Nashville's Cicadas

May 17, 2021

The Sound of Summer Approaching – The Cicadas’ Song

Have you heard them yet? The high-pitched mating call of the male cicada is a quintessential early summer sound - but not a sound of alarm! Read on for the 411 on all things cicada. It's not as bad as you think!

Brief Biology: Annual Cicadas v. Periodical Cicadas

Once the soil temperature reaches ~64°F, cicadas begin their journey upward from the soil, shed their exoskeleton, sprout wings, and sing. The song is a mating song produced by the males by creating vibrations within their tymbals. Soon after mating, they die! Eggs hatch into nymphs who burrow into the soil. Periodical cicadas live in the ground for either 13 or 17 years before emerging to mate, whereas annual cicadas emerge each year, but in vastly smaller volume.

How to tell the difference? Periodical cicadas are smaller with red eyes and red/orange wings, while the annual cicadas are larger with green wings.

Nothing to Worry About Until 2024!

Will Nashville be blanketed in emerging cicadas in 2021? Not yet. The heavy broods of periodical cicadas that are anxiously anticipated (every 13 or 17 years) aren't anticipated in Nashville until 2024, though there are annual cicadas in smaller volume.

'East of Eden'

If you plan to visit the Smokey’s, expect to encounter US Brood X. Born in 2004, Brood X is one of the largest groups of periodical cicadas with predicted densities of 1.5 million cicadas per acre. Brood X is shown in the map above in yellow.

As seen on the map, Nashville should expect peak cicada activity in both 2024 and 2025.

Educate and Empower

Learn more about the cicada by watching Amazing Cicada Life Cycle: Sir David Attenborough’s Life in the Undergrowth, and support the wealth of free environmental education conducted through the Nature Center by making a donation or becoming a member today! #ProtectWarnerParks.

Nashville's Cicadas

May 17, 2021

The Sound of Summer Approaching – The Cicadas’ Song

Have you heard them yet? The high-pitched mating call of the male cicada is a quintessential early summer sound - but not a sound of alarm! Read on for the 411 on all things cicada. It's not as bad as you think!

Brief Biology: Annual Cicadas v. Periodical Cicadas

Once the soil temperature reaches ~64°F, cicadas begin their journey upward from the soil, shed their exoskeleton, sprout wings, and sing. The song is a mating song produced by the males by creating vibrations within their tymbals. Soon after mating, they die! Eggs hatch into nymphs who burrow into the soil. Periodical cicadas live in the ground for either 13 or 17 years before emerging to mate, whereas annual cicadas emerge each year, but in vastly smaller volume.

How to tell the difference? Periodical cicadas are smaller with red eyes and red/orange wings, while the annual cicadas are larger with green wings.

Nothing to Worry About Until 2024!

Will Nashville be blanketed in emerging cicadas in 2021? Not yet. The heavy broods of periodical cicadas that are anxiously anticipated (every 13 or 17 years) aren't anticipated in Nashville until 2024, though there are annual cicadas in smaller volume.

'East of Eden'

If you plan to visit the Smokey’s, expect to encounter US Brood X. Born in 2004, Brood X is one of the largest groups of periodical cicadas with predicted densities of 1.5 million cicadas per acre. Brood X is shown in the map above in yellow.

As seen on the map, Nashville should expect peak cicada activity in both 2024 and 2025.

Educate and Empower

Learn more about the cicada by watching Amazing Cicada Life Cycle: Sir David Attenborough’s Life in the Undergrowth, and support the wealth of free environmental education conducted through the Nature Center by making a donation or becoming a member today! #ProtectWarnerParks.

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