New North for Lyric Cicadas

by Carl Strang

Last week I took a morning to see if I could extend the northernmost known locations for the lyric cicada. Its song is easy to recognize, but at the north edge of the range they are few, and finding them takes time.

Lyric cicada

Lyric cicada

Last year the northernmost ones in Cook and Kane County were at the Carl R. Hansen Woods and Tekakwitha Woods Forest Preserves, respectively. This year I found them several miles farther north in each county. In Cook County the new north was at the entrance to the Crabtree Nature Center, 6 miles beyond the previous record and now only 5 miles south of the Lake County border.

Chicago region range map for the lyric cicada. Black dots indicate counties where the species occurs. Red stars indicate northernmost locations known through 2014. Yellow stars indicate northernmost locations found in 2015.

Chicago region range map for the lyric cicada. Black dots indicate counties where the species occurs. Red stars indicate northernmost locations known through 2014. Yellow stars indicate northernmost locations found in 2015.

In Kane County, the new location was in Trout Park, at the north edge of Elgin. This represents a northward shift of 11 miles. Did the cicadas jump so far in just one year? That seems unlikely; I simply may not have looked in the right places in the past. I will continue to follow this each year, as I am doing for species such as the jumping bush cricket and broad-winged tree cricket, and in time should be able to get a sense of how rapidly the range expansion is occurring.

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1 Comment

  1. August 21, 2015 at 7:36 am

    […] Monday I returned to the area where I searched for northernmost lyric cicadas, as described two posts ago. I had thought I heard a swamp cicada at Penny Road Pond, and wanted to listen again to confirm […]


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