Help entomologists track the range of Brood X cicadas using the Cicada Safari app

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ARTICLE – If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you know that this spring is all abuzz (ha!) with the emergence of Brood X (pronounced Brood “10”) cicadas. A brood is a mass emergence of cicadas which are the deafeningly loud insects (males trying to attract females) that you hear in the trees.

According to an article in Entomology Today, these particular periodical cicadas emerge at the same time every 17 years and are generally located in the north-central part of the U.S. For a few weeks after emerging, the cicadas mate, lay eggs, and then die.

There are several broods of cicadas in the U.S. but this brood is the most widespread and includes three species of cicadas – Magicicada septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula (

Do you have an amateur entomologist in your family? Or do these insects perhaps spur your curiosity? If so, John Cooley, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Connecticut – Hartford, and his colleagues, David Marshall, Ph.D., and Christine Simon, Ph.D., are asking for your help.

cicada safari 02They are encouraging everyone interested to use the Cicada Safari app available from Google Play or the Apple App Store to upload their photos. So if you are in one of those 15 states that the brood inhabits (see map below), download the app and go take some cicada pictures! Using the app looks like it’s as easy as creating an account, finding a cicada, taking a photo of it, then uploading the photo within the app.

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Figure 13 from Marlatt, C. L. 1923. The periodical cicada. U.S.D.A. Bur. Entomol. Bull. 71: 1-183.

The above is an old map of the Brood X range over several states.

Your photos will help them map this brood to see if their ranges are shifting in any way due to climate change (or other factors) and to see whether or not the different broods overlap (

And to learn a little more about these cicadas you can visit

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