Cicada Mania

The Cicada Mania Blog: News, Findings, and Discoveries About Cicadas.

April 15, 2014

Cicada Beer and Brood XXII

Filed under: Brood XXII,Pop Culture — by @ 4:18 am

Southern Prohibition Brewing is offering Cicada themed (but not flavored) beer this year. Just in time for Brood XXII.

Cicada Beer

Their site says cicadas are their favorite “invasive species”, but cicadas are not an invasive species, however it can feel like an invasion when periodical cicadas arrive.

BTW, here’s the first news article about Brood XXII I’ve found. It’s from the LSU AgCenter and features Christopher Carlton, LSU AgCenter entomologist and director of the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.

No signs of Brood XXII cicadas on social media yet.

March 29, 2014

Australian Cicadas by M.S. Moulds

Filed under: Australia,Books — by @ 6:47 pm

Australian Cicadas by M.S. Moulds was first published in 1990 by the New South Wales University Press. It is the best reference for Australian cicadas that I’ve found, and I use it at least once a week.

The book covers common names of cicada, life history, predators & parasites, distribution, anatomy, sound production & reception, and classification. The book also features an extensive catalog of Australian cicadas including photos, maps and descriptions of their behavior.

Australian Cicadas by M.S. Moulds

I found my copy used. It was expensive, but well worth the price.

March 26, 2014

Cicada Books for Kids, Part 1

Filed under: Books — by @ 7:51 pm

I collect virtually every cicada book I can get my hands on, including books written for children. They often contain some of the best photos and illustrations, and for that reason alone they’re nice to have.

One bittersweet thing about cicada books is people often resell them after a periodical cicada emergence is over, but that also means you can get them for a low price if you don’t mind a used book. Before Amazon.com was invented, people went to a place called the library, and an entire town essentially shared a single used book.

The Visual Book of Australian Cicadas by Peter Leyden

This short book is packed with excellent illustrations of Australian cicadas. It is likely out of print, but I recommend it for the quality of the illustrations and the collectiblity factor.

The Visual Book of Australian Cicadas by Peter Leyden

Cicadas Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle illustrated by Meryl Henderson

This is a recent book and features page after page of color illustrations of cicadas, and cicada related information. The book is factually accurate and the illustrations are excellent. Reading level is 4 to 8, but I think cicada fans of all ages would enjoy this book.

Cicadas Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle illustrated by Meryl Henderson

Cicadas and Aphids What They Have in Common by Sara Swan Miller

This book features photos (not illustrations) of cicadas and other members of the order Hemiptera (true bugs). I recommend this book for kids who want to expand their interest in insects beyond cicadas. The reading level is 8 or above.

Cicadas and Aphids What They Have in Common by Sara Swan Miller

The next three books are very similar in that they all feature photos of mostly periodical cicadas (Magicicadas) with easy to understand explanations. The reading level for all three is 4 to 8.

Cicadas by Helen Frost Gail Saunders-Smith PH D Consulting Editor

Cicadas by Helen Frost Gail Saunders-Smith PH D Consulting Editor

Cicadas by Margaret Hall with Gail Saunders-Smith PhD Consulting Editor

Cicadas by Margaret Hall with Gail Saunders-Smith PhD Consulting Editor

Cicadas by Ann O Squire

Cicadas by Ann O Squire

March 25, 2014

Catalogue of the Cicadoidea by Allen F Sanborn

Filed under: Allen F. Sanborn,Books — by @ 7:17 pm

The Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha) by Allen F Sanborn weighs about six pounds. It’s also one of my favorite cicada books, and it usually can be found on my desk. I use it mostly to verify the names of cicadas.

Catalogue of the Cicadoidea by Allen F Sanborn

Here’s a description from the publisher:

This is the third in a series of catalogs and bibliographies of the Cicadoidea covering 1981-2010. The work summarizes the cicada literature, providing a means for easy access to information previously published on a particular species or to allow researchers the ability to locate similar work that has been published on other species. A total of 2,591 references are included in the bibliography. The book is a source of biological and systematic information that could be used by zoologists, entomologists, individuals interested in crop protection, and students studying entomology as well as anyone interested in cicadas or who require specific information on the insects. Each genus/species is identified with the reference, the page number, any figures (if applicable), the topics covered by the reference, any synonymies, and any biogeographic information mentioned for the species in the individual reference. An added benefit to the catalog is that it is the first complete species list for the Cicadoidea, including all synonymies and new combinations through 2012.

The publisher also has the cheapest price that I’ve found.

Some cicada books from Japan

Filed under: Books,Japan — by @ 4:04 am

Every now and then I treat myself to a cicada book from Japan. Cicadas are called semi in Japan, which seems to be spelled セミ or 蝉. Enter セミ or 蝉 into the Amazon.co.jp search box and you’ll find a bunch of cicada books (amongst other things).

I’ve already written about Dr. M. Haysashi and Dr. Yasumasa Saisho‘s fantastic The Cicadidae of Japan book. Here are some others:

セミ観察記 (写真絵本 ぼくの庭にきた虫たち):

This book features huge photos of cicadas through all phases of their lives. It also features diagrams of their lifecycle and underground tunnels.

A Cicada Book from Japan

セミ・カメムシの仲間 (海野和男のワクワク虫図鑑):

Only the first eleven pages of this book are about cicadas, but they are excellent, featuring large photos of common cicadas. The book features two pages that match nymph exoskeletons to adult cicadas.


And Another Cicada Book from Japan

セミの一生 (科学のアルバム):

This book also features many large photos of cicadas throughout their life cycle. The photos of eggs and first instar nymphs are particularly nice.

Another Cicada Book from Japan

Note that these books are not written in English.

March 18, 2014

Time to start looking for signs of cicadas in Louisiana

Filed under: Brood XXII,Magicicada,Video — by @ 6:54 pm

It’s too early for Brood XXII cicadas to emerge in Louisiana and Mississippi, but it might be warm enough for them to start moving around underground. It will be warm enough in the coming weeks for them to start digging tunnels to the surface and building cicada “chimneys” above their holes.

What to look for:

1) Animals can hear the cicadas stirring underground, and will try to dig them up and eat them. Look for holes (about the size of a walnut or larger) made by animals digging for cicadas.

Cicada holes

2) Look for cicadas under stones and slates. Some cicadas will burrow their way to the surface, but they hit a large stone or slate and can go no further.

If you find them in this situation, gently put the stone or slate back. They will usually find their way around the obstruction once the time is right.

One clue that a Magicicada nymph is not ready to emerge is their eyes are still white. Their eyes turn red/orange prior to emerging (a few retain a white/blue color).

3) Cicada holes are about the size of a dime. Cicada premptively dig holes to the surface and wait until the weather is nice enough for them to emerge. Sometimes you can see them down in the holes.

Cicada Holes

4) Cicadas form chimneys above their holes when the soil is moist or muddy. These chimneys might look like a simple golf ball sized dome or a structure over six inches tall.

Magicicada chimneys

cicada chimney

Cicadas typically won’t emerge until the soil 8 inches below the ground reaches 65ºF, and just one day at that temperature might not be enough. Once the above ground temps hit the 80s, especially after a nice rain, the emergence should get going.

Report cicada sightings to Magicicada.org.

January 21, 2014

The Hammerhead Cicada – A new discovery!

Filed under: Cicadmalleus,Michel Boulard — by @ 4:15 pm

It looks like a new sub-tribe, genus and species of cicada has been identified by Michel Boulard and Stéphane Puissant. Cicadmalleus micheli. The cicada has a head that looks like the head of a hammerhead shark! Cicadmalleus means “cicada hammer”, and micheli refers to Bruno Michel who found the cicada (thanks David Emery).

I heard the cicada was discovered in Thailand, which makes sense because that is where Michael Boulard does most of his research.

January 19, 2014

A visual comparison of some cicadas of Southeast Asia

This is a photo of one of my displays at home. Some of the specimens aren’t in the best shape, but it is good enough to distinguish the species.

Angamiana floridula, Becquartina electa, Gaeana cheni, Gaeana festiva, Platypleura mira, Tacua speciosa, Tosena albata, Tosena melanoptera, Tosena paviei, and Trengganua sibylla are featured in the image.

Cicadas of South East Asia

Click the image for a larger image.

January 12, 2014

Ceramic Cicadas from France

Filed under: France — by @ 4:01 pm

A co-worker went to France, and brought me back some cicada souvenirs! Cicada salt & pepper shakers, and a refrigerator magnet!

Ceramic Cicadas

Ceramic Cicada Magnet

They love cicadas in France.

Cicada 3301 Logo

Filed under: Pop Culture — by @ 11:33 am

A few weeks ago someone asked me what species of cicada the Cicada 3301 logo represented. At the time I did not know what Cicada 3301 was. Later on I learned that Cicada 3301 is some kind of international organization that uses puzzles to recruit people who are really good at figuring out puzzles … or something like that. This sounds very interesting, and it might be something I would be into if I had more free time.

Here is the 3301 logo (which is presumably copyrighted by the Cicada 3301 organization):

cicada 3301

The logo appears to be a photo of a cicada processed with an emboss filter. (I’ve seen other versions of the logo, which look like the embossed logo run through an ASCII filter that makes it look like the green alphanums on a black background like the Matrix or the Homebrew setting for Terminal windows on the Mac.)

The interesting thing about the 3301 logo is that the cicada appears to be a collage. The veins of the right hind wing are different than the left hind wing. Either the wing was taken from a different species, or the lines that appear in the anal lobe were cloned/copied to cover the entire hind wing.

cicada wings

Interesting. When I have more time I’ll try to ID the actually cicada — or at least the primary species the image was made from.

I wonder what 3301 stands for? Entomologists Enjoy Only Insects?

Older Posts »