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The Cicadas Are Coming! Everything You Need To Prepare for the Once-In-Our-Lifetime Cicada Convergence

Updated: May 7

The Cicadas Are Coming!!! It's a once-in-our-lifetime opportunity to observe and take part in citizen science with your class. Not since Thomas Jefferson was President have broods XIX and XIII emerged together! It won't happen again until 2245. And we have you covered with everything you need to share this magic with your students and friends.

Join us as we embark on an enthralling journey through the remarkable world of cicadas with the Indiana Jones of the insect world, Dr. Gene Kritsky. Discover why these creatures captivate our imaginations and create memories that span generations. Dr. Kritsky unveils the mysteries behind the evolution and distribution of periodical cicadas, the entomology of ancient Egypt, and even Darwin's fascination with insects.

Alongside my special co-host Lynn Wareh Coles, we invite you to be part of this incredible conversation, where we share experiences and insights about these magical creatures that emerge in a spectacular display every 13 or 17 years.  Listen in as we uncover the nuances of cicada emergences and the significance of soil temperatures and weather in their life cycles. Whether you're an avid entomologist or simply a nature enthusiast, you'll be captivated by our discussion on the synchronized life patterns of cicadas from around the world and the impacts of unexpected events like the pandemic.

Plus, learn how to plan your very own cicada-watching safari with the help of Cicada Safari, the innovative app that brings citizen scientists together to document these fascinating insects.

The world of cicadas is full of surprises, and in this conversation, Dr. Kritsky reveals some of the most astonishing facts about these insects. From the discovery of cicada diseases that alter their behavior to the remarkable strength of their ovipositors, every revelation is sure to amaze. But the adventure doesn't end there; Cicada Safari offers a treasure trove of activities for everyone to engage with cicadas beyond mere observation. Whether it's through oral histories, origami, or studying cicada burrow structures, there's a way for all of us to connect with and contribute to the understanding of these periodic phenomena. Don't miss out on this opportunity to be part of a global community of cicada enthusiasts and researchers.

Science, History, and Gastronomy -- Cicada Convergence on the Menu

Science, history, and gastronomy are also on the menu this week! Building on our cicada episode with the buzz-worthy Dr. Gene Kritsky, we unlock the secrets of the cicada convergence with a swarm of guests in a special second cicada-themed episode.

First up, Sue Fliess, author of the beautiful picture book Cicada Symphony. Sue's passion for cicadas, ignited during quiet pandemic strolls, led to a treasure trove of surprising facts. Discover how these insects protect their hearing while creating their trademark music and how you can engage with these fascinating creatures. We'll guide you through Sue's research journey, enriched by insights from the esteemed entomologist Professor Michael Raup, and offer up a family-friendly guide to turning your backyard into a wonderland of cicada discovery.

 Check out these links for more cicada-themed learning:

Next up, step into the time machine with us as we trace the historical footprints of cicadas across centuries, from  the Lewis and Clark expedition to Benjamin Banneker's pioneering work in entomology. History buff Jennifer Coleman provides insights into the world during the last major cicada convergence in 1803 and helps us connect the dots between their periodic emergence and pivotal moments in history.

Our conversation takes an unexpected turn to the kitchen, where cicadas transform from backyard curiosities to culinary delicacies. Have you ever considered the taste of cicadas or the crunch of grasshoppers in a salad? Christy Mihaly, co-author of  Diet for a Changing Climate: Food for Thought,  sheds light on entomophagy's role in nurturing our planet's health. "Chef" Barry Schnoor then joins us to offer practical cooking tips for the daring home chef. Beyond the potential environmental boons, we examine practical considerations, like allergies, and offer cooking tips for the insect-inclined. So whether you're a foodie seeking the next big thing or just curious about sustainable eating, this episode promises to satisfy your appetite for knowledge—and perhaps inspire your next adventurous meal.

Take the Cicada Challenge:

We challenge you to become part of the Cicada Convergence buzz! Can you create something beautiful that is cicada-themed? Can you build cicadas using found or recycled materials? Can you participate in a cicada-based citizen science project? Whatever you decide to do, please comment below or tag us on social media @drdianeadventures -- we'd love to be part of your cicada fun.

Also, if you've enjoyed the cicada episodes and have other ideas you'd like to see Lynn and Dr. Diane explore in the coming months, please comment below or email us at

Check out these BOOKS for more Cicada-Based Learning!


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