Hear that? Cicadas’ singing serves a purpose, Dr. Kritsky says

Academics, Biology, Press Releases, Biology, School of Behavioral & Natural Sciences, Department of Biology

This cicada clings to a tree on the campus of Mount St. Joseph University, in an area that the Mount's Dean of Behavioral and Natural Sciences, Dr. Gene Kritsky, checks frequently for cicadas.

Kritsky, entomologist and professor of biology, is a leading expert in cicadas and has been using the public's information for metadata to map out areas where cicadas have popped up. Just in the past few weeks, he has received thousands of emails from viewers in the Greater Cincinnati area; 96% of which contain pictures.

"This is valuable information for our research," Kritsky said. "I even had one lady send me a 30-second clip of sustained singing from the cicadas."

Sustained singing, or chorusing, is done by male cicadas to attract females. The is important to help Kritsky map and track the broods of cicadas.

Kritsky encourages people to continue to email him so he can collect data. His website is www.msj.edu/cicada and email cicada@msj.edu.