Explore →

Citizen Science: Cicada Watch

Anyone can take part in a citizen science project that will contribute to our knowledge of periodical cicadas by submitting observations of cicada sightings to the Magicicada Mapping Project, sponsored by the National Geographic Society. Equipped with accurate maps of periodical cicada emergences, scientists are better able to unlock the mysteries of the cicada. You can help to define the boundaries of Brood II.

Discover more about Brood II: Cicada Watch 2013 here. Follow along on the Cicada Watch Facebook page.

Periodical Cicadas
Periodical cicadas, one of the world’s most intensely studied and enigmatic insects in the world, were first described in the scientific literature in 1666. They emerge in discrete geographical areas every 13 or 17 years, a phenomenon that occurs only in eastern North America. Each emergence, or brood, may involve thousands or millions of cicadas in the genus Magicicada.

Brood II consists of three species of the periodical cicada (M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula) that emerge every 17 years. This brood, which extends from North Carolina through central Virginia to Connecticut and New York, was last seen in 1996 and will not appear again until 2030.

Cicadas: What’s the Difference?
Listen to the “What’s Bugging You” segment below as Entomologist Dr. Art Evans and WCVE Public Radio producer Steve Clark discuss the difference between periodical and annual cicadas.

Discover more stories like this at Science Matters or on Facebook.