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First Cicadas Sighted in NJ!

Bums first, 17-Year Brood Wriggles Out of Ground

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - 03:42 PM

WNYC

After 17 years in hiding, millions of cicadas will soon emerge -- covering the ground with their crunchy shells and filling the air with a very loud buzz. WNYC and Radiolab have been inviting people to track the cicadas' emergence, and this week we received the first cicada sighting from our area.

At Cora Hartshorn Arboretum in Short Hills, N.J. small holes are sprinkled along the pathways as if someone has poked their index finger into the soil. The 16-acre woods are covered with them, and cicadas have already started to come out of the holes.

"You actually see their butt first, they’re actually climbing out backwards out of the hole," said Judy Trigg, executive director of the arboretum.  They've been watching the holes open up for the past three weeks, and now the first cicadas have arrived.

They spend 17-years underground, growing from larva to bug. Once they emerge, the cicadas shed their exterior shell, fly up into the trees, and begin their loud mating buzz.

Chris Simon, a professor in evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, has been researching different cicada broods her entire career. When she started out, she tracked them without the help of the internet, smart phones or even a laptop.

"I was typing letters to county agents on typewriters with carbon paper, I was searching  for payphones out in the middle of nowhere, and I was studying protein variation rather than sequencing genomes," Simon said. 

Now she has backyard scientists -- and WNYC listeners -- sending data to her website.

If you see cicadas, let us know! We're collecting reports of sightings and sharing them with Chris Simon and other cicada researchers at the University of Connecticut. To file your report, head to our cicada-spotting form.

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Comments [38]

James B from Metuchen

So the north end of Edison NJ is taken over with cicadas.. I would think in the millions range.. Old skeletons look like mulch beds around the base of trees and the noise will drive you crazy. I work in north Edison and I work outside so I get the pleasure of hanging with these nasty little things all day. Not scared of them just don't want them crawling all over me. When the ground moves under your feet it's pretty freaky.. Hope the end of June comes quick cuz they gotta go

Jun. 06 2013 07:47 PM
Lucia


I can't stand them. They are ugly, disgusting and totally creep me out. They have invaded the town I live in, Mountainside, NJ and they can't leave quick enough. We can't open our pool because they will clog the filter, can't enjoy just sitting in our yard because not only are they noisy they are flying all over the place. Thank God its only once every 17 years!!!!

Jun. 03 2013 08:19 PM
Guiseppe from Cheesequake State Park

Saw them at Cheesequake State Park in Manalpan (spelling?) today. Loud noise! Many exoskeletons on the ground. Some flying.

Jun. 02 2013 09:46 PM
MDiior

In Westfield, NJ, especially in neighborhoods and houses surrounded by trees, cicadas are everywhere! It really is unbelievable how many I have seen in this area. It's interesting but I don't enjoy their visit one bit!

May. 31 2013 03:38 AM
Jennifer Kleinbaum from Tenafly Nature Center, NJ

Emergence spotted at Tenafly Nature Center. Dozens of ground holes and molts found May 27; second warm day (70-80 •f) after 2 days of downpours (40-55•f). Can't wait to hear them!

May. 28 2013 08:19 AM
Stephanie

Saw my first one today at a Costco parking lot, just sitting there, in East Hanover, NJ.

May. 26 2013 10:04 PM
Mary Lou from Madison, NJ

Saw my first 2013 cicada yesterday, on May 21, 2013 in Madison, NJ

May. 22 2013 06:26 PM
Joy Lynskey from Moneta, VA

They are only cool if you don't have to listen to their maddening noise for weeks on end. :p

May. 06 2013 01:07 AM
Graeme from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I think Elijaih has a great future in unsolicited email advertising. Not sure what the big deal is with cicadas, though. We get them here every summer. Glad to see the back of them when the weather starts to get cooler.

May. 04 2013 04:51 AM
Snuffleupagus from Big Bird's Imagination

I heard there cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 03 2013 05:02 PM
Vaughn McLaughlin from Brooklyn, NY

ugh. Im annoyed. They scare the living crap out of me!

May. 03 2013 10:18 AM
Kathleen from Wollongong, Australia

They don't come out till Christmas.

May. 02 2013 10:43 PM
Bob Smyth

They're baaack!

May. 02 2013 10:43 PM
Brood II Cicadas from New Jersey

It feels like we've been waiting for this forever! https://twitter.com/BroodIICicadas

May. 02 2013 05:48 PM
jennifer from Westfield, NJ

I think they are disgusting! Totally creep me out. And I have a bunch of them brewing in my backyard already! YIKES!

May. 02 2013 04:26 PM
Jesse from Boston, MA

Where can I go to find Cicada's in Boston. I want to try cooking some up! Help!

May. 02 2013 02:56 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:58 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:58 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:58 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:58 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:58 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:58 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:58 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:58 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:56 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:56 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:56 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:56 PM
elijaih roman from is302

I really like them. I think they're cool because they only come out ev

May. 02 2013 01:55 PM
Renee care of Ms. Marshall(teacher) from ps.345

They are so cute that I am so happy to see them in real life I am already writting about them.

May. 02 2013 01:54 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I really like them. I think there cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:51 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I relly like them i think there cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:50 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I relly like them i think there cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:50 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I relly like them i think there cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:50 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I relly like them i think there cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:50 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I relly like them i think there cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:49 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I relly like them i think there cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:49 PM
elijaih roman from ps345

I relly like them i think there cool because they only come out every 17yrs.

May. 02 2013 01:49 PM

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