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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:

April 5, 2015

Time to start looking for signs of periodical cicadas

Filed under: Magicicada,Periodical,United States,Video — Dan @ 1:01 am

Depending on where you live, it might be warm enough for periodical cicadas to start moving around underground, or start digging tunnels to the surface and building cicada “chimneys” above their holes. Report cicada nymph or adult sightings to Magicicada.org so cicada researchers will know where they are.

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

Periodical cicadas typically won’t emerge until their body temperature reaches approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit (17-19.5 Celsius1). Their bodies are warmed by surrounding soil, or warm water from rain. A good rule of thumb is, if the soil 8 inches(20 cm) deep is 65°, the conditions are good that they might emerge.

1Heath, J.E. 1968. Thermal synchronization of emergence in periodical “17-year” cicadas (Ho- moptera. Cicadidae, Magicicada). American Midland Naturalist 80:440–448.

February 5, 2015

Visualizing all periodical cicada broods

Isn’t this a lovely picture (updated with colors sorted)?

All Broods

This image represents the combined range of all Magicicada periodical cicada broods, including the extinct Broods XI (last recorded in Connecticut) and XXI (last recorded in Florida).

To produce this image, I visited John Cooley’s Magicicada.org Cicada Geospacial Data Clearinghouse and downloaded the Shapefile of Magicicada broods. Then I used the computer program QGIS to change the Shapefile to a KML file, and then I opened the file in Google Earth. Credit goes to John for pulling the data together into the Shapefile.

I manually edited the KML file to try to give each Brood a different color.

An interesting area is Fredrick County, where 5 different broods seem to exist (or have existed) at once.
Fredrick County VA

Peach = Brood I
Green = Brood II
Purple = Brood V
Cyan = Brood X
Red = Brood XIV

It’s also interesting that four of the broods are separated by four years: X, XIV, I, V.

January 1, 2014

North American Cicada Websites

Filed under: Canada,Diceroprocta,Platypedia,Tibicen,United States,Websites — Dan @ 10:58 am

These sites contain information about both periodical and annual cicada species:

  1. Visit Tim McNary’s Bibliography of the Cicadoidea for many, many cicada papers and articles.
  2. Insect Singers. A new site from David Marshall and Kathy Hill featuring dozens of cicada song samples from North America.AUDIO PHOTOS
  3. Cicada
    Central
    (uconn.edu) One of the premier cicada sites. Many pictures, maps and information. Superb Magicicada information. PHOTOS MAPS
  4. Singing Insects of North America (ufl.edu) A large site featuring lists of North American species and audio files. PHOTOS AUDIO
  5. Bug Guide (bugguide.net) A massive site devoted insect identification, including an abundance of cicada photos and information. You’ll find Cacama, Diceroprocta, Magicicada (Periodical Cicadas), Neocicada, Neoplatypedia, Okanagana, Pacarina, Platypedia, Tibicen, Beameria and Okanagodes. PHOTOS
  6. Massachusetts Cicadas (www.masscic.org) tremendous cicada site packed with information
    and photos. Dozens of pages of information. Tibicens, Magicicada, Cicada Killer wasps. PHOTOS
  7. Gene Kritsky’s Web Site (msj.edu) Gene Kritsky is one of the worlds foremost cicada researchers. Book him for your next cicada event.
  8. Cicadas of the Mid-Atlantic (cicadas.info) Sighting information for Magicicada and annual cicadas in the Mid-Atlantic region. Yearly cicada reports are available. PHOTOS
  9. Cicada
    Hunt
    (saltthesandbox.org) Lots of information and photos. Cicada Hunt is a great site for families interested in cicada hunting and study. PHOTOS
  10. Checklist of Cicadas of Kansas (windsofkansas.com) A list of species you’ll find in Kansas, references, photos and illustrations. PHOTOS ILLUSTRATIONS
  11. Guide
    d’identification d’insectes du Quebec
    (lesinsectesduquebec.com) En Francais. Canicularis and Okanagana rimosa info and photos. PHOTOS AUDIO
  12. Professor Paul S. Boyer’s Cicada page (fdu.edu) Features Magicicada photos, information and audio files. ILLUSTRATIONS AUDIO
  13. Homoptera: cicadas, hoppers, & aphids (ltreadwell.ifas.ufl.edu) Information about the Homoptera order, photos and illustrations. PHOTOS ILLUSTRATIONS
  14. Insect Images (insectimages.org) About 150 North American cicada photos, including Magicicada, Tibicen, Okanagana, and Cacama. PHOTOS
  15. Gordon’s Cicada Page (earthlife.net) A photo and about 10 printed pages worth of solid cicada information. PHOTOS
  16. The University of Michigan Cicada Pages (ummz.lsa.umich.edu) The premier North America cicada site, until Cicada Central and Magicicada.org came around. Magicicada, Tibicen, Okanagana, Diceroprocta. PHOTOS AUDIO MAPS

Magicicada

  1. Magicicada.org is devoted to monitoring emergences and providing Magicicada information. AUDIO PHOTOS MAPS
  2. Periodical Cicada (biosurvey.ou.edu)
    A few photos. PHOTOS
  3. Periodical Cicada (umassgreeninfo.org) Many nice photos depicting the cicada’s life cycle, and good information. PHOTOS
  4. Periodical Cicadas (biology.clc.uc.edu) A fun and informative periodical cicada page with many excellent photos, recipes and 19 paragraphs of information. PHOTOS
  5. Return of the Cicada! Serious information mixed with humor and silly illustrations. (whyfiles.org) PHOTOS ILLUSTRATIONS
  6. Seventeen Year Cicada (seventeenyearcicada.com) Dozens of Magicicada photos and info. PHOTOS

Tibicen

  1. Annual Cicadas of Arkansas (angelfire.com) Photos and information about Tibicen robinsonianus (formerly T. robinsoniana), Tibicen dorsatus (formerly T. dorsata), Tibicen pruinosus (formerly T. pruinosa), Tibicen lyricen, Tibicen davisi, Tibicen auletes, & Tibicen aurifera. PHOTOS

Diceroprocta

  1. Apache cicada, Diceroprocta apache (fireflyforest.net) A photo and 3 paragraphs of information. PHOTOS
  2. This page features a summary of the Diceroprocta species

Platypedia

  1. Colorado State Univerity Extension cicada
    page
    (colostate.edu) Includes a picture of Putnam’s cicada and a paragraph of information within 3 pages of various information about cicadas. PHOTOS

August 9, 2013

August is a great time to look for Tibicen cicadas in North America

Filed under: Canada,Tibicen,United States,Video — Tags: — Dan @ 9:33 am

Now is a great time to look and listen for Tibicen cicadas in North America. Tibicen are the medium to large sized annual cicadas. Typically they are well camouflaged – with colors like black, white, green & brown.

During the day you can listen for them, of course, and spot them that way. Try Insect Singers for cicada songs. You can also look for their exuvia (skins), and if you’re lucky you can catch on on a low branch.

Last night I started looking around 10pm and found three Swamp Cicadas (T. tibicen tibicen) shedding their skins on trees around the yard. I also collected about 30 exuvia (skins). All in a quarter acre yard. Take a look at this video:

Swamp Cicada shedding its nymphal skin from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Swamp Cicada

Teneral Swamp Cicada

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