The signature of a good and hot summer in Kentucky and throughout the South is the occasional yet sometimes constant din of a brood of cicadas. I mean if it's hot, they are humming like crazy. So I wasn't surprised when I got back from my morning walk this week and I heard that familiar sound.

I got to thinking, "What is the deal with cicadas this summer?'. I did some browsing around the internet and I was shocked to find out that cicadas are supposedly going through a "quiet year". What does that mean if I'm hearing them? It's a little bit complicated.

Photo by Anthony Van Ravenstein on Unsplash
Photo by Anthony Van Ravenstein on Unsplash

According to the Cicadamania website, in 2023, no Magicicada broods will emerge, however, "possible undocumented spurious broods and stragglers" (my new favorite description of anything) local cicada species could also emerge. The brood for next year, named Brood XXII Magicicada is emerging early in parts of Ohio, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. I think that makes total sense in terms of this summer.

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No periodical cicadas in the United States, India, or Fiji are expected to emerge, thus the quiet year.

I started searching for which cicada species we have in Kentucky and the periodical species we have is Magicicada cassinii. The species was discovered in 1846 by American entomologist Margaretta Morris; it was described and named by J.C. Fisher and given the formal name cassinii in honor of ornithologist John Cassin. This species is also endemic to North America.

I don't know about the Cicada Mania folks, but I think Kentucky is never exempt or quiet when it comes to cicadas.

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