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Nature Notebook – Periodical Cicada Emergence

It’s been 17 years since the last brood 10 periodical cicada emergence. This spring, in late May and early June, parts of Michigan, as well as parts of fifteen other states in eastern United States will be hearing and seeing the red-eyed, 2-4 cm flying insects.

The last time these insects, the largest in the order homoptera, emerged was in 2004 and since then have been spending time as nymphs underground, slowly feeding on plant roots and molting through many nymph stages.

When they emerge, typically after a warm rain and when the ground reaches about 64 degrees, they may appear in the hundreds to thousands, with the males typically crawling out first. By emerging in huge numbers, this allows some of them to survive and avoid predators, so enough will live on to breed and perpetuate the species.

To see and hear this brood you will have to leave southwest Michigan and head to either Indiana or Hillsdale or Washtenaw County in Michigan, around the cities of Ann Arbor, Canton, and Quincy.

You can see and hear cicadas every spring and summer, but these are not always the periodical cicadas. There are annual cicadas that emerge every year and can be found singing and flying around southwest Michigan every summer.

Periodical brood 13 should emerge in 2024 and can be found in the Michigan counties bordering Indiana. Sometimes, especially with the changes in climate, broods may hatch years early. Go to to learn more.