A small brood of periodical cicadas emerged in parts of southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky in May and June 2014. Unlike the 17-year cicada broods that emerge in several Ohio counties and in very large numbers, this year’s population emerged after 13-years and had a more limited distribution occurring only in southwestern Brown and Clermont counties in Ohio, and across the Ohio River in parts of northern Kentucky.

The oldest record of this brood may date from 1871 with a newspaper report in the Cincinnati Enquirer.  They were reported again in 1923 and 1936, but were not recognized as a distinct brood because they emerged simultaneously with Broods XIV and X respectively.

The brood was next reported in Mason, Kentucky in 1975 and in Alexandria, KY 1988, but they were thought to be cases of straggler cicadas emerging a year late.  However, when the cicadas emerged in 2001, it was recognized that they were indeed 13-year cicadas. The first published account of these 13-year cicadas was in Periodical cicadas; the plague and the puzzle by Gene Kritsky and published by the Indiana Academy of Science in 2004.

Areas where the cicadas emerged have started to show the characteristic “flagging” in the trees.  Flagging occurs when the egg-laying damage causes the leaves to turn brown at the tips of tree’s branches. 


Ohio’s 13-year brood of Periodical Cicadas is nearly over

These cicadas emerged on May 21 in Moscow, Ohio.  Photograph by Gene Kritsky