Cicada stragglers likely to be spotted in area this year

People can help track where they are emerging.

Don’t be surprised if you spot a pair of red eyes or hear a cicada’s song this year — stragglers from last year’s Brood X are expected to make an appearance and could be spotted in the area as early as next week.

“It is not unusual to have a few of these late arrivals,” explained Gene Kritsky, dean of the School of Behavioral and Natural Science at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. “They are often not noticed because birds and other predators quickly eat them.”

People will probably only see a couple of cicadas, with the Dayton area expected to have a couple hundred this year, he added.

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“It’s like looking for a four-leafed clover,” Kritsky said.

The Brood X group appears every 17 years, including billions of them in 2021 around here and in parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey and Maryland.

Periodical cicadas, meanwhile, typically come out once the soil temperature reaches 64 degrees. With temperatures reaching the mid-80s this week, people could start seeing cicadas next week, he said.

“Scientists have never actively searched for periodical cicadas during years when no broods are expected, but adult periodical cicadas have already been reported in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi,” he said. “We very likely will see stragglers in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana in the next two weeks. Thus, we need help to document where they are emerging.”

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To help map the straggling cicadas, people can download Cicada Safari app and upload photos and information.

Kritsky created Cicada Safari in partnership with Mount St. Joseph University’s Center for IT Engagement to help track and educate people on periodical cicadas.

“We developed this app because so many people are fascinated by periodical cicadas,” he said. “This is true citizen science. The photographs and videos submitted to our map are like voucher specimens permitting us to verify the observations, making the maps more useful for future research.”

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