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 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.

December 22, 2013

M. cassini in Connecticut

Filed under: Brood II — by @ 5:53 pm

A news story came out in November reporting that M. cassini appeared in areas of Connecticut where they were not expected during the Brood II emergence this year. This must have been a 2013 highlight for cicada researchers in the Connecticut area.

October 11, 2013

Looking forward to the 2014 periodical cicada emergences

Magicicada I am excited about the 17 and 13 year cicada emergences expected in 2014.

Here is what we can look forward to:

I’m looking forward to taking some vacation time and tracking cicadas. Brood XXII is a good excuse to visit New Orleans (even if it isn’t on the cicada map).

Fun fact: Brood III and XXII won’t emerge in the same year again until the year 2235.

If you see any periodical cicadas, especially stragglers, report then to magicicada.org.

A look back at the 2013 Brood II Periodical Cicada Emergence

Filed under: Brood II,Video — by @ 10:03 pm

2013 has been an awesome year for cicadas. Here’s a look back at my favorite Brood II moments.

  1. My 17 Year Cicada sneakers: nikeid
  2. The They’re Baaack! Return of the 17-year Cicadas exhibit at The Staten Island Museum.
  3. Meeting Ed Johnson of the Staten Island Museum.
  4. This cicada pillow by Tegan White, that my friends Judie and Cliff gave me.
  5. Being interviewed by and appearing in Wired Magazine.
  6. My Cicada Mania pins and magnets that I hand out to people I meet in person.
  7. This April Fools Day joke (that no one believed).
  8. Hipster Cicada
    hipster cicada
  9. Cicada Ron Swanson
    Cicada Ron Swanson
  10. Keep Calm, They’re only 17 Year Cicadas
    Keep Calm
  11. Getting 7,500 visits from Reddit in a single day (April 7th).
  12. Finding the first nymph on April 16th under a garden slate, not ready to emerge.
  13. Finding the first cicada chimneys on May 10th.
  14. Giving a presentation about cicadas at musician/naturalist/philosopher/professor David Rothenberg’s “Richard Robinson: Song of the Cicada (World Premiere), Insect Music, based on the calls, chirps and clicks of various insects” event in New York City.
  15. Finding and photographing Magicicada septendecula, thanks to Elias Bonaro’s keen hearing.
  16. My sister’s chihuahua discovering a cicada nymph.
    chihuahua cicada
  17. Cicada tracking in New York state.
  18. An interview with Sonja Beeker of the German radio program Neonlicht.
  19. The Oklahoma Brood II emergence. A lot of us didn’t expect it, but Oklahoma residents did. Add another state to the Brood II map!
  20. Shooting lots of cicada video for the site
  21. Observing the Magicicada cassini’s “musical chairs” calling and flying routine, captured in this photo by Roy Troutman.
  22. Having Roy and Michelle Troutman visit New Jersey (I think Michelle enjoyed the beach more than the cicadas).
  23. Going cicada hunting with Roy Troutman and Elias Bonaros.
    Roy Troutman and Elias Bonaros near cicada mosiac in subway
  24. The Joy of Six Legged Sex event at the Staten Island Museum, featuring John Cooley and Ed Johnson. Roy, Michelle, Elias and David Rothenberg were also in attendance.
    John Cooley and Ed Johnson speaking at the Staten Island Museum Six Legged Sex event by Roy Troutman
  25. Going cicada hunting in Staten Island with Elias and Chris Simon.
  26. Going cicada hunting with John Cooley, David Rothenberg, and a crew from the New York Times, and ending up at my folk’s place in Metuchen.
  27. Fighting back against companies that sell pesticide to kill cicadas.
  28. Discovering that the periodical cicadas along the shore of Staten Island survived Superstorm Sandy.
  29. Meeting cicada filmmaker Sam Orr.
  30. All the reports, comments, Tweets, and cicada photos sent to us by Cicada Mania readers. You make it all worthwhile.
  31. The Finneytown, Ohio acceleration… technically not Brood II, but…
  32. All the cool cicada citizen science opportunities presented by magicicada.org, the Simon Lab, the Urban Buzz Project, Gene Kritsky and Radiolab.

