Talk:Periodical cicadas

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Prime numbers[edit]

But time isn't an integer.

Reply: A year is an integer. Other species, both competitors and predators, have cycles based on years, whether annual, biannual, triannual, or whatever. I wonder if the prime-numbered cycle is a result of natural selection. If a predator or competitor emerges on non-prime years (excluding annual cycles), the cicadas that have prime-number cycles will almost always avoid the cycles of their competitors and predators. It appears to me to be a very predictable adaptation arising from natural selection.
The 13- and 17-year cycles would also lead to a doubling of the population every 221 years. (13 x 17 = 221) If predator satiation works for either population, it should work fabulously for the combined 13- and 17-year populations.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:29, 25 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Reply: The main general problem with this explanation is that many cicadas, if not all of them, have problems with predators and parasites, but only one of the hundreds of genera (species groups) of cicadas has evolved long, prime-numbered life cycles. If predators are involved, it is only part of the explanation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:33, 9 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps; but recall that evolution is not a straight-line process, and chance is part of it. Better to think of a hilly surface, where the z-axis shows increased chance of survival. A species in a valley might 'move' up any of the neighbouring hills; once halfway up one hill, there is advantage in climbing higher, away from other choices which might, perhaps, have proven more advantageous, but are no longer available. Adaptation, in other words, always has history as well as reason. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:11, 9 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cicada in 2006[edit]

There have been sightings of cicada in Daegu, Korea at the moment. Not sure if this is contradictory te the paragraph about there are no broods expected in 2005-2006.

The ones in Korea aren't Magicicada, but another species. take a look at Cicadas in Korea Lorax 11:00, 30 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cicada Killer Wasps[edit]

A reference to Cicada Killer Wasps was recently removed because its text was self-contradicting. Specifically, it claimed that these wasps fed on cicadas that die off before the wasps emerge. I don't know where the errors are in such a claim, but I do have a photo (that I just took hours ago) that show a wasp — similar to but not quite like the CKW photo — and a Brood X cicada. I ask that all you cicada and wasp experts out there look it over and tell me if it sheds any light on this issue. -- Jeff Q 04:23, 30 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let's publish it! :) Just kidding... ----

Predator Satiation[edit]

I changed "satiation" to "saturation" even though it was a term used in one of the external links. I could not find the word "satiation" on WikiPedia nor the Wiktionary. --SVTCobra 01:34, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure that's correct. "Satiation" is an existing word and has a meaning different from "saturation". Lupo 08:13, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I changed it back. "predator satiation" means that even if all the predators ate all the cicadas they possbily could, there would still be plenty to ensure survival. I don't think looking in wiktionary is complete enough to use as your only dictionary. Lorax 17:34, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)


Speaking of dictionaries, I vote we do away with the word "periodical" as applied to cicadas. The proper word is "periodic." The former denotes something published at regular intervals. Extra(neous) syllables have no place in a scientific article, even if the erroneous term has come into popular usage.

I agree and have begun the purge. (talk) 16:43, 8 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nice idea, but look at the terminology used in every single reference and external link in the article. The proper term is 'Periodical.' Look it up. --| Uncle Milty | talk | 20:54, 8 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Rather snide, that "look it up", considering you couldn't possibly have looked it up yourself, unless you are one who thinks dictionaries are correct only when they agree with your personal definition. There are no ambiguities in the dictionary definitions of those two words. "Periodical" does not mean what you think it does, and it is not the proper adjective for the creature in question. Instead of repeating the mindless "Everybody else does it that way" non-excuse, why not think for yourself and admit you made a mistake? Nickrz (talk) 22:06, 13 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're right about the lack of ambiguity in the dictionary definition: "Periodical: adjective [ attrib. ] occurring or appearing at intervals; occasional : she took periodical gulps of her tea". And, as I said the first time: Every single reference and external link in the article uses 'Periodical.' I did bother to look. Apparently, people smarter than either of us think that 'Periodical' is the correct adjective. --| Uncle Milty | talk | 01:45, 14 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're both bad people. Anyway, It looks like periodical in culture has two forms. Periodic has one. I say keep it simple, use periodic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 26 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Care to cite your source? The definition you give corresponds to the word "periodic" in every dictionary I've managed to consult, including Webster's Third New International (print edition). Both amd Merriam Webster online directly contradict your definition, so I'm wondering where you got it.Nickrz (talk) 14:07, 16 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


From my math there will be a "brood" invading Cape Cod this summer (2006) This will be the 3rd brood that I've seen in these parts, but perhaps it's more like a minor infestation that is so localized it might not even qualify as a brood. Curious to know.

