Brood X is Coming

Get ready! This year’s big Magicicada 17-year cicada emergence covers a lot of the eastern U.S. It’s “among the largest (by geographic extent) broods.” Here’s a map of the last Brood X emergence in 2004. Maryland/Delaware and Indiana are the places to be (get your shovels, the remains will be piled high!). Long Island is the easternmost part of the range, but little activity is expected there. They’ve paved even more of this place (Brooklyn is the western-most part of Long Island) in the last 17 years.

For those of us in New York City, the Princeton, NJ, area looks like the best bet.

The most obvious difference between the periodic (13- and 17-year cycle) cicadas and the “dog day” annual cicadas is that the periodicals show up in May and have red eyes, while the dog day cicadas emerge in August and have dark eyes. Dog day cicadas actually spend 3-5 years underground, but there’s a brood every year so they seem to be annual. Also, the periodic ones emerge en masse, in enormous numbers, vastly more than the annuals.

In May, 2013, Brood II emerged locally. Staten Island, the greenest, most undeveloped borough, was the only part of NYC to have any activity. And did it ever! Here are some of my posts from that visitation:

February 16, 2013.

May 1, 2013.

May 28, 2013.

May 29, 2013.

June 3, 2013.

July 2, 2013.

3 Responses to “Brood X is Coming”


  1. 1 Chuck McAlexander March 6, 2021 at 5:36 am

    It would seem the local Cicada Killers are timed to breed in the fall and are probably not able to take advantage of an event which only happens every 17 years. Does this mean these cicadas get a free pass or is there another wasp which will harvest some of the bounty? If not, the 17 year period makes good sense as a reproductive strategy for the cicadas.

  2. 2 Paul Lamb March 6, 2021 at 6:21 am

    That top photo is a nice capture!

  3. 3 alanbar135 March 6, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    Bring em’ on I might be one of the few people who like their “singing”.


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