I’m looking forward to the Brood III and XXII emergences next year, but I don’t know if they’ll be as fun as Brood II 2013.

17 year cicadas y u no?

Brood III, The Iowan Brood, Will Emerge in 2014

Filed under: Brood III — by @ 5:03 pm

Magicicada Brood III (3), the Iowan Brood, will emerge in Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri, in the spring of 2014.

Some Brood III facts:

  • Brood III Magicicadas have a 17-year life cycle.
  • The last time Brood III emerged was 1997.
  • All three 17-year species will emerge: M. septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula.

Brood III Map - next emergence 2014

Looking a the Cicada Central Magicicada Database:

  • Iowa will likely experience Brood III in Appanoose, Boone, Decatur, Des Moines, Hamilton, Henry, Lee, Louisa, Lucas, Mahaska, Van Buren, Washington counties.
  • There are literature records (typically older, and not substantiated by recent evidence) that the cicadas will also emerge in the counties: Adair, Adams, Audubon, Cass, Cedar, Davis, Greene, Guthrie, Iowa, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Keokuk, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Story, Taylor, Union, Wapello, Warren, Wayne and Webster.
  • Missouri literature records: Adair, Harrison, Harrison, Henry, Johnson, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Platte, Putnam,Vernon
  • Illinois: Adams, Brown, Cass, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Peoria, Pike, Schuyler, Warren, and maybe (literature records) Champaign, Greene, and Mason.

For more information and to submit sightings, visit Magicicada.org.

October 5, 2013

13-Year Cicadas to Emerge in Ohio & Kentucky in 2014

We expect Magicicadas with a 13-Year life-cycle to emerge in Ohio & Kentucky, along the Ohio river, in 2014. This particular group of periodical cicadas last emerged in 2001 and 1988.

I know what you’re thinking: are these cicadas part of Brood XXII? Time and research will tell. Brood XXII emerges in Louisiana and Mississippi, which are geographically isolated from Ohio & Kentucky, so the two groups of cicadas are likely to be genetically distinct (belonging to different mitochondrial haplotype groups at least). That said, Brood II, which emerges mostly along the east coast of the U.S., also emerges in Oklahoma, which is geographically isolated from the rest of that brood. So, the Ohio/Kentucky cicadas could logically be part of brood XXII.

Back in 2001 Roy Troutman, Les Daniels and Gene Kritsky reported this group of cicadas to Cicada Mania. Les reported both cassini and decim.

My guess is these cicadas are somehow descended from Brood X or Brood XIV 17-year cicadas, and that if they are 13-year cicadas, there would be no M. neotredecim present in this brood.

I wrote Roy for a list of towns where these cicadas emerged in 2001, and he said:

Chilo, OH
Cold Springs, KY
Higginsport, OH
Neville, OH
New Richmond, OH
Point Pleasant, OH
Ripley, OH
Utopia, OH
Woodland Mound Park, Cinncinati, OH


View OH/KY 13 Year Brood in a larger map

For more information, contact Gene Kritsky.

October 4, 2013

Brood XXII, the Baton Rouge Brood, will arrive in 2014

Filed under: Brood XXII,Magicicada,Periodical — by @ 4:26 pm

Magicicada Brood XXII, the Baton Rouge Brood, will emerge in 2014 in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Some Brood XXII facts:

  • Brood XXII Magicicadas have a 13-year life cycle.
  • Three of the four 13-year Magicicada species, M. tredecim, M. tredecassini, and M. tredecula, belong to Brood XXII.
  • The last time Brood XXII emerged was 2001.
  • We received reports from Baton Rouge, LA, Houma, LA, Pride, LA, Weyanoke, LA, Vicksburg, MS and Natchez, MS in 2001


View Brood XXII Cicada Reports from 2001 in a larger map

Looking at the Cicada Central Magicicada Database:

  • The following counties in Louisiana will surely experience the Brood XXII emergence: Catahoula, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana. There are also literature records (typically older, and not substantiated by recent evidence) that the cicadas will appear in La Salle, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington counties.
  • In Mississippi, Brood XXII should emerge in Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Hinds, Jefferson, Warren and Wilkinson counties, with literature records for Franklin county.

