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June 27, 2015

Can you see letters like W & P on a cicada’s wings?

Filed under: FAQs,Pop Culture — Dan @ 9:45 pm

If you use your imagination, you can see the shapes of letters on the wings of some cicadas.

W in cicada wing

There is an “urban legend” that W means there will be a War, and P means there will be Peace.

Aside from letters, some people say they see a lighting bolt! ⚡️

March 21, 2015

Better IDs for E.A. Seguy Cicada Illustrations

Filed under: Identify,Pop Culture — Dan @ 8:30 am

The NCSU Libraries Rare and Unique Digital Collections website recently reminded the us of artist Eugene Alain (E.A.) Seguy’s insect illustrations. Seguy created these illustrations in the 1920’s, and as you might imagine, some of the cicada names cited in the notes for these illustrations have changed. Names typically change when cicadas are reclassified due to discoveries about their biology, or when we realize that someone else had actually named them earlier than the namer currently given credit.

Here are the two illustrations, the accompanying identification, and corrected identifications.

Illustration:

EA Seguy Cicada Art

Accompanying identification:

1. Tacua speciosa. Indes; 2. Polyneura ducalis. Indes Or.; 3. Cicada saccata. Australie; 4. Cicada fascialis. Siam; 5. Tozena melanoptera. Indes Or.

Corrected or expanded identification:

  1. Tacua speciosa. This is correct, although there are two subspecies of T. speciosa, I’m going to guess it is Tacua speciosa speciosa (Illiger, 1800) based on the location.
  2. Polyneura ducalis. This is correct. Polyneura ducalis Westwood, 1840.
  3. Cicada saccata. This is now: Thopha saccata (Fabricius, 1803).
  4. Cicada fascialis. This is now: Cryptotympana facialis facialis (Walker, 1858). Update: David Emery says this might be a Cryptotympana acuta (Signoret, 1849).
  5. Tozena melanoptera. Close enough. Tosena melanoptera melanoptera (White, 1846). There are a few unnamed subspecies.

Illustration:

EA Seguy Cicada Art

Accompanying identification:

1. Goeana festiva. Indes; 2. Zammara tympanum. Amérique du Sud; 3. Goeana ochracea. Indes; 4. Phenax variegata. Brésil; 5. Hemisciera maculipennis. Amazone

Corrected or expanded identification:

  1. Goeana festiva is actually Callogaeana festiva festiva (Fabricius, 1803).
  2. Zammara tympanum. This is correct. Zammara tympanum (Fabricius, 1803).
  3. Goeana ochracea is way off. It is a Tailanga binghami Distant, 1890.
  4. Phenax variegata is not a cicada, is it a fulgoroid planthopper, but the id is correct.
  5. Hemisciera maculipennis is correct. Hemisciera maculipennis (de Laporte, 1832) aka the “Stop and Go” cicada, because its colors resemble the colors of a stop light.

December 24, 2014

Cicada Christmas Lights

Filed under: Christmas,Cicada Arts,Pop Culture,Video — Dan @ 1:58 am

I made cicada Christmas lights using some LED USB Christmas lights, and some plastic cicada whistles from Australia. The song of cicadas heralds the Christmas season in many countries in the souther hemisphere like Australia.

CicadaMania Cicada Christmas Lights from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Cicada Christmas Lights

Bonus Christmas Cicada stuff:

There is a cicada nicknamed the Kobonga Christmas Clanger in Australia (thx David Marshall and Kathy Hill ):

How about a cicada Christmas Wreath?

wreath_crop

Or a Cicada Christmas Card from Sam Orr:

Cicada Christmas card

cicada Christmas

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.

April 15, 2014

Cicada Beer and Brood XXII

Filed under: Brood XXII,Pop Culture — Dan @ 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.

January 12, 2014

Cicada 3301 Logo

Filed under: Pop Culture — Dan @ 11:33 am

A few weeks ago someone asked me what species of cicada the Cicada 3301 logo represented. At the time I did not know what Cicada 3301 was. Later on I learned that Cicada 3301 is some kind of international organization that uses puzzles to recruit people who are really good at figuring out puzzles … or something like that. This sounds very interesting, and it might be something I would be into if I had more free time.

