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Thousands Of Cicadas Can Now Be Heard In Ann Arbor As They Emerge After 17 Years!

Tom O'Dell
Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Acres and acres of land in the University of Michigan Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor are covered with thousands of Periodical Cicadas emerging after developing underground for 17 years.

Tom O’Dell, a collections and natural areas specialist at the U of M Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry standing in the middle of the garden as they make their sounds and land on him throughout the conversation.

The majority of the Noisy Brood X Periodical Cicadas can be found right now in Washtenaw and Lenawee Counties. There are thousands of them to be seen and heard right now at the Matthaei Botanical Gardenson Dixboro Road. 

Tom O'Dell says it is sometimes difficult to carry on a conversation because they are so loud, and several of them landed on him throughout the interview. He expects them to be around for another week or two as they complete their life cycle and don't reappear for another 17 years. 

He says it is rare to see such a large number of any type of animal together like this. He suggests other Ann Arbor parks as possible places to experience the cicadas before their 17-year visit comes to an end.

Credit Tom O'Dell / Matthaei Botanical Gardens
Matthaei Botanical Gardens
Cicada at Nichols Arboretum.


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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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