Cicada Mania

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

April 19, 2014

The World Cup Cicada, Chremistica ribhoi

Filed under: Chremistica,India,Sudhanya Hajong — Tags: — by @ 8:32 am

cicada soccer

Chremistica ribhoi Hajong and Yaakop 2013 is a cicada that lives in the Ri-Boi district of India. C. ribhoi is known as the World Cup cicada because it emerges every four years in synch with the World Cup association football (soccer) tournament.

C. ribhoi is known locally as Niangtasar. It only lives in a very small area: Saiden village (N 25’51’37.1’’; E 091’51’16.3”) and Lailad (N 25’55’09.7” E 091’46’25.0”) situated on the northern part of the state of Meghalaya. The cicada can be identified by the presence of two white spots on either side of the anterior abdominal segment.

Researcher Sudhanya Hajong is gearing up to study these cicadas, since this is the year they will emerge. Ri-Boi area locals use these cicadas as a food source and fish bait. These cicadas are threatened by deforestation (cutting down forests for agricultural purposes). Sudhanya plans to educate locals about conserving them and protecting their habitat.

Most of the facts in the post come from the following document: Hajong, S.R. 2013. Mass emergence of a cicada (homoptera: cicadidae) and its capture methods and consumption by villagers in ri-bhoi district of Meghalaya. Department of Zoology, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong – 793 022, Meghalaya, India.

Thanks to Chris Simon of The Simon Lab at UCONN for providing the information that made this post possible.

Note: the image in this article is not an accurate depiction of C. ribhoi. :)


March 18, 2014

Time to start looking for signs of cicadas in Louisiana

Filed under: Brood XXII,Magicicada,Video — by @ 6:54 pm

It’s too early for Brood XXII cicadas to emerge in Louisiana and Mississippi, but it might be warm enough for them to start moving around underground. It will be warm enough in the coming weeks for them to start digging tunnels to the surface and building cicada “chimneys” above their holes.

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

Cicadas typically won’t emerge until the soil 8 inches below the ground reaches 65ºF, and just one day at that temperature might not be enough. Once the above ground temps hit the 80s, especially after a nice rain, the emergence should get going.

Report cicada sightings to Magicicada.org.

January 21, 2014

The Hammerhead Cicada – A new discovery!

Filed under: Cicadmalleus,Michel Boulard — by @ 4:15 pm

It looks like a new sub-tribe, genus and species of cicada has been identified by Michel Boulard and Stéphane Puissant. Cicadmalleus micheli. The cicada has a head that looks like the head of a hammerhead shark! Cicadmalleus means “cicada hammer”, and micheli refers to Bruno Michel who found the cicada (thanks David Emery).

I heard the cicada was discovered in Thailand, which makes sense because that is where Michael Boulard does most of his research.

January 19, 2014

A visual comparison of some cicadas of Southeast Asia

This is a photo of one of my displays at home. Some of the specimens aren’t in the best shape, but it is good enough to distinguish the species.

Angamiana floridula, Becquartina electa, Gaeana cheni, Gaeana festiva, Platypleura mira, Tacua speciosa, Tosena albata, Tosena melanoptera, Tosena paviei, and Trengganua sibylla are featured in the image.

Cicadas of South East Asia

Click the image for a larger image.

December 24, 2013

Photos of Cicadas from Australia

Kees Green sent us many photos of cicadas taken in Australia.

Here is a sample:

A Green Grocer (Cyclochila australasiae) nymph:

Green Grocer Cyclochila australasiae  nymph by Kees Green

An unidentified Pauropsalta sp.:

Pauropsalta sp by Kees Green 02

A Thopha sessilibia:

Thopha sessilibia by Kees Green 02

See all of Kees’ photos, including a Tamasa tristigma and an aggregation of Macrotristria goding.

November 23, 2013

Timelapse video of a Redeye Cicada Molting

Filed under: Australia,Psaltoda,Redeye Cicada,Video — by @ 5:25 pm

This video taken by Samantha Madell in NSW Australia is a time lapse video of of a Redeye Cicada (Psaltoda moerens) molting.

November 7, 2013

New Species of Tibicen: Tibicen neomexicensis

Filed under: Tibicen — by @ 6:19 am

A new species of Tibicen cicada, Tibicen neomexicensis, has been described by Brian J. Stucky.

Read more about Morphology, bioacoustics, and ecology of Tibicen neomexicensis sp. n., a new species of cicada from the Sacramento Mountains in New Mexico, U.S.A. (Hemiptera, Cicadidae, Tibicen).

Thanks to David Marshall for the tip.

October 15, 2013

Zammara with a collar like Dracula!

Filed under: Zammara — by @ 7:20 pm

Just in time for Halloween… the Zammara a genus of cicadas with a collar like Dracula!

Andreas Kay has been posting photos of the insects of Ecuador on Flickr for around a year now. He’s posted many excellent cicada photos, particularly, photos of Zammara.They are among the most visually interesting cicadas.

Cicada, Zammara tympanum?

Emerald Cicada, Zammara smaragdina:

Emerald Cicada, Zammara smaragdina

Emerald Cicada pair, Zammara smaragdina

October 12, 2013

A third way cicadas make sounds

Cicadas are well known for the songs male cicadas make with their their tymbals, which are drum-like organs found in their abdomens.

Some female cicadas will also flick their wings to get the males attention. Watch this video where a male Magicicada is convinced that the snapping of fingers is a wing flick. Note: Magicicada males will also flick their wings once they become infected with the Massospora cicadina fungus (which removes their sex organs).

There is a third way some cicadas can make sounds. This method of creating a sound is unique to the Australian species Cyclochila australasiae (aka the Green Grocer and Masked Devil). These cicadas have stridulatory ridges on their pronotal collars (the collar shaped structure at the back of their head), and a stridulatory scraper on their fore wing.

From M. S. MOULDS, 2012, A review of the genera of Australian cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea). Magnolia Press Auckland, New Zealand. p84:

Cyclochila is unique among the Cicadoidea in possessing a stridulatory file on the underside of the lateral angles of the pronotal collar that interacts with a scraper on the fore wing base (Fig. 132). Rubbed together these produce low audible sound in hand-held specimens (K. Hill, pers. comm.), the purpose of which is for sexual com- munication at close quarters (J. Kentwell and B. Fryz, pers. comm.)

Here is a photo of these structures”

Cyclochila australasiae stridulatory structures

The location of these structures is right about where the blue pin is in this photo:
Collar

Update:

Tim McNary of the Bibliography of the Cicadoidea website, let us know that Clidophleps cicadas are also able to create should using a stridulatory structure. Clidophleps is a genus of cicada that can be found in California, Nevada, Arizona, and I assume adjacent parts of Mexico. Clidophleps differs from Cyclochila in that the stridulatory structure is on its mesonotum, and not its pronotal collar.

Photo courtesy of Tim McNary:
stridatory file

October 10, 2013

Masked Devil aka Cyclochila australasiae

Filed under: Australia,Cyclochila australasiae — by @ 4:37 am

Lozang Yönten posted this image of a Masked Devil aka Cyclochila australasiae on our Facebook page. The photo was taken in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

Masked Devil

These cicadas are currently out and singing in the New South Wales area.

The green form of this cicada is called a Green Grocer, the yellow form is called a Yellow Monday, and the Blue Form is called the Blue Moon. The Cyclochila australasiae might have more color variations than even the Gaeana festiva of Southeast Asia.

More info about Cyclochila australasiae from L.W. Popple’s website.

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