Cicada Mania

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

June 8, 2013

Five days of Cicada Mania

Two Wednesdays ago, May 29th, my friends Roy and Michelle Troutman arrived in New Jersey. Roy has been a cicada enthusiast since he was a child growing up in Ohio. Roy has contributed many photos and videos to cicadamania.com over the years. We met in Chicago for Brood XIII in 2007, and I visited his home in Ohio for Brood XIV in 2008. This year it was my turn to return the favor for Brood II, and Roy and Michelle drove out to New Jersey.

Wednesday night we drove up to Metuchen, New Jersey to check out the emergence there. We met up with Elias Bonaros, at my Mother’s home. This location was fantastic for cicadas back in 1996, so it was worth trying again in 2013. My Mother’s yard was loaded with hundreds of cicada nymphs, teneral cicadas and adults.

Thursday, May 30th, was a beach day for Michelle, and a cicada day for Roy and I. Roy and I drove to Middlesex county to meet up with Elias. Roy and I stopped at Roosevelt Park along the way. The groves of trees near the Plays in the Park building were filled with chorusing M. septendecim. The base of one tree was absolutely covered with discarded cicada exuvia (shells).

A mass of exuvia and corpses by Roy Troutman

He headed to the Thomas Edison Monument in Edison NJ. There we met Elias. At the monument, sounds of construction competed with cicada choruses, but it was easy to hear both M. septendecim and M. cassini. The burdock filled field across from the monument, was filled with teneral Magiciada.

We hit Merrill Park in Colonia next. The park had many examples of both M. cassini and M. septendecim. The highlights were the many M. septendecim with caramel colored eyes, a small pine with close to 100 teneral adults clinging to its base, and loud, synchronized M. cassini choruses.

Adult Magicicada on a pine tree by Roy Troutman

Next we headed to a very loud M. cassini chorusing center on Guernsey Lane in Colonia. There Elias and Roy experimented with making males call and change orientation by snapping their fingers (imitating a females wing snaps). This location is where the how loud (in decibels) do periodical cicadas get video came from.

Elias used his sharp ears to locate some M. septendecula in Iselin at the corner of Wood and Willow.

We stopped by Revere Blvd in Edison, which was a hot spot 17 years ago, not much luck in 2013, but the best find was a pseudo scorpion that has hitched a ride on a cicada.

Friday, May 31st, Roy, Michelle and I drove out to Staten Island, to the Staten Island Museum. Me met Ed Johnson, and enjoyed their fantastic cicada exhibit, including the cicada timeline which features me. The Staten Island Museum has the largest collection of cicada specimens in the U.S.A., including many of the extinct Tibicen bermudiana.

Staten Island Museum 17 Year Cicada Exhibit
Just one corner of the Staten Island Museum 17 year cicada exhibit.

We took the ferry to Manhattan for a visit to the American Museum of Natural History to see an exhibit that was using some of Roy’s cicada video. Coincidentally we exited the C line Subway that had a mosaic of a cicada.

Roy Troutman and Elias Bonaros at the Periodical Cicada display at the American Museum of Natural History by Michelle Troutman
Elias and Roy examining a periodical cicada display at the AMNH.

Roy Troutman and Elias Bonaros near cicada mosiac in subway
Roy and Elias under the subway cicada mosaic.

Then it was back to the Staten Island Museum for an event called The Joy of Six Legged Sex which was about insect mating behavior, specifically cicadas. John Cooley of Magicicada.org and Ed Johnson of the Staten Island Museum spoke. David Rothenberg was also in attendance.

The Joy of Six Legged Sex event at the Staten Island Museum
A sign for the event at the Staten Island Museum.

John Cooley and Ed Johnson speaking at the Staten Island Museum Six Legged Sex event by Roy Troutman
John Cooley (left) and Ed Johnson (right).

Saturday, June 1st, Roy and Michelle left for Ohio. Later that day I met up with John Cooley, Jin Yoshimura, David Rothenberg, the New York Times, and friends. Read about that adventure: David Rothenberg, John Cooley and the New York Times.

Sunday, June 2nd, back to Staten Island to meet Chris Simon and Elias. More about that adventure in these posts:

June 6, 2013

How loud (in decibels) do periodical cicadas get?

Last Thursday Roy Troutman, Elias Bonaros and I traveled around central New Jersey, looking for cicadas. They were not hard to find. Elias found a location in Colonia that had a particularly loud Magicicada cassini chorusing center. Using my camera and Extech 407730 40-to-130-Decibel Digital Sound Level Meter, I recorded the calls of these cicadas and how loud they can get. The quality of the video isn’t the best because it’s a camera, not a video camera, but it is good enough.

Magicicada cassini chorusing center peaking at 85db (on Vimeo):

Magicicada cassini chorusing center peaking at 85db from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Elias and Roy used finger snaps, mimicking the wing snaps of female cicadas, to trick the males into singing:

Magicicada cassini responding to fingersnaps (on Vimeo):

Magicicada cassini responding to fingersnaps from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

We placed the M. cassini directly on the microphone and got calls as high as 109 decibels, in this video:

Magicicada cassini calling at 109db in Colonia NJ from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

There were a few M. septendecim in the area as well. A Magicicada septendecim goes from a Court II to Court III call as soon as it crawls on the decibel meter, in this video.

