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 4, 2013

David Rothenberg, John Cooley and the New York Times

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

April 10, 2013

An updated Brood II map and more

Filed under: Brood II,John Cooley,Magicicada,Periodical — by @ 5:15 pm

John Cooley of Magicicada.org kindly provided us with an updated version of the Brood II map. The old map was circa 1907. Click the image below for a BIG version:

brood deux sm

If you’re very interested in recording data for the Brood II emergence, John posted a handy PDF and Excel sheet on the Entomology-Cicadidae Yahoo Group.

May 17, 2012

The 2012 Tennessee emergence

Filed under: Brood I,John Cooley,Magicicada,Periodical — by @ 12:09 pm

John Cooley of Magicicada.org (don’t forget to report your sightings) wrote to tell us about the large emergence of periodical cicadas in Tennessee. See the picture below taken by John in Warriors’ Path State Park, TN.

The mystery is defining which brood these cicadas belong to. Are they brood XIV stragglers; are they an undocumented pocket of Brood I cicadas; or are they cicadas that straggled long ago, but finally established a healthy population in synch with Brood I? For now, it’s a puzzle.


tennessee2012

See John’s map on Magicicada.org that documents the 2012 Tennessee cicadas.

Update: A similar emergence occurred in 1995 (17 years ago) in the Warriors’ Path State Park, TN area. This could be an undocumented area of Brood I cicadas.