanks to your vivid verbal description.  It is also a member of Brood XIX, the Great Southern Brood, which appear every 13 years and is profiled on this website.  After spending 13 years underground as nymphs, when the soil temperature reaches 64ºF, the mature nymphs rise to the surface en mass and metamorphose into adults, usually at night.  Because their emergence is based on soil temperature, they generally appear in the southernmost reaches of the range first, and as warmer weather reaches the higher latitudes, so do the appearances.  Here is a map of 2011 emergence records.  If you are lucky, you will be treated to one of the most unique and unusual of insect sightings, the mass emergence of thousands of 13 Year Cicadas whose ear-splitting mating calls will fill the trees for about 6 weeks.  During that time, they will provide a bounteous meal for birds, reptiles and mammals that will gorge themselves on the fatty morsels.  They are also considered a delicacy for entomophages of the human sort.  Here is a photo from BugGuide of a newly emergent, teneral member of the Great Southern Brood.  Its wings should have expanded and hardened and its body should have darkened several hours after its emergence.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for your informative response.  So those are the guys that won’t be quiet, ha ha.  Thanks again for the links.

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What is it?
Location: 10 mi West of Augusta GA
April 16, 2011 4:46 pm
What is it?
Signature: JRL

13 Year Locust

Dear JRL,
Seems we snoozed on this one.  As we are such a small staff, we are unable to respond to all of our mail.  When we realized that this Periodical Cicada was sighted this year, we were a bit stunned as they don’t usually appear so early.  When we turned to BugGuide, we realized you already had this image posted there as well.  At the end of March, GPB News website predicted them to begin appearing in a few weeks.  About.Com has this information:  “Of the three extant 13-year broods, Brood XIX covers the most territory geographically. Missouri probably leads in populations of Brood XIX, but notable emergences occur throughout the south and Midwest. In addition to Missouri, Brood XIX cicadas emerge in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, and Oklahoma. This brood appeared in 1998.”  The Growing Georgia website has this information on Brood XIX or Brood 19:  “Brood 19 is one of several distinct broods that regularly emerge throughout the Southeast. They will arrive in large numbers later this month and into May. Thousands of them per acre are expected in some areas. They die about six weeks after their first flight.  Many can come out in a single night. Nymphs emerge when the soil temperature inside their exit tunnels exceeds 64 degrees F. According to UGA’s Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network, soil temperatures at the Watkinsville weather station reached 64 degrees F last year on April 4. These cicadas typically emerge earlier in southern parts of the state. To approximate their arrival anywhere in the state, use the soil temperature calculator at www.georgiaweather.net.  Estimating how many cicadas will emerge and where is tough. Habitat destruction is the biggest factor affecting cicada populations. Periodical cicadas survive underground feeding on root systems. Forested areas produce more cicadas. If trees are cut down or concrete poured over forest floors, their food source is diminished, and they don’t survive.”

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Periodical Cicada?
Thu, May 21, 2009 at 9:13 AM
Greetings! Early in the morning about a week ago, I noticed something white on the ground – looking closer, I realized it was a cicada freshly emerged with it’s shed casing nearby. It was on it’s back & struggling; touching bugs give me the heebe-geebes, so I just got in my car & drove away after taking the photo. When I got home that evening, I looked for it & it had gained it’s legs and changed color, but looked dead. It stayed there for a couple days then disappeared. I think it fell out of a River Birch and ‘hatched’ on the ground instead of up in the tree like it should have. I’m located just outside of Raleigh, NC. Great site!
only observe from a distance
Raleigh NC

Periodical Cicada

Periodical Cicada

Trauma during metamorphosis often results in moths not being able to fully develop their wings.  The same is probably true for Cicadas like your tragic example of a Periodical Cicada.  We do find it unusual that you don’t mention seeing any other individuals.  We find it hard to believe that only a single individual emerged in your area.

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Cicada North Carolina
Just looking at the Cicada’s on your site and realized you did not have a picture of the Cicada from Asheville, North Carolina that’s been “bugging” us this year, I am having a lot of fun with these bugs.
Nadine Maltz

Hi Nadine,
We have numerous images of Periodical Cicadas, Magicicada septendecim, also known as the 17 Year Locust. This is a member of Brood XIV and it is the second image of the species we have received this year. The first was from Ohio.

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Very Cool Cicada Picture
This little guy had just popped out of his shell!
Rich Hetzel
Loveland, ohio

Hi Rich,
We are thrilled that you have sent us a photo of a Periodical Cicada, sometimes called a 17 Year Locust. This year Brood XIV will be making appearances in KY, GA, IN, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, and WV.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination