Workshop informs residents what to look for when cicadas hatch this spring

Workshop informs residents what to look for when cicadas hatch this spring
April 4, 2007

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

The series of serene springs and silent summers Illinoisans have been enjoying the past 17 years will be noticeably interrupted in a few weeks. Cicadas – flying insects about one to two inches long noted for their shrill, sometimes deafening choruses – will emerge from the ground along a path about 200 miles long that stretches from northwestern Indiana to Wisconsin. Periodical cicadas emerge in vast numbers – as many as 1.5 million per acre – overwhelming predators by sheer numbers. As many as three species may emerge simultaneously in northeastern Illinois. Their numbers seem to vary according to habitat and geography, tending to be most abundant in areas that historically were forested. The different species are very similar in appearance but their songs are readily distinguishable. This year, researchers from the DuPage County Forest Preserve will be conducting a survey to determine how many species of cicada are emerging and where they are being found. The study will answer a number of questions including what is the relative abundance of each species and how their emergence patterns compare to historical data. Community members who are interested in participating in this study – or just want to learn more about this unusual insect – may attend a workshop at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1 in Birck Hall Room 112 on the campus of Benedictine University. The workshop will be led by Carl Strang, Ph.D., a naturalist from the DuPage County Forest Preserve. Visit http://insects.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/fauna/Michigan_Cicadas/Michigan/index.html to hear the songs of the cicadas. For more information about the workshop, contact John Mickus at (630) 829-6539 or by email at jmickus@ben.edu.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.