Brood XIII Cicadas in SW Michigan?

After 17 years?

After 17 years?, photo by mfophotos.

The Magicicada are the genus of the 13- and 17- year periodical cicadas of eastern North America who display a unique combination of long life cycles, periodicity, and mass emergences. They are classified according to “Brood” and 2007 is the year of Brood XIII, on a 17-year cycle and also known as the Northern Illinois Brood. Wikipedia’s Brood XIII page has a nice picture of the cicadas of this brood.

While Wikipedia and the U-M’s Museum of Zoology cicada page say that Brood XIII has a presence in southwest Michigan, retired University of Michigan entomologist and cicada expert Thomas Moore says (Freep article) that overeager graduate students and sloppy work by a 19th-Century government scientist and irresponsible replication are responsible for the erroneous perception that Brood XIII may make an appearance in Michigan.

Mark O’Brien comments that it’s unfortunate that Tom Moore was quoted as dismissing the work by former UMMZ graduate students John Cooley and David Marshall (who created the useful pages and did state that the maps are “approximate”). On his blog, Six-legged Wonders, Mark has a post about Brood XIII in Michigan where he says:

What needs to be done is to get modern records. Researchers tend to go to where previous records show emergences. So, if you know that Lake County, Illinois has 17-yr cicadas, that’s where you go if you have limited time to do experiments, etc. I don’t doubt that there may have been 17-yr cicadas at some point in SW Michigan — especially inland away from the sand dunes. However, the area has been heavily agriculturized over the past 100 years, and some areas have also gone back to woods. Have small pockets of Magicicada survived? The only way to know is to go and traverse the area and listen. Lacking that… if you live in that area of the state, tell me that you have them and show me the specimens. It would be nice to know, either way. The next emergence would be in 2024. I’m going to be an old man by then.

You can get a ton more information about the cicadas of Brood XIII (and others) including lots of photos and video and all your Brood XIII gear at Cicada Mania.

2 thoughts on “Brood XIII Cicadas in SW Michigan?

  1. I have been hearing a very loud insect sound during the day, from the trees. I just had 2 boys point Cicadas out to me on the tree in front of our house. I don’t know what kind they are, but there are clearly many more than usual , going by the loud and constant sound.

    This is in Kalamazoo, MI

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  2. My son Marc found a couple “shells” and we looked further and found at least 30 more empties and watched as one emerged from the shell. We also found another that apparently didn’t make it all the way out. We were amazed to watch the wings unfurl over a roughly two hour time period. The changes in color were quite rapid and made for a very interesting lesson from Mother Nature.

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