I’m thinking of visiting DC within the next few weeks to see the periodical cicada emergence. I want to visit them during peak emergence, so I think next weekend should work. If you’re observing any cicadas emergence right now, would you say that’s a good estimate of when to visit or should I visit a bit earlier or later?
I live in Columbia, MD, which is about 45 minutes from DC. I first started seeing cicadas yesterday, but I know DC has had them for a few weeks now. I would think that next weekend or the weekend after that should be good.
Take some pictures, whenever you go! Wish I could go see them. I can’t fathom the idea of trillions of insects all turning up at once. Every cicada predator in the area must be having a field day.
Here in Arlington, VA, just outside of DC, I started seeing cicadas on Monday, and I’ve seen more and more each day since. Today I saw about 100-200 cicadas while I was on a 3 hour walk. They definitely aren’t anywhere close to peak emergence yet, but it should happen soon (maybe in the next 1-1.5 weeks, but I’m not really sure). I don’t know how suddenly it will happen, as I wasn’t around to see the last Brood X emergence.
It might actually be sooner. Right now in my backyard there’s probably at least one cicada nymph per square foot crawling towards somewhere to molt. The peak emergence might happen by the middle of this upcoming week. I’ll keep you updated.
Would we get these cicadas in Hamilton Ontario? Or too far north?
No periodical cicadas in Ontario unfortunately. There might be one record of one that floated across Lake Huron from Michigan.
We do have a few other cicada species in the area though. Okanagana cicadas sing May through the end of July, and Neotibicen cicadas sing from the beginning of July until warm weather ends in the fall.
My understanding is that Brood X is comprised of three species of Magicicada, but don’t know how you separate them except by their different male songs. Unfortunately they are too far east for me to experience this year. This is the first time that users of iNaturalist will be able to document this event with photo records and audio recordings since iNat wasn’t around during the last big emergence in 2004.
Actually, you can differentiate the 3 species without a call. See https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/magicicada-brood-x-in-hand-id-tips/21220
I havent heard any cicadas yet in Arizona but I do know that Im not sure if it was this week or last week but I think there was like a big cicada migration from a few states
Arizona shouldn’t have any Brood X cicadas. They are only found in the eastern US.
I’m at the only place in Virginia that wont have the periodical cicadas!
Does it seem like peak emergence has now started or that it’ll come this weekend? I’m seeing images online of masses of cicadas but I’m still not sure if it’s peak emergence.
I was in central Maryland to see the last emergence, and I’m back in the same general region for this one. Maybe you can chalk it up to my youth at the time but this emergence seems pitiful in comparison. Much sparser so far, and I haven’t been deafened by singing when I go outside (in fact, it seems like there’s barely any singing en masse). Since late April I’ve been hearing “the peak is coming, its on its way, any week now” but I’m starting to think this is just a weak emergence (at least in the DMV).
Which part of peak emergence are you most excited about? Nymphs crawling up your legs or deafening song? What do you most want to experience?
I live in DC and we’ve had adults for 2 weeks now, but with the exception of a few hot days here and there, it hasn’t really started to heat up until this week. I am just now (in the last hour) hearing cicada songs, but the last couple of nights have been nymphs-on-your-legs under our elm tree.
I want cicada nymphs crawling up my legs but sadly don’t live where they do that. Our cicadas are rather boring.
I’d like to see at least a few nymphs, but I primarily want to see the adults singing.
Hm, I’ve seen many images online showing huge masses of shells under trees and lots (but not overwhelming) amounts of emerging adults on vertical surfaces. Might it have been the location you visited? Or maybe the peak emergence has been delayed by the colder weather?
I’m now hearing many adults singing, but the number of nymphs emerging each night (and crawling up my legs) still seems to be increasing. There aren’t overwhelming amounts of adults on most vertical surfaces at any point in time yet, probably because 99% of the emerging happens at night and by midday the following day most of the adults have either flown off to who knows where (in the case of the adults whose wings developed properly) or fallen to the ground (in the case of the other 33-50% of cicadas that only made it part of the way through molting before dying or getting stuck in their old exoskeleton, or whose wings were twisted, shriveled, or ripped off before they could fully expand). There are plenty of cicadas on vegetation, up in the trees, and flying around. Areas that are densely forested still don’t seem to have very many cicadas out yet, while more open areas that still have trees and vegetation have tons (maybe literally tons over large enough areas). The weather is now very warm (to the point where it’s uncomfortable to stay outside for long) and probably will continue to be warm, so the number of cicadas should continue to increase. At this point it is pretty much impossible to go anywhere outside and not see cicadas (at least where I live in Arlington County, VA), although very urban areas with few trees and exposed soil of course have fewer, and as i said densely forested areas don’t seem to have many quite yet. Suburban areas with plenty of trees as well as parkland (like where I live) have the most cicadas. Many trees already have inch-thick piles of exuviae and dead cicadas around their bases.
Thanks! I’m planning on coming next weekend, hopefully there will be more then.