Hate to tell you, but there's one hell of a brood coming out in Georgia RIGHT NOW (April 28, 2011) - This started about 5 days ago. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:08, 28 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other Countries?[edit]

This article gives the impression that Magicicadae are known only in the United States, but does not say so explicitly. If this is not so, then mention should be made of their presence in other countries; if it is so, then the opening paragraph probably should state such.

Magicicadae definitely exist outside of the territorial boundary of the United States. The article, particularly the Brood Lists, should note the extent of the habitat that exists in Canada. As it is right now, it appears that the 45th parallel north is a magical barrier. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:28, 27 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Causes of the Distribution of Magicadas, specifically the 2007 'Chicago' Brood[edit]

I have a question for any wikiexperts on the 17 year cicadas that have appeared this summer around Chicago. What influences their distribution (specifically on a small scale)? I grew up in Northbrook (a northern suburb of Chicago), and in 1990 the cicadas were EVERYWHERE. I've observed that the same is true in Northbrook during this 2007 cycle. However, I now live in Morton Grove, another suburb about 10-15 miles to the south. The cicadas are not even close to being as loud or as plentiful as in Northbrook.

I'm curious as to what explains this difference. The two suburbs I named are only about 10 miles apart. Both are suburban communities with large numbers of trees. So why, then, does Northbrook have so many more magicicadas? Perhaps there is a difference in the species of trees planted in each community?

I welcome any answers, or even speculations, than anyone else can provide.

Thanks------Ericcjensen 17:50, 25 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am confused about the brood labels. We have Cicadas every year in Wisconsin. I'm not sure if they are the 13 year or 17 year variety. The way I read the chart here Wisconsin only has Cicadas every few years. That is not true, I can assure you. --HotOne121 (talk) 19:46, 30 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Probably Dogday harvestfly. We have those in Minnesota too. They're annual cicadas, so there should be about the same number every year and there are no broods unlike the periodical cicadas. (talk) 03:24, 9 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

CapeCod Cicada 2008[edit]

They are here! They came out around June 1, went through all the changes, and now are just incredibly loud. I don't know if they are all over the Cape, but they are definitely here in Bourne! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:02, 20 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I live in South Carolina and I noticed where some sort of insect (maybe not a cicada) has emerged all at once. i thought it was an ant infestation until i noticed they were literally EVERYWHERE and had no ants in them. Is it possible there's a "brood" that emerged in 2009? Could it just be a localized group? I noticed there's no mention of one for 2009 in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:43, 24 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Popular belief that adult cicadas do not eat[edit]

So I just want to note that it says in the description section that "young plants may be damaged by excessive feeding or egg laying" in fact, cicadas in their adult forms don't feed at all. They don't even have mouth parts capable of feeding. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:14, 27 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Magicicada adults don't eat plant leaves but they do feed on twigs by piercing the bark and sucking out plant juice. "Contrary to popular belief, adults do feed by sucking plant fluids; adult cicadas will die if not provided with living woody vegetation on which to feed (see picture below of Magicicada septendecula feeding. Adult Magicicada feed from a wide variety of deciduous plants and shrubs, but usually not from grasses. The piercing-and-sucking mouthparts are visible just behind the forelegs). " [1] Sharktopustalk 22:18, 9 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Brood vs species[edit]

Could someone please edit to clarify the relationship between broods and species? Are all members of one brood of the same species? Are all members of a particular species restricted to certain broods? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:50, 8 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Biologists divide up all living things into "species" based on (mostly) anatomy and evolution. There are 7 different species of Magicicada, as the article says. Each of the three 17-year spp has a corresponding 13-year spp. that looks very much like it. The recently-discovered fourth 13-year group (M. neotredecima) is almost identical to the 17-year species M. septencecima, which is also very similar to the 13-year type M. tredecima.
Cicadas are also classified into "broods" based on the year they emerge and the geography of their distribution. Typically, each of the "broods" is made up of mixed species. (^ Alexander, Richard D; Thomas E. Moore (1962). "The Evolutionary Relationships of 17-Year and 13-Year Cicadas, and Three New Species (Homoptera, Cicadidae, Magicicada)". U Michigan Museum of Zoology. Retrieved 9 June 2011.)[2] But IANAPBB (I am not a professional bug biologist) so somebody else might have a better answer than that. Sharktopustalk 17:45, 9 June 2011 (UTC)(revised a bit since I know more about this now than I did when I tried to reply before) Sharktopustalk 23:07, 11 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Magicicada in Kansas, 2011 -- are they Brood XIX?[edit]