Here is the 3301 logo (which is presumably copyrighted by the Cicada 3301 organization):

cicada 3301

The logo appears to be a photo of a cicada processed with an emboss filter. (I’ve seen other versions of the logo, which look like the embossed logo run through an ASCII filter that makes it look like the green alphanums on a black background like the Matrix or the Homebrew setting for Terminal windows on the Mac.)

The interesting thing about the 3301 logo is that the cicada appears to be a collage. The veins of the right hind wing are different than the left hind wing. Either the wing was taken from a different species, or the lines that appear in the anal lobe were cloned/copied to cover the entire hind wing.

cicada wings

Interesting. When I have more time I’ll try to ID the actually cicada — or at least the primary species the image was made from.

I wonder what 3301 stands for? Entomologists Enjoy Only Insects?

December 3, 2013

Cicada – The Insect Methuselah

Filed under: Film,Periodical — Dan @ 10:19 pm

I picked up a film on 16mm (what they showed to kids in school before VHS tapes were popular) called Cicada – The Insect Methuselah. I would love to see it, but I don’t have a 16mm projector (who does?) The film is presumably about 17/13 Year cicadas. I held the film up to a light, and it indeed features the Magicicada species.

The film was produced by the Moody Institute of Science in 1955, and I assume they still hold the copyright to the film. It is 12 minutes in length.

Update: Roy Troutman contacted us to let us know that this video footage can be found in another video: The Mystery of The Three Clocks, which you can watch here:

The most impressive thing about the video is the anatomical model of the cicada. I wish I had one (but I might have to go back to the 50’s to get one).

October 11, 2013

Laura Imbruglia’s Cicada Tattoo

Filed under: Australia,Music,Tattoos — Dan @ 10:45 pm

Australian singer/songwriter Laura Imbruglia sent us this photo of her cicada tattoo. Of course, we love it! And we love her music too.

Laura Imbruglia's Cicada Tattoo

October 3, 2013

Tibicen Cicada Tattoo

Filed under: Tattoos — Dan @ 1:13 pm

Amy Shaw shared a photo of her new photo-realistic cicada tattoo.

Cicada Tattoo

The tattoo artist is Dan Henk.

June 4, 2013

David Rothenberg, John Cooley and the New York Times

Filed under: Books,Brood II,David Rothenberg,John Cooley,Music — Dan @ 8:52 pm

It isn’t often that cicada celebrities show up on your Mother’s lawn, but when you have a healthy supply of easily catchable singing M. septendecim, and a cicada website, these things happen.

Last Saturday I met up with cicada researcher John Cooley, Japanese cicada researcher Jim Yoshimura, and musician and professor David Rothenberg at Roosevelt Park in Edison NJ. They were looking for male cicadas to perform with David at a World Science Festival event in the Bronx later that night. New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell was also there to interview David and John, and artist Asher Jay was there to lend David support.

The cicadas in the park weren’t performing well enough, so I directed them to my Mom’s place in Metuchen.

The Metuchen location yielded many screaming cicadas. David collaborated with the cicadas on the spot with his Ani-Moog iPad app, and a clarinet. John Cooley dropped some cicada science for Stephen Farrell’s video camera as well. My Mom served refreshments. Once enough cicadas were collected, the cicada celebrities departed — before leaving David left my Mom an autographed book and CD. Very cool!

Here is the result of the visit: a video article on the New York Times website:


John Cooley being interviewed by the New York Times in Metuchen with David Rothenberg in the foreground

A beautiful day for enjoying the song of cicadas in the suburbs of New Jersey.

More from David Rothenberg:

David Rothenberg plays Animoog on iPad live with cicadas:

More about David Rothenberg:

Man composes music with cicadas (news story with a video).

Cicada Mania: A 17-Year Benchmark on PBS (BTW, nice name for a TV PBS):

More from John Cooley:

BBC’s The Code:

Here’s a photo of David Rothenberg’s book Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise:

Bug Music How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise by David Rothenberg

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