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Published by Linn County Extension

Emergence of Periodical Cicadas in Iowa

On Thursday, May 29th, the ISU Extension Entomology Department received a call from the Burlington area that the largest group of periodical cicadas, otherwise known as the 17 year "locusts," has begun to emerge.

This group of cicadas is the offspring of the adults that were seen in 1997 and have several distinguishing characteristics, including:

1. Their 13 to 17 year life cycle, which makes them among the longest living insects in the world

2. Their mass, synchronized emergence that occurs during late May and June

3. The loud, buzzing "song" produced by the male cicadas

4. The large numbers in which they emerge- populations can reach up to a million and a half cicadas per acre (That can equate to as many as 40,000 cicadas per tree!)

For more information about the periodical cicada, their emergence and possible dispersion across the state of Iowa, visit http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/2014/04-11/cicadas.html.

If you would like to report a periodical cicada emergence, please record your observations at http://magicicada.org/report/report.php.

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