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January 23, 2018

New paper: Massospora cicadina) hijacks the sexual signals of periodical cicadas

A new paper, A specialized fungal parasite (Massospora cicadina) hijacks the sexual signals of periodical cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada), has been published by John R. Cooley, David C. Marshall & Kathy B. R. Hill, in Scientific Reports 8, Article number: 1432 (2018).

Read the paper online.

In a nutshell: the fungus infects males, and causes them to exactly mimic the mating behavior of female cicadas, thus infected males end up spreading the fungus to uninfected males.

Abstract:

Male periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) infected with conidiospore-producing (“Stage I”) infections of the entomopathogenic fungus Massospora cicadina exhibit precisely timed wing-flick signaling behavior normally seen only in sexually receptive female cicadas. Male wing-flicks attract copulation attempts from conspecific males in the chorus; close contact apparently spreads the infective conidiospores. In contrast, males with “Stage II” infections that produce resting spores that wait for the next cicada generation do not produce female-specific signals. We propose that these complex fungus-induced behavioral changes, which resemble apparently independently derived changes in other cicada-Massospora systems, represent a fungus “extended phenotype” that hijacks cicadas, turning them into vehicles for fungus transmission at the expense of the cicadas’ own interests.

And now, because I need an image for the post: a meme:

Fungus Bae

Cicadas, when infected, are called “salt shakers of doom”. Add that to the meme “Salt Bae”, and the image makes sense.

December 2, 2012

Mating Bladder cicadas

Filed under: Cystosoma,David Emery,Mating — Tags: — Dan @ 7:34 am


Mating bladders 2, originally uploaded by ozzicada.

An excellent photo of mating Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii) by David Emery.

June 15, 2007

Magicicada mating

Filed under: Magicicada,Mating,Roy Troutman,Video — Dan @ 8:37 am

In this video we see a male and female Magicicada cicada mating.

Magicicada mating from Roy Troutman.

June 11, 2007

Cicadas Mating

Filed under: Brood XIII,Mating,Photos & Illustrations — Dan @ 9:23 am

A photo of cicadas mating by Christina T.

Cicada Mating

June 9, 2007

Mating Magicicada

Filed under: Brood XIII,Mating — Dan @ 5:57 am

Here’s a picture of two Magicicada mating from Michael Fiorenzo. Photos taken in LaGrange.

mating Magicicada