Cicada Mania

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

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April 20, 2014

Song of a Dundubia sp. cicada recorded by Santisuk Vibul

Filed under: Santisuk Vibul,Sounds,Thailand — by @ 8:50 am

Here’s the song of a cicada belonging to the Dundubia genus recorded by Santisuk Vibul in Bangkok, Thailand.

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.

November 8, 2012

Brazil Cicada Identification Challenge, Part 1

Filed under: Brazil,Identify,Sounds,Video — by @ 9:19 pm

Jairo of Cigarras do Brasil – Brazilian Cicadas asked for our help to identify some unknown cicada species from Brazil. The following videos feature cicada song belonging to the cicadas we want to identify. We are hoping folks in the cicada research community can help.

Note: All of these cicadas were photographed at Paraibuna, São Paulo. This town is close to the Paraíba Valley (Vale do Paraíba), and to São José dos Campos and Caçapava.

The first cicada Unknown Cicada Song from Brazil sounds like a siren from a science fiction movie:

The second video Unknown cicada song (along with Q. gigas) – Need identification features a Quesada gigas and another cicada. It’s the other cicada we need to identify.

As a reference, here is the song of the Quesada gigas:

View all cicada identification challenges.

September 2, 2010

Guess the cicada song

Filed under: Sounds — by @ 4:07 pm

Ricky B sent us this sound file of a cicada that he recorded in August of 2010 in Chicago:

Cicada MP3 (735 KB file size).

Can you guess which species it is?

Hint: try sites like Insect Singers and Songs of Insects sites for ideas.

August 11, 2010

Cool new cicada website: Insect Singers

Filed under: David Marshall,Kathy Hill,Sounds — by @ 3:29 pm


If you’re interested in North American cicada species, and you’re looking for sound files of those cicada’s songs, check out Insect Singers, a new website from cicada researchers David Marshall and Kathy Hill. It has dozens of audio samples. Awesome!

Insect Singers

May 11, 2010

Magicicada tredecassini audio from Charlotte, North Carolina

Filed under: Brood XIX,Magicicada,Periodical,Sounds,Video — Tags: — by @ 4:36 pm

Update: Brood XIX straggler photos by Lenny Lampel.

Here’s a treat. Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Conservation Science Office in Charlotte, NC, uploaded these videos that feature the calls of Magicicada tredecassini to YouTube.

Magicicada tredecassini chorus:

A small chorus of one year early Magicicada tredecassini stragglers of Brood XIX calling from the Lower McAlpine Greenway in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 10, 2010.

Magicicada tredecassini calls :

One year early Magicicada tredecassini stragglers of Brood XIX calling from the Lower McAlpine Greenway in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 10, 2010.

January 16, 2010

Diceroprocta viridifascia (aka Salt Marsh Cicada) calls

Filed under: Diceroprocta,Joe Green,Sounds,Video — Tags: — by @ 3:18 pm

Here’s some D. viridifascia calls recorded by Joe Green. You can hear them, but you won’t see them in the video.

They sound like Maracas to me.

D. viridifascia calling by Joe Green from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

D. viridifascia calling by Joe Green from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

There’s plenty of pictures of D. viridifascia on the Bug Guide website.

Tibicen resonans calls

Filed under: Joe Green,Sounds,Tibicen,Video — Tags: — by @ 3:10 pm

Joe Green recently provided Cicada Mania with videos of various cicadas calling, and I posted them on Vimeo.

Here’s a selection of T. resonans calls, including alarm calls:

T. resonans alarm call by Joe Green from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

T. resonans alarm call by Joe Green from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

T. resonans calling by Joe Green from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

T. resonans calling by Joe Green from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Joe’s Tibicen resonans were recorded in Florida. Here is a photo of a T. resonans also by Joe.

January 9, 2010

New Cicada Videos from Joe Green

Filed under: Joe Green,Neocicada,Sounds,Video — Tags: — by @ 10:58 am

Joe Green sent me a couple of CDs worth of North American cicadas calling and has graciously allowed us to use them for the site. The highlight of these videos is that they feature cicada calls.

I have to add descriptions, and about 50 more videos, but for now check out what’s uploaded so far.

Here’s a sample:

hieroglyphica 6-07 044 from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

July 23, 2008

The Songs of Insects

Filed under: Books,Broods,Cicada Anatomy,Sounds — by @ 10:02 pm

Lately we’ve received quite a few emails asking for audio samples of cicadas and katydids so folks can A) tell them apart, and B) tell what species they are. There’s plenty of sites on the web that feature cicada sounds; look for links tagged AUDIO on my cicada links page. Two particularly good sites for sound files Massachusetts Cicadas and Cicada Central.

In my search for good cicada and katydid sounds, many people recommended the book “The Songs of Insects” by Lang Elliott and Wil Hershberger. I ordered it immediately, and it arrived today. I am truly amazed by this book (and audio CD). The book profiles 75 North American singing insects including cicadas, katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers. Each profile features two excellent color photos of each insect, a map of where you can find them, a description, and the audio CD includes the insects song. The book is over 225 pages long, and a high quality paperback. If you or your kids are interested in signing insects, there’s no better book to buy. All my nieces and nephews are getting this book for Christmas.

The authors of the book have a webpage featuring the songs of the insects featured in the book. Note that the book is lacking in species found in the western U.S. — if you live east of the Rockies this book is awesome.

Listing for bugs is a fun thing to due in these hot summer months — buy this book before the summer ends.

5 Marvins 5 out of 5 Marvins.

The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott and Wil Hershberger

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