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July 9, 2017

Cicadas of Japan

Tibicen japonicus
Photo: Auritibicen japonicus by Osamu Hikino.

Cicada season in Japan, like North America, seems to be best from June to September, peaking in August. Different cicada species emerge at different times of the year, but the majority of them are active during the summer.

Google Trends data for cicada searches in Japan backs that up:

The best website for the cicadas of Japan that I’ve come across is Cicadae in Japan which is run by Y. Saisho who co-wrote the amazing The Cicadidae of Japan book & CD.

I don’t have too many photos of cicadas from Japan on this site, but here are some of the more well known (Genus names may have changed recently):

Auritibicen flammatus (formerly Tibicen flammatus, Lyristes flammatus)

Auritibicen  flammatus (formerly Tibicen flammatus, Lyristes flammatus)
Photo by Osamu Hikino.

Auritibicen japonicus (formerly Tibicen japonicus, Lyristes japonicus)

Male Auritibicen japonicus (formerly Tibicen japonicus, Lyristes japonicus)
Photo by Osamu Hikino.

Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata

Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata
Photo by Osamu Hikino.

More:

Cicadas are very popular in Japan, and they find their way into pop culture (Anime, live action kids shows like Ultraman). This photo features a cicada toy, when spun, makes a sound, some cicada clicker toys, a plush Oncotympana, a Seminingen (bad guy from Ultraman), and Yotsuba a green-haired girl who has caught a cicada (Lyristes japonicus perhaps):

cicada related pop culture items from Japan

Cicada News & Photos

The best place, I’ve found, to keep track of which cicadas are out in Japan is Twitter. You can search Twitter yourself for セミ and you’ll find many results — most Tweets are references to pop culture, but occasional photos and actual information about actual cicadas.

These are many of the Twitter feeds I follow. You don’t need to belong to Twitter to view their feeds, but it’s more fun if you join.

Bonus:

Here’s a video of a Yezoterpnosia nigricosta taken by Elias Bonaros:

November 24, 2015

Cicada Fun with Google Trends

Filed under: Australia,Brood X,Japan,Periodical,United States — Dan @ 7:59 pm

This article was inspired by Serious Fun with Google Trends by Simon Leather.

Google Trends is a Google website that lets you see trends in the search terms over time. When people search for “cicada” it usually means cicadas have emerged in their area at the time they search.

The following graph shows when people searched for “cicada” over the past 10 years in the United States. The largest spike, in May of 2004, coincided with the emergence of Brood X.

2004-2015

You might think that periodical cicada emergences cause the largest spikes, but not always — and not just because periodical cicadas don’t emerge every year.

2004: Cicada searches spiked May 16-22, which was Brood X – Magicicadas.
2005: Jul 31-Aug 6 spike which was for Neotibicen Cicadas. No periodical cicadas.
2006: Aug 13-19, Neotibicen Cicadas. No periodical cicadas.
2007: May 20-26, Brood XIII – Magicicadas.
2008: Brood XIV Magicicadas emerged (spike Jun 8-14), but the largest spike was Jul 29-Aug 2, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2009: Aug 16-22, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2010: Aug 8-14, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2011: May 29-Jun 4, Brood XIX – Magicicadas.
2012: Jul 29-Aug 4, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2013: May 5-11, Brood II – Magicicadas.
2014: Brood XXII – Magicicadas had a relatively small spike May 25-31, compared with Aug 24-30 for Neotibicen Cicadas (late season due to cool weather). There was also a teeny bit of a spike around January of 2014 due to the “cicada 3301” meme/game.
2015: Brood XXIII & IV Magicicadas emerged (spike around Jun 7-13), but the largest spike was around Aug 9-15 for Neotibicen Cicadas.

Which cities had the most cicada searches over the past 10 years? Cincinnati, Omaha, Nashville, Baltimore, Washington, Chicago, Alexandria, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Charlotte. Time for me to move to Cincinnati!

How about Australia? Cicada searches in Australia spike in December. The largest spike was in December of 2013, which was indeed a big year for cicada emergences in Australia.

The variation year after year suggests that there is a degree of periodicity to Australian cicadas. There is always a spike around December, but some years see bigger spikes than others. Just speculation (partially because the 2004 & 2005 data seems absent) but perhaps there is a 9 or 11 year proto-periocity happening.

In terms of cities, Sydney has had the most cicada searches:

How about Japan?! August is the best month for cicadas (セミ) in Japan.

Yokohama, Chiba & Saitama generates the most cicada searches:

March 4, 2015

New Version of The Cicadidae of Japan

Filed under: Books,Japan — Dan @ 6:08 am

A new version of the Cicadidae of Japan is out. This is not a reprint. It adds new photos and the accompanying CD features new audio recordings.

The book was authored by Dr. M. Haysashi and Dr. Yasumasa Saisho (of the incredible Cicadidae of Japan website).

Cicadidae of Japan

It is available on Amazon in Japan.

July 10, 2014

A new cicada keychain toy from Japan

Filed under: Japan,Pop Culture — Dan @ 4:43 am

There is a new cicada keychain toy from Japan. It comes in five colors, and produces its sound using a wind up mechanism. Buy it here.

March 25, 2014

Some cicada books from Japan

Filed under: Books,Japan — Dan @ 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.

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