Historically, Brood XIX doesn't include Kanasas but this year some Magicicada have turned up in Kansas. Until/unless WP:RS agree that those are Brood XIX, Wikipedia can't add Kansas to the Brood XIX range based on observing cicadas in Kansas. Apparently scientists suggest otherwise: "There have been a number of reports from Kansas, but that might be Brood IV (a 17 year variety) stragglers emerging 4 years early, or perhaps Brood IV(4) is accelerating to join Brood XIX." [3] Sharktopustalk 23:01, 11 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Squirrel Decimation Remark[edit]

Is there a source anywhere for this claim that cicadas have decimated squirrel populations? This is a very depressing statement left unsourced; if it can't be sourced, I suggest that it is removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hgentry (talkcontribs) 02:26, 9 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Brood XXIII[edit]

I think the table of broods has the wrong states for XXIII (23). The states listed are not "Lower Miss. River Valley," and this site lists AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, TN, which (1) sounds much more plausible and (2) matches my personal experience of 2002 in Oxford, MS. The cicadas were sufficiently prolific that my law school graduation photo shows one on my robe. Does any real cicada expert agree? --Tbanderson (talk) 18:11, 10 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The article places Magicicada in the order Homoptera, but Homoptera is actually a suborder. The actual order of Magicicada is Hemiptera, and the comparison with locusts as well as the sidebar describing scientific classification should read as such. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 29 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Brood IX--when can we say it's over?[edit]

The table still says Brood IX next emerges in 2020. It is now five days into 2021. An emergence of cicadas is likely to be covered by news stories; since they just kind of peter out, there are not likely to be news stories announcing the end of one. At what point can we update the table to say that the MOST RECENT appearance of Brood IX WAS 2020, and the NEXT one will be 2037? Uporządnicki (talk) 19:29, 5 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

AzseicsoK, I'd say we can do that today. It's 2021 - logic dictates the chart should tick forward. Ganesha811 (talk) 20:14, 5 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

updated map image??[edit]

so, im not sure if this image is better, but it is a bit future proof. it does cover a much smaller area though. Bumpf (talk) 13:21, 19 May 2021 (UTC)BumpfReply[reply]

'Course the 64 dollar question is, can we use it! Uporządnicki (talk) 15:53, 19 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's missing several Broods, and also fails to indicate that the next emergence of Brood XIX is in 2024. Not clear what the data source is, either. The existing map is very explicitly based on published county records, and while it may need updating, it is very precise. Dyanega (talk) 17:10, 19 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've just noticed something else. Of the broods it covers, one, Brood XIX, just thrown in the middle, is a 13-year Brood; the rest are 17. They did get the year series right, but other than the 13-year interval (which one might or might not notice) there's nothing to separate it out for the reader. Uporządnicki (talk) 19:42, 19 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Someone deleted the map (I put it back)[edit]

An IP user (from an address that has apparently made another edit) just deleted the map; the explanation was "incorrect map." Unless serious errors are shown to be in the map, I think it should stay until someone finds a better one THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY USE. (This one is a US Gov publication--thus public domain.) If this IP user's objection is that the dates of next emergences are out of date, I think we just note that the source is several years old, and work around that--refiguring as needed. Uporządnicki (talk) 13:50, 24 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I meant to write an address that has NEVER made another edit. Uporządnicki (talk) 19:16, 24 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Renaming ?[edit]

Since there are periodical cigadas in various world region i dont understand why this article focus on American cigadas only. Yug (talk) 🐲 08:35, 20 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ARE there periodical cicadas in various world regions? I know there are cicadas all over the place, and there are other cicadas, besides the periodical ones, in the same parts of North America as the periodical ones. This article is specifically about the cicada genus Magicicada and its seven species. They are found only in eastern North America. It is now thought that many, if not all cicada species do spend several years developing as nymphs underground before emerging. What makes the Magicicadas different is that each species has coordinated its emergence so that, in a given geographical area, they will arise in unimaginable numbers in one particular year, and then not be see again for 13 or 17 years. In the intervening years, the region will see other species of cicada--from other genera--every year. Do you know that this phenomenon happens anywhere else in the world? Uporządnicki (talk) 14:20, 20 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've just looked over this article again. I do see that a couple of other species (not of the Magicada genus) in different parts of the world that also undergo periodic mass emergences. And both of these are supported by the sources cited. So I'm not sure what the best solution is:
  • Rename this article Magicicada; then, the term "Periodical cicadas" would be a Redirect here (not a Disambiguation, given that Wikipedia seems not to have individual articles on the other species that show periodic emergences), and have the article say that Magicicadas are commonly known as Periodical cicadas, but there are a couple of other species, etc., or
  • Keep the article title as it is, but EARLY ON, acknowledge that while the term usually refers to the genus Magicicada, there are a couple of other species, etc. Uporządnicki (talk) 21:38, 21 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]