A lot of folks ask if they will appear in Orleans county, but I haven’t seen evidence for that. However, there is no reason why you couldn’t start looking there, have some gumbo and fancy drinks, and then head north towards Baton Rouge.

These cicadas often appear where they aren’t expected, and are absent where they are expected. So, keep an eye and ear out for them, but don’t be too disappointed if they don’t show up in your town.

For more information, see the Magicicada.org Brood XXII page.

June 29, 2013

Where’s the cicadas?

Filed under: Brood II,Magicicada,Periodical — by @ 12:57 am

At this point in the 2013 Brood II emergence, all the cicadas that will emerge, have emerged. I’m sorry to say that if periodical cicadas have not emerged in your yard/neighborhood/town, they won’t. This is frustrating for people who heard that the cicadas would emerge in their state, or those who looked at a brood map and assumed their neighborhood fell within the area shown on the map.

People in Pennsylvania, for example, heard that cicadas would arrive in their state, but unfortunately, the cicadas only occupy a small banana-shaped region in the east of the state:

Pony tail on New Jersey

If you look at one of the older maps for Brood II, it looks like the state of New Jersey is covered, however, each dot might represent only one sighing in one specific area. These old maps are useful, but they can be misleading (more on maps later in this article).

map example

Back in 2004, after Brood X emerged, I wrote an article called: What Happened: the Magicicada No-Show of 2004. The information in that article is relevant for Brood II as well.

The truth is periodical cicadas do not occupy every square acre of a state in which they are expected to emerge. Even in towns where they do emerge, they are rarely present in every acre or block of those towns. Why? Well, either they were eliminated in the areas where they once were found (due to urban sprawl, pesticides, weather-related events, etc), or they simply were never there in the first place. New threats like extreme weather (flooding and tree destruction by tropical storms) and tree-destroying invasive species (like the emerald ash borer) will continue to shrink cicada habitat areas.

It is important, for future emergences, that the press/media and cicada websites provide more accurate information about the location of the cicadas. The cicada sighting information people provide to Magicicada.org is very important because it will lead to better maps and more accurate sighting information.

One thing I’m glad that I did this year was provide a page that listed specific towns in New Jersey where cicadas could be expected. I wish I did one for every state in the Brood II area [but Cicada Mania is not my day job, and there are only so many hours in a day].

That said, we never want to discourage people from looking for periodical cicadas in areas we don’t expect them to exist. Last year unexpected Brood I cicadas emerged in Tennessee. This year periodical cicadas unexpectedly emerged in Oklahoma. A lot of us where hoping cicadas would show up in Central Park in Manhattan, but they didn’t (however, I didn’t personally walk every acre of the park).

So, what can you do to help?

  • If you’re a member of the press/media (yes that includes bloggers and tweeters), make sure you get precise locations from cicada experts.
  • Report cicada and flagging sightings to Magicicada.org so we have better records of the emergence.
  • Help cicada research by participating in a cicada citizen science project.
  • Help preserve the current cicada habitat. Preserve trees. Avoid pesticides. Don’t wipe out another forest to add yet another redundant giant store.

A consolation for people who missed out on the 17 year cicadas: there are about 160 species of annual cicadas in North America. They’re usually harder to find and catch, but you can still hear and capture them if you put some time and effort into it.

June 28, 2013

The Brood II Emergence Has Begun

Filed under: Brood II,Magicicada,Periodical,Video — by @ 1:12 am

June 28th Update

At this point if you haven’t had a periodical cicada emerge in your yard/neighborhood/town, you won’t. The best last chance to see them would be in New York State along rte 9G, parts of 9 and 9J. The more northern, the better. I visited that area last weekend, and found some great spots.

Flagging (when leaves turn brown from cicada egg laying) can be seen in New Jersey and states south of there. Probably a little bit of Connecticut and New York as well.

People are noticing sap dripping from the scars left behind from cicada egg laying.

Next up will be the hatching of the eggs.

Don’t forget to report FLAGGING (brown leaves) sightings to Magicicada.org so they can add them to their live map. You can report flagging, as well as egg nests, and newly hatched nymphs.

As usual Cicada Mania offers a full line of shirts, glassware, buttons and other souvenirs:

Cicada Schwag

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