Rare Cicada Co-Emergence Coming to Buncombe County in 2024

Get ready for a once-in-a-generation spectacle! In 2024, nature enthusiasts and curious onlookers alike will have the unique opportunity to witness a remarkable event: the simultaneous emergence of two distinct broods of periodical cicadas, especially in Asheville and the surrounding area.


What makes this event so special?

For starters, it’s the convergence of 13-year Brood XIX and 17-year Brood XIII, marking the first time since 2015 that a 13-year brood will emerge alongside a 17-year brood. Not only that, but it’s also the first occurrence since 1998 of adjacent 13- and 17-year broods emerging together. And if that’s not impressive enough, this co-emergence hasn’t happened since 1803 for Brood XIX and XIII!


What is the difference between periodical and annual cicadas?

Periodical cicadas have black bodies, orange wings, and orange eyes. They are also a bit smaller than the annual cicadas. Annual cicadas have tan and black or green and black bodies with clear or greenish wings.


The excitement doesn’t stop there. This unique event will also showcase all seven named periodical cicada species as adults in the same year—a sight that won’t be seen again until 2037.


However, don’t expect any dramatic shifts or obvious signs of the co-emergence—this event will be subtle, with cicada densities varying throughout the Midwest and Southeast. While estimating cicada populations is challenging, it’s clear that these insects, known for their periodicity and synchronous emergence, will be present in large numbers across multiple states, including our own backyard in Buncombe County.


Join us as we celebrate the beauty and complexity of the natural world—and get ready for an unforgettable (and noisy!) summer in Western North Carolina.