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March 12, 2011

A Brood XIX Periodical Cicada Primer

Filed under: Brood XIX,Magicicada,Video — Dan @ 4:45 pm

What are they?

Magicicada is a genus of periodical cicadas known for emerging in massive numbers in 17 or 13 year cycles/periods. The cicadas emerging in 2011 have 13 year life-cycles. Magicicada are also organized into broods. There are 3 broods of 13 year cicadas, and the brood emerging in 2011 is Brood XIX (nineteen).

There are 4 species of 13 year Magicicada: M. tredecim, M. neotredecim, M. tredecassini and M. tredecula. The adults of all four species have black bodies with orange markings, and red-orange eyes. M. tredecim and M. neotredecim are very similar, and you can only tell them apart by their song in areas where their ranges overlap (or by looking at DNA). They are however, larger than M. tredecassini and M. tredecula, and have a noticeably different song.

Visit this Magicicada.org species page for detailed information, including photos and audio.

Here is some video and audio of 17 year Magicicada, which look and sound remarkably similar to the 13 year variety. This will give you an idea of what to expect:

Cicada Mania, best of 2007, part 1 by Dan from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Cicadas Singing in Princeton in 2004 by cicadamania

Note: some folks call these cicadas “locusts”, but they are not true locusts.

When will they emerge?

The Brood XIX Magicadas will emerge this spring. When they emerge depends on the weather. Generally speaking, once the ground temperature gets to 64º Fahrenheit (18º C) around 8″ (20 cm) deep they will emerge. There’s an emergence formula too. Brood XIX cicadas in Georgia will most likely emerge before the cicadas in Illinois, for example, because Georgia is typically warmer than Illinois.

Where will they emerge?

Historically, Brood XIX has emerged in as many as 14 states (link to a map). The emergence will cover the most area in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee. Other states like Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina should have strong emergences in limited areas, and states like Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Virginia will have very limited emergences.

Important: Magicicadas won’t emerge everywhere you see on the map. They might not exist in your town or neighborhood (particularly if there’s lots of new construction, which removes trees). The key to seeing them if they don’t emerge in your neighborhood is communication: networking with friends and family, checking the interactive maps on magicicada.org, checking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

States:

  1. mid to northern Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. northern Georgia
  4. mid to southern Illinois
  5. south-western Indiana
  6. west Kentucky
  7. northern Louisiana
  8. Missouri
  9. mid to northern Mississippi
  10. North Carolina
  11. western Oklahoma
  12. north-west South Carolina
  13. Tennessee
  14. random places in Virginia

Why?

Why do Magicadas wait 13 years and why do they emerge in such large numbers? There are many theories why, but the primary reason could be that they’re trying to beat the predators. Since they emerge only once every 13 years, no species can anticipate their emergence (except man), and emerging in large numbers ensures that at least some of them will survive to reproduce.

Who?

People have many reactions to Magicicada including: fear, disgust, panic, mild curiosity, fascination, and fanaticism. We hope that YOU will find them fascinating, and get involved by helping to map the emergence, upload your cicada photos and videos to sites like YouTube and Flickr, and participate in discussions on Twitter and discussion forums.

More information:

January 11, 2011

Mecklenburg County Brood XIX Magicicada Monitoring Project

Filed under: Brood XIX,Magicicada — Dan @ 9:29 pm

Brood XIX 13 year cicadas will be emerging this year in the USA, and folks are already making plans for the emergence.

Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator for the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Conservation Science Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, is organizing a “Cicada Watch” / Brood XIX Magicicada Monitoring Project. Read an article about Cicada Watch in the Charlotte Observer: Cicadas return – and you can make it count.

If you live in the Mechlenburg County area, and are interested in participating in Cicada Watch, here is more information:

Cicada Watch
Mecklenburg County Brood XIX Magicicada Monitoring Project

Brood XIX, a 13-year brood (or year-class) of periodical cicadas, is set to emerge in 2011. Known as the “Great Southern Brood”, this emergence of cicadas is expected to appear in portions of 15 states. In North Carolina, the cicadas should emerge across much of the piedmont region, including the greater Charlotte
area.

Periodical cicadas appear to be declining in parts of their range throughout the eastern United States, and some broods are now thought to be extinct. Impacts such as development, habitat changes and climatological factors may be contributing to these declines.

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s Division of Nature Preserves and Natural Resources will be collecting data on the emergence of Brood XIX in Mecklenburg County in the Spring of 2011. The help of volunteers and local residents is needed to obtain baseline data on emergence locations and areas of activity within the county. Some of these areas will be monitored throughout the emergence period and can be re-visited in future emergence years to determine whether or not local populations are stable. Data collected during this Cicada Watch will help us to understand the status and future of Brood XIX in Mecklenburg
County.

Volunteers Needed!

Cicada Watch volunteers can assist in any of the following activities:

1. Observe their property and neighborhood for periodical cicada activity and report findings to staff
2. Survey areas of the county where emergences may be expected
3. Collect routine monitoring data from active locations throughout the emergence period
4. Follow up on leads of periodical cicada activity, such as reports of exit holes, emerging nymphs, shed skins, or active adults

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, please contact :
Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator
Phone #: 704-432-1390 E-mail: lenny.lampel@mecklenburgcountync.gov

May 30, 2010

Brood III or Brood XIX

Filed under: Brood III,Brood XIX — Dan @ 9:10 am

Here’s the old maps (from C.L. Marlatt’s The Periodical Cicada from 1907) for Brood III or Brood XIX. Brood III is a 17-year Magicicada due to emerge in 2014, and Brood XIX is a 13-year Magicicada due to emerge in 2011. It looks like stragglers (periodical cicadas emerging years in advance of when they’re supposed to emerge) in Iowa would be Brood III, and those emerging in Missouri are probably Brood XIX, and possibly Brood III in the north of Missouri. If you find some, take photos, video of their song, etc.

Over the past 100+ years, these maps have been updated, and you can find the updated maps on sites like magicicada.org or Cicada Central.

Brood III

Brood XIX

May 11, 2010

Magicicada tredecassini audio from Charlotte, North Carolina

Filed under: Brood XIX,Magicicada,Periodical,Sounds,Video — Tags: — Dan @ 4:36 pm

Update: Brood XIX straggler photos by Lenny Lampel.

Here’s a treat. Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Conservation Science Office in Charlotte, NC, uploaded these videos that feature the calls of Magicicada tredecassini to YouTube.

Magicicada tredecassini chorus:

A small chorus of one year early Magicicada tredecassini stragglers of Brood XIX calling from the Lower McAlpine Greenway in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 10, 2010.

Magicicada tredecassini calls :

One year early Magicicada tredecassini stragglers of Brood XIX calling from the Lower McAlpine Greenway in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 10, 2010.

May 8, 2010

Magicicada Sighting in Nashville

Filed under: Brood XIX,Magicicada — Dan @ 9:53 am

Randal reported on our message board that Magicicada Brood XIX stragglers are emerging in Nashville.

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