Question on the Periodical Cicadas

Hi there! I just recently got into invertebrates last August, which was a pretty bad time to, as up here in the Northeast it was the end of the season for Periodical Cicadas, which, as most of you know, are a once-in-a-blue-moon kinda deal. I did, however, read that sometimes there are a few dozen that stray behind and accidentally emerge a year late, but is that true? I’m really hoping that it is, so that I might get a chance to find one this month, since if they would emerge, it’d be in May! I’m still learning about Cicadas so if I’m wrong or something I’d love to know. It’d suck to wait another decade and a half, lol.


Hey!.. i also happen to be interested in cicadas, but the ones on the other side of the world. (new zealand) so take what i say with a grain of salt as i to am no expert, especially when it comes to north american cicadas! i did a quick search of the broad north eastern us and found that allot of the species as you say may be a months or even a year late. however it does seem very rare. personally i would suggest looking for the other species as this may be even more rewarding! given in my opinion finding a rare cicada would be better then finding one that is very common every decade and a half. as i say i dont particularly know about the usa but in nz we have a bunch of cicadas that haven’t ever been observed on inat. here is the search for species i did and it appears there are some rarer ones out at this time of year!

i hope this helped…


Most of these are not out this time of year, a good number of them are Periodical (will not be out), and most are in the Southern US.
Only 7 of these are in the NE.
So the OP is not going to find the vast majority of those you posted. As with all things you need to be aware of the ranges and biology before posting something like that. That said, being in Australia there is no reason you would necessarily know any of the above information. Trying to be helpful is never a bad thing, but always exercise caution :-)

Hi @evpink
What you are referring to are called “stragglers”. It’s an interesting phenomenon as are a few things related to it and is an area of ongoing study. If you are in the area where last year’s emergence happened, you might find one here or there. It is going to be more happenstance than anything. I’ve seen a few come out a year early in Kansas, though sadly I missed the big emergence the next year.

I think something you might be misunderstanding about Periodical Cicadas (Magicicada) is the way they emerge: the entire population doesn’t emerge over all its range at once. Magicicada populations are divided up into Broods. It’s not geographical so much as a temporal grouping. The Brood indicates the year in which a 17 or 13-year emergence will occur in various parts of the US. Sometimes each year will have a different Brood appear somewhere in the US. Unfortunately it’s 2 years until the next emergence. Brood XIII will emerge in 2024 and is a 17-year and a huge Brood XIX of 13-year will emerge in the south. So you can experience a full emergence as soon as 2024.

For stragglers: Just make sure you’re where they came out last year, but I wouldn’t go to someplace that had them and try and find some.

@WeeCorbie Can tell you way more than me.

Here is an excellent link to the work being done at UConn on Periodical Cicadas


@evpink, don’t despair! You’re within an easy drive of several broods of periodical cicadas, including Brood XIV, which will emerge in 2025. The link that willc-t provided also includes a table of emergence times, which is perfect for planning cicada-watching trips in the future.

As for stragglers, this year and next will be interesting, as there should be some year-late Brood X along with early Brood XIII (Chicago area) and Brood XIX (southeast US) emergers. We are currently seeing early emergers all along the Brood XIX “belt.” I created a traditional project to collect observations of 2022 stragglers (, so you can check into that to see where they’re popping up. As Will said, though, finding them is needle-in-a-haystack business–they get eaten by predators almost as quickly as they appear, so encountering them is almost always a matter of serendipity.


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