A Cicada is an insect belonging to the order Hemiptera and the family Cicadidae. They are well-known for their distinctive buzzing or clicking sounds, which males produce primarily to attract mates. Cicadas are characterized by their large eyes, membranous wings, and typically robust bodies.

These insects spend the majority of their lives underground as nymphs, where they feed on sap from plant roots. Depending on the species, cicadas emerge from the ground periodically, usually after spending years underground, to undergo their final molt into adults. These emergences often occur in large numbers and are synchronized among members of the same brood.

Once above ground, adult cicadas mate and lay eggs on trees or shrubs. The eggs hatch into tiny nymphs that drop to the ground and burrow into the soil, where they feed on root sap and begin the cycle anew.

Cicadas are prevalent in many parts of the world and are often associated with warm climates. They play important roles in ecosystems, including nutrient cycling and providing food for various predators. Additionally, their synchronized emergences can have ecological impacts and are the subject of scientific study and public fascination.


Long Term Monitoring and Analysis of Brood X Cicada Activity by Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing Technology

Brood X is the largest of the 15 broods of periodical cicadas, and individuals from this brood emerged across the Eastern United States in spring 2021. Using distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology, the activity of Brood X cicadas was monitored in their natural environment in Princeton, NJ. Critical information regarding their acoustic signatures and activity level is collected and analyzed using standard outdoor-grade telecommunication fiber cables. We believe these results have the potential to be a quantitative baseline for regional Brood X activity and pave the way for more detailed monitoring of insect populations to combat global insect decline. We also show that it is possible to transform readily available fiber optic networks into environmental sensors with no additional installation costs. To our knowledge, this is the first reported use case of a distributed fiber optic sensing system for entomological sciences and environmental studies.