Magicicada septendecim court 3 from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

The cicada choruses in Central New Jersey have no doubt gotten louder since last week. Hopefully on Sunday I’ll get back out to Central Jersey or Staten Island and make some recordings.

May 30, 2013

Female Magicicada septendecula

Filed under: Brood II,Elias Bonaros,Magicicada,Video — by @ 9:45 pm

Here’s a video of a female Magicicada septendecula found in Woodbridge Township, NJ (near Metro Park).

Here is a still photo:


Female Magicicada septendecula found in Woodbridge Township NJ

This is a male Magicicada septendecula:


Male Magicicada septendecula found in Woodbridge Township NJ

July 28, 2010

Tibicen auletes aka Northern Dusk-singing Cicada

Filed under: Elias Bonaros,Tibicen — by @ 9:01 pm

New Tibicen auletes photos from Elias Bonaros.

The Tibicen auletes aka Northern Dusk-singing Cicada is the largest of the Tibicen cicadas in the U.S.A.

Tibicen auletes

July 1, 2010

Okanagana rimosa nymph skins

Filed under: Elias Bonaros,Okanagana,Proto-periodical — by @ 10:20 pm

The Okanagana rimosa, also known as Say’s Cicada, is a cicada that can be found in the USA in northern states east of the Rockies, like New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and all New England states. Say’s cicada can also be found in the Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba provinces of Canada.

Say’s Cicada is black and orange; orange legs, orange markings on its mesonotum, and orange bands around most segments of its body. Here’s a photo of an adult:

O. rimosa

A few weeks ago Elias Bonaros sent us some photos of the exuvia (shed skins) of Okanagana rimosa nymphs that he found while searching for cicadas in Western Massachusetts with Gerry from Massachusetts Cicadas. It’s interesting that the black bands that appear around the segments of the nymph’s body are where we see orange bands in the adult form.

skin

Say’s cicada has a fantastic call that needs to be heard to be appreciated. Visit the Songs of Insects website to hear the call of a Okanagana rimosa.

An interesting note about the Okanagana rimosa, it has been showed to have a 9 year life cycle, and appears to be protoperiodical:

“Soper et al (112) showed experimentally that Okanagana rimosa had a life
cycle of 9 years, and that in the field during a 9-year period (1962 to
1970) it was extremely abundant in 4 years and scarce or absent in the
other 5. Heath (32) also studied cicadas of the genus Okanagana and
found several species that appear to be protoperiodical.”

Source.

March 29, 2010

New Magicicada nymph photos

Filed under: Elias Bonaros,Magicicada — by @ 5:05 am

Elias went digging for Magicicada nymphs on 3/21. Here’s a gallery of the nymphs he found.

nymph

March 7, 2010

10 new Tibicen photos from Elias Bonaros

Don’t try this:

T. tibicen and Cicada Killer Wasp

Elias was kind enough to send us 10 Tibicen photos he took in 2009. Photos include Tibicen tibicen (chloromera), Tibicen lyricen, Tibicen tibicen & Cicada Killer Wasp on Elias’ fingers, Tibicen canicularis and Tibicen linnei.

You can view the gallery page for all, or visit the individual photos:

Female Tibicen tibicen eclosing.

Female Tibicen tibicen eclosing.

T. lyricen male in the teneral phase.

Tibicen tibicen female with emerald green eyes.

Cicada Killer Wasp and Tibicen tibicen on Elias’ finger.

Cicada Killer Wasp and Tibicen tibicen on Elias’ fingers.

Tibicen canicularis eclosing.

Tibicen canicularis eclosing.

T. canicualris eclosing in Lakewood NJ.

T. linnei teneral and its exuvia.

August 26, 2009

Tibicen auletes found by Elias Bonaros in New Jersey

Filed under: Elias Bonaros,Tibicen — by @ 9:02 pm

You might know Elias from his posts on the Message Board. Monday, after a lot of searching, he found a female Tibicen auletes in Lakewood New Jersey.

I was down in Lakewood NJ yesterday and after finding 5 more additional huge exuvia, the unthinkable happened. a female T. auletes flew to a light, hit the pole after circling many times and slid down to the ground. I easily captured her on the ground. Wanted to share this picture. look how beautiful she is with all that pruinosity!

Tibicen auletes are the largest of the North American Tibicen species. Their bodies a a little under 2″ long. Auletes are also know as the Sissor-Grinder, Northern Dusk-singing Cicada, or Great Dusk-calling Cicada. Read more at Bug Guide. The Songs of Insects site has sound files so you can listen and hear if you have auletes in your yard too.

Here’s one of Elias’ photos. Awesome, no? I’ll post another soon.

eliasauletes

June 19, 2007

More Blue Eyed Cicada Contest Winners

Filed under: Brood XIII,Elias Bonaros,Eye Color,Magicicada — by @ 4:21 pm

This entry was submitted by Elias Bonaros and Barbara Rzeszutek, taken in Deerfield, IL: Click the image for a larger version — do it!

blue eyed cicadas

This entry was submitted by Chris Owen, taken at Lemon Lake County Park in Cedar lake, IN:

blue eyed cicadas

Here’s a gallery of white and blue eyed cicadas.