Photo gallery: A song for the ages

Experts anticipated billions of cicadas emerging together in Northeastern Missouri this spring as part of a rare ecological event. And it's happening now.

May 23, 2024
Contact: Courtney Perrett,

Photos by Sam O'Keefe

This spring, trillions of cicadas are singing a chorus in more than a dozen states around the country. Two different groups, or broods, of cicadas are emerging from their years-long slumber. With the longest lifespan of any insect, periodical cicadas are native to Missouri. In the Columbia area, members of what is known as Brood XIX, which comes out every 13 years, are making their droning presence known. Brood XIII, which comes out every 17 years, is appearing elsewhere. In parts of Illinois and Iowa, both broods may emerge.

If you're on the University of Missouri's campus, whether you're taking a stroll through Peace Park or hanging out around the Student Center, you'll be surrounded by a chorus of cicadas.

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