BreakingKZRG NewsLatest NewsLocal InterestsNews Joplin MONewstalk KZRGTrending

Waiting for Brood 19: Cicadas to put on impressive display in Missouri

It’s something that happens every summer.

We hear them. We see them.

But this year will be a little different.

Periodical cicadas are insects that emerge as broods every 13 or 17 years, depending on the brood. Mass emergences can range over several states. Periodical cicadas are different from the familiar annual cicadas, also called “dog-day cicadas,” which emerge from the ground every year and make their droning noise during the heat of late summer.

There are three broods of 13-year cicadas and 12 broods of 17-year cicadas in existence, and they occur only in the eastern half of the United States. Broods differ in their locations and emergence timing. Only four broods of periodical cicadas extend into parts of Missouri: two of the 13-year type and two of the 17-year type.

Brood 19, the largest Missouri brood, is returning in 2024 to put on its impressive display across most of the state.

As temperatures warm in late April, immature cicadas (nymphs) open holes in the soil surface.

They can do serious damage to fruit orchards and nursery stock, as well as to young trees growing in the landscape, but the effect on mature trees is minor, so pesticide use is not recommended.

Although periodical cicadas are about half the size of an adult pinkie finger, these musical insects can drown out a chainsaw. Male cicadas are the singers. They use a pair of drum-like structures called tymbals to produce their song.

The tymbals are located on their abdomens, just behind the last pair of legs. They make sound in a similar way to a plastic soft drink bottle popping back into shape after being compressed. Cicadas flex the tymbals rapidly making a loud click each time, which creates a high-pitched droning sound.

Learn more about the cicada broods in Missouri on the Missouri Department of Conservation website.

Show More
Back to top button