Don't you just love the sound of nature during the night? The distant hoot from an owl. The crickets chirping. Maybe a bullfrog croak. Or how about the mind-melting drone of millions of mating cicadas?

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You may have heard that another giant swarm of cicadas is emerging this summer in the US.

According to a study at Georgetown University

Every emergence is exciting – but this one is special because two adjacent broods of cicadas will be coming out at the same time. Across the eastern U.S. there are 15 broods, which are geographical groups of cicadas that each consist of up to four different species, and emerge on a very predictable schedule. This year we’ll see 17-year Brood XIII to the north and 13-year Brood XIX to the south. They haven’t come up at the same time for 221 years – since 1803.

These broods are all emerging in the Midwest and in the southern portion of the US. But, Montana does have cicadas—quite a few.

  • Megatibicen dealbatus aka Plains Cicada

  • Megatibicen dorsatus aka Bush Cicada or Grand Western or Giant Grassland Cicada

  • Okanagana bella Davis, aka Mountain Cicada

  • Okanagana canadensis (Provancher, 1889) aka Canadian Cicada

Take a listen above to the examples of some of the sounds Montana cicadas make. You may recognize them next time you are outside listening in the dark.

According to Missoula Butterfly House, cicadas in Montana live underground for 2 - 5 years feeding off of tree roots before emerging to mate unlike the giant broods emerging in the south that have been underground for 17 years.

Photos of a Cicada Breaking Free from Its Shell

The Brood X cicadas are emerging after seventeen years and they're shedding their larva shells all over the tristate. Here's what it looks like as they do it!

Gallery Credit: Chadwick J Benefield

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