Adult periodical cicada

Mapping Periodical Cicadas in Wisconsin (Community Science Project)

Some of the earliest maps of periodical cicadas in Wisconsin date back over a century. However, early published records were somewhat limited in their value due to their poor resolution (often county-level, rather than specific locations) and erroneous reports. These historic maps are helpful, but don’t paint a complete picture of the distribution of periodical cicadas in Wisconsin. In other cases, locations that historically had periodical cicadas may have lost them over time due to habitat destruction and land-use changes. The long, 17-year life cycles and short period of adult activity (roughly a month) also make it difficult to study and document these insects across southern Wisconsin.

Thus, we still don’t have a full picture of where periodical cicadas currently exist in the state and what their populations are like. By sharing your sightings of periodical cicadas in Wisconsin, you can help UW entomologists better understand these insects in the state.

If you’re a cicada enthusiast and have many sightings, feel free to submit multiple entries of the form or contact PJ Liesch (pliesch@wisc.edu) to discuss.

Share Your Periodical Cicada Sightings

Name(Required)
You'll only be contacted if we had any follow-up questions about your report. Email addresses will not be used for any other purposes.
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Please record the date that you encountered the cicadas.
Briefly describe where the periodical cicadas were encountered. This could be an address, GPS coordinates, or a description (e.g., "near the intersection of Highways X & Z in rural Iowa County", "at Big Foot Beach State Park in Lake Geneva", or "in a wooded area 2 miles north of Boscobel"). Alternatively, include a brief note and attach a screenshot of a Google map showing the location along with your cicada photos towards the bottom of this form.
We recognize that this may be difficult to estimate, especially if you're mostly hearing, rather than seeing, the cicadas. If possible, give your best estimate of the number of cicadas you encountered or select "I'm just not sure". To estimate numbers, it can be helpful to look at the emergence holes in the ground or exuviae (shed exoskeletons) and live/dead adults on the ground.
Feel free to share any additional notes, observations, comments, etc.
Drop files here or
Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, heic, mp4, m4v, mov, wmv, mp3, m4a, Max. file size: 24 MB, Max. files: 5.
    To help us verify cicada sightings, please include up to 5 photos or short video clips of your cicada encounter. Not required, but strongly encouraged to help verify sightings.
    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    Top banner photo credit: PM Jacoby via Wikipedia. Used under Creative Commons 4.0 license.