17-year cicadas emerging in early May; track them with an app

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 2:48 AM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - After their 17-year hiatus, billions of cicadas will emerge in early May from underground lairs across the region.

“This is the big one, a generational event,” Dean of Behavioral and Natural Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati Gene Kritsky said in a news release. “For people who have been around a while, they will remember what it was like 17 years ago or even farther back to when they were kids and they’ll know what to expect. For those who weren’t alive 17 years ago or who were too young at the time and can’t remember, they are in for quite an experience.”

Dr. Kritsky worked in partnership with the Center for IT Engagement (cITe) at Mount St. Joseph University to create the Cicada Safari app.

It allows users to search, photograph, video and help map the cicadas.

“We developed this app because so many people are fascinated by cicadas,” he said. “This is true citizen science. People can use their phones with our app to track, photograph and help us map the cicadas to verify where they are emerging. An issue with citizen science projects is the difficulty to verify new observations. The photographs submitted to our map are like voucher specimens permitting us to verify the observations making the maps more useful for future research.”

To join Cicada Safari and help map the 2021 emergence, download the free app from the Apple app store or Google play.

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