The 13yr Brood XIX Cicadas are emerging

Hard to believe but it’s been 13 years since the periodical cicadas emerged. I had all but forgotten that this was the 13yr brood since the last time was back in 1998. This past weekend though my Facebook page exploded with questions about all the cicadas around Lake Wylie. So I checked and sure enough this was our year for the 13yr insects here in NC & the Upstate of SC to return. There is also another brood which is on a 17 year cycle which returns in 2013. You’ll likely see many of them over the next few weeks as the weather warms, but more likely you’ll hear them.

Cicadas Singing in Princeton in 2004 by cicadamania

We’ll have a story on this invasion this evening at 5:45 on NewsChannel 36.

Thanks to the folks at Cicada Mania here are the facts. (Credit Cicada Mania)


What are they?

Magicicada is a genus of periodical cicadas known for emerging in massive numbers in 17 or 13 year cycles/periods. The cicadas emerging in 2011 have 13 year life-cycles. Magicicada are also organized into broods. There are 3 broods of 13 year cicadas, and the brood emerging in 2011 is Brood XIX (nineteen).

There are 4 species of 13 year Magicicada: M. tredecim, M. neotredecim, M. tredecassini and M. tredecula. The adults of all four species have black bodies with orange markings, and red-orange eyes. M. tredecim and M. neotredecim are very similar, and you can only tell them apart by their song in areas where their ranges overlap (or by looking at DNA). They are however, larger than M. tredecassini and M. tredecula, and have a noticeably different song.

Visit this species page for detailed information, including photos and audio.

Here is some video and audio of 17 year Magicicada, which look and sound remarkably similar to the 13 year variety. This will give you an idea of what to expect:

Where will they emerge?

Historically, Brood XIX has emerged in as many as 14 states (link to a map). The emergence will cover the most area in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee. Other states like Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina should have strong emergences in limited areas, and states like Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Virginia will have very limited emergences.

Important: Magicicadas won’t emerge everywhere you see on the map. They might not exist in your town or neighborhood (particularly if there’s lots of new construction, which removes trees). The key to seeing them if they don’t emerge in your neighborhood is communication: networking with friends and family, checking the interactive maps on, checking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


  1. mid to northern Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. northern Georgia
  4. mid to southern Illinois
  5. south-western Indiana
  6. west Kentucky
  7. northern Louisiana
  8. Missouri
  9. mid to northern Mississippi
  10. North Carolina
  11. western Oklahoma
  12. north-west South Carolina
  13. Tennessee
  14. random places in Virginia


Why do Magicadas wait 13 years and why do they emerge in such large numbers? There are many theories why, but the primary reason could be that they’re trying to beat the predators. Since they emerge only once every 13 years, no species can anticipate their emergence (except man), and emerging in large numbers ensures that at least some of them will survive to reproduce.

Magicicada Brood Chart
Brood Life span ( 17 or 13 year )YearWhere?Maps
I171944, 1961, 1978, 1995, 2012VA,WVA
II171945, 1962, 1979, 1996, 2013CT, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, VABrood II Map
III171946, 1963, 1980, 1997, 2014IA, IL, MOBrood III Map
IV171947, 1964, 1981, 1998, 2015IA, KS, MO, NB, OK, TXBrood IV Map
V171948, 1965, 1982, 1999, 2016OH, PA, VA, WVABrood V Map
VI171949, 1966, 1983, 2000, 2017GA, NC, SC
VII171950, 1967, 1984, 2001, 2018NYBrood VII Map
VIII171951, 1968, 1985, 2002, 2019OH, PA, WVABrood VIII Map
IX171952, 1969, 1986, 2003, 2020NC, VA, WVABrood IX Map
X171953, 1970, 1987, 2004, 2021DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WVA, Washington DCBrood X Map
XIII171956, 1973, 1990, 2007, 2024IA, IL, IN, MI, WIBrood XIII Map
XIV171957, 1974, 1991, 2008, 2025KY, GA, IN, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WVABrood XIV Map
XIX131959, 1972, 1985, 1998, 2011AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, VABrood XIX Map
XXII131962, 1975, 1988, 2001, 2014LA, MSBrood XXII
XXIII131963, 1976, 1989, 2002, 2015AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, TN