How Long Do Cicadas Live?

Cicada Lifespan

The length of a cicada’s life depends upon the cicada species.

Species

When considering the longevity of cicadas, annual cicadas in the genus Neotibicen, (dog day cicadas) live for about 2-5 years

Cicadas in the genus Magicicada (the periodical cicadas) if left undisturbed in their nymphal, below ground habitat will live about 13 or 17 years, depending on the species.

Periodical Cicadas

Periodical cicadas are the longest living insect that occurs in the region north of Mexico.

The one thing that most species of cicadas living north of Mexico have in common is they spend far more of their life underground as nymphs than they do above ground as adults.

Periodical cicadas are about 1-1 ½ inches long, have reddish colored eyes, black bodies and complete a life cycle in either 13 or 17 years.

Dog Day Cicadas

The dog day cicadas are fairly easy to recognize since they are about two inches long and their bodies are greenish to brownish in color with black markings.

Some species of dog day cicada adults will show up every year.

Resources

Dig Deeper on Cicadas

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