By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The cicadas are finally here - not all 5 billion of them, of course.
Carlos Van Leeuwen, 10, a fourth-grader at Annunciation School in Clifton, shows off a Brood X cicada Thursday.
Cicada watch 2004
But the red-eyed insects came out in sufficient numbers Wednesday night for Dr. Gene Kritsky, a cicada researcher and biology professor at the College of Mount St. Joseph, to declare Thursday morning that the emergence of the 17-year periodical insect is under way.
"We had several hundred cicadas emerge from a site that on Sunday produced 12," Kritsky said. "Every day, they'll get to be more and more."
Kritsky said he's found live adult cicadas, another indication that they are coming out in great numbers. That's because cicadas are tasty treats for just about every animal with teeth - including humans. The cicadas know this and have evolved a defense mechanism: They come out in such great numbers that predators eventually tire of eating them.
"If we see live adults, that means they're not being immediately eaten," Kritsky said, adding that he's confirmed emergence in about 75 percent of Cincinnati.
One site has been found in Northern Kentucky, but none in southeastern Indiana.
To report a sighting to Kritsky, go online.
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