For 17 years, they’ve tunneled and fed off tree roots underground, and now they’ve emerged, singing and scaling trees in southern Indiana, including right here in Johnson County.
As many as 1.5 million cicadas are emerging this month in Indiana, with the biggest populations in southern Indiana, according to Indiana Environmental Reporter. The cicadas have been spotted in Franklin and southern Johnson County, and experts say they will make appearances all across the state.
Keith Clay, a professor emeritus at Indiana University, is now ecology and evolutionary biology chair at Tulane University. He is back in Bloomington just to witness the cicadas arrive, and is serving as the go-to expert for a documentary being made about the bug species.
“People think it’s fascinating, and other people think it’s disgusting,” Clay said.
He studied their last emergence in 2004, focusing on the effect the cicadas had on forests. He gets why people might be disgusted by the bugs.