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Meet the Periodical Brood X Cicada

Posted by SusanStokes on June 16, 2021

It’s been 17 years since the last emergence of the Brood X Cicada. In May and June of 2021, these periodical cicadas have emerged in mass in the Princeton, New Jersey area. We had a chance to observe them up close and personal.

These cicadas have a history of emerging in the same area every 17 years, which is why some areas of the state have seen none while Princeton residents have seen swarms.

Brood X Cicada June 2021 Princeton.png

Once cicadas emerge, they sound the mating call. The cicadas will cling to nearby trees without flying very far. The female cicadas dig slits into the tree branches in which they lay eggs. Small nymphs will hatch, drop to the ground, and start digging holes where they will remain for the next 17 years. And so it goes…

Will we see this same degree of swarm in the same area 17 years from now? It remains to be seen. Cicadas need to emerge from the ground in huge numbers. Human activity such as deforestation and over-development that harms their environment would negatively impact their ability to breed successfully and survive. So far, Princeton has been a good haven.

Watch the periodical Brood X Cicada in action and listen to the sound of the swarm! Visit our YouTube Channel here to see and hear more!