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Native to the eastern United States, periodical cicadas (genus Magicicada) synchronously emerge en masse after spending 13-17 years underground. Following emergence, cicadas mate and insert eggs into tree branches. Oviposition site selection represents a long-term habitat choice, as root-feeding nymphs remain underground for over a decade after hatching. Here, oviposition site selection was investigated for Brood X periodical cicadas in northern Georgia. The presence of flagging, tree branches killed by cicada oviposition, and presence and number of oviposition scars were compared among different tree genera and sizes. There was no effect of tree genus on the presence of flagging or oviposition scars or on the number of scars. Larger trees were less likely to have observable scars but more likely to have flagging, likely as an artifact of the inability to perceive scars on high branches. Cicadas are generalists in oviposition behavior, selecting a wide variety of woody plants.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3110

  • Event date
    • 25 March 2022

  • Date submitted

    20 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Evan Lampert