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17-year Cicada

Magicicada septendecim


The cicada I am holding here is older than I am. 17-year Cicadas, also known as Periodical Cicadas, are members of the genus Magicicada. Magicicada septendecim is characterized by thick orange bands on the underside of the abdomen. Periodical cicadas have a black head, thorax and abdomen. Their eyes vary from bright red to a burnt orange. The wing veins are orange near the base, and fade to a translucent amber the further from the body the veins go. Near the apex of each wing is a black M, with the left or right side of the "M" elongated based upon which side you are looking on. Their exuviae seem to have a more elongated abdomen than other cicadas, notably in the genus Tibicen.


Tens of thousands, if not, hundreds of thousands, were all over the fruit trees at Fix Farms in Hudson, New York.


Lifer! These cicadas belong to the enormous Brood II emergence which is occurring in the Northeastern United States of America at the moment. Photo one shows a cicada on my hand, photo two shows quite a few adults on the leaves of an apple tree. Photo three is a close-up of the exuvia left over from when the cicadas crawled out of the ground and emerged. Photo four shows tons of exuviae on a small portion of a fruit tree. Sadly, photo five shows a cicada which was unable to emerge from its exuvia. The point at which I found it, the wings were already dried, and it would be severely injured if I intervened and tried to save it. Photo five is from my home in Freehold, NY, and it shows the orange bands on the abdomen characteristic of Magicicada septendecim. Photo five is one of the seven cicadas I brought home from this area to look at more closely. The seven I brought home had approximate lengths of 43 mm, 42 mm, 41 mm, 40 mm, 42 mm, 44 mm, and 38 mm. Many thanks to the very kind folks at Fix Farms, especially Linda Fix for showing me the cicadas around their farm.

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Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

Thank you so much for your very kind words, António! Their life cycle is certainly unique!

wow J,great spotting,i allways admire these 17 years cicada's,what a awesome cicle of life,nothing compared,congrats and thanks for sharing

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

Thank you so much for the feature, Karen! I'm honored! Thank you very much Env and Yasser!!

Yasser 10 years ago

pure awesomeness!

KarenL 10 years ago

Fun fact! The cicada in this photo has actually lived longer than Jacob who is holding it! There are around 3,000 cicada species, but only a few including the 17-year cicada, disappear entirely for many years, then appearing in vast numbers, as is the case with “Brood II” emergence which is occurring in the Northeastern United States of America at the present time. Periodical cicadas do not create destructive plagues, but tens or hundreds of thousands of insects may emerge in a single acre, filling the air with an overpowering hum.

The insect's amazing lifestyle has been a source of fascination since ancient times. Several cultures, such as the ancient Chinese, regarded these insects as powerful symbols of rebirth.

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

Thank you very much Carol! I'm surprised you only saw one! There were tens of thousands here, maybe even more!

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 10 years ago

Oh wow! I found one single one. I guess I am lucky! HA! Incredible!

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

Thank you very much Noel and Dana! Dana, I understand how you feel, the first time I saw a cicada (not this species, a Tibicen sp.), I was a little hesitant to pick it up!

Noel Buensuceso
Noel Buensuceso 10 years ago

Great series and info., J!

Jacob Gorneau
Spotted by
Jacob Gorneau

New York, USA

Spotted on Jun 2, 2013
Submitted on Jun 2, 2013

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