[UPATE BELOW] We knew they were coming, and now they're here. This photo of what we presume to be a cicada was obtained just moments ago at Spruce Street in Lower Manhattan. Our tipster tells us the cicada appeared to be acting alone, but that his apartment remains under investigation.
But how do we know it's a cicada? Well, based on rigorous analysis (i.e, comparing it to this photo), both insects look roughly the same to our highly, highly untrained eyes. A representative from the Wildlife Conservation Society said their in-house entomologist is out of town and unavailable for cicada-identification. We insisted it was urgent. They did not care. No, he is not available by phone. Email? Nope.
Anyway, the reader who sent the photo felt reasonably certain that the mystery bug adhered to his apartment window is, in fact, a cicada: "I am not a bug expert, however I did experience a cicada swarm once in Ohio 17 years ago and it certainly looks like one," he wrote in an email.
OK then! As you can see from the Cicada Map, adults are indeed starting to crop up around NYC, with one to five adults spotted in Manhattan.
Update, 4:38 p.m.: Despite insisting that it was impossible, the Wildlife Conservation Society managed to locate its far-flung entomologist, who dashed our dreams by informing us that the mystery bug isn't a cicada at all, but "likely a kind of wasp." Take it away, commenters.
Have you spotted a cicada? Snap a photo and email us at email@example.com.