TECH BYTE: Tech for Tracking Cicadas

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The cicadas are coming!

We haven’t seen this brood in 17 years, and researchers behind one smartphone app need your help tracking them down for research.

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A Mount St. Joseph University professor has come up with a smartphone app, to help people track down cicadas.

Dr. Gene Kritsky says people have been recording their emergences for nearly 400 years, so why not continue the tradition?

The app’s called Cicada Safari. You can download it for free from Apple’s app store, or Google Play.

Dr. Kritsky says mapping where the cicadas appear is critical in verifying their life cycles, and the broods’ relationships to each other.

This year’s periodical cicada is Brood X.

Once you download the app, go on your own safari, and see if you can find any yet in your area.

If you do come across one, open up the app, and use it to take a picture of the insect.

You can even use it to record them singing.

For everything to work, make sure you allow the app to access your phone’s camera and microphone.

Once you get a sharp, close up picture, submit it for verification, and mapping.

Researchers then can use the photograph to identify the species, and keep track of where they are.

App developers have already received more than 25,000 pictures of cicadas spotted in North Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, and several other states.

Many of these reports are small numbers, but researchers expect that to change as the weather gets warmer.

For more information, go to the app’s corresponding website, cicadasafari.org.

If you find a cicada, don’t worry. They’re not poisonous or anything, and they won’t hurt you.

They might just make some noise that can get on your nerves.

Good luck on your cicada safari!