Cicada Mania

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

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.

October 5, 2013

13-Year Cicadas to Emerge in Ohio & Kentucky in 2014

We expect Magicicadas with a 13-Year life-cycle to emerge in Ohio & Kentucky, along the Ohio river, in 2014. This particular group of periodical cicadas last emerged in 2001 and 1988.

I know what you’re thinking: are these cicadas part of Brood XXII? Time and research will tell. Brood XXII emerges in Louisiana and Mississippi, which are geographically isolated from Ohio & Kentucky, so the two groups of cicadas are likely to be genetically distinct (belonging to different mitochondrial haplotype groups at least). That said, Brood II, which emerges mostly along the east coast of the U.S., also emerges in Oklahoma, which is geographically isolated from the rest of that brood. So, the Ohio/Kentucky cicadas could logically be part of brood XXII.

Back in 2001 Roy Troutman, Les Daniels and Gene Kritsky reported this group of cicadas to Cicada Mania. Les reported both cassini and decim.

My guess is these cicadas are somehow descended from Brood X or Brood XIV 17-year cicadas, and that if they are 13-year cicadas, there would be no M. neotredecim present in this brood.

I wrote Roy for a list of towns where these cicadas emerged in 2001, and he said:

Chilo, OH
Cold Springs, KY
Higginsport, OH
Neville, OH
New Richmond, OH
Point Pleasant, OH
Ripley, OH
Utopia, OH
Woodland Mound Park, Cinncinati, OH


View OH/KY 13 Year Brood in a larger map

For more information, contact Gene Kritsky.

October 4, 2013

Brood XXII, the Baton Rouge Brood, will arrive in 2014

Filed under: Brood XXII,Magicicada,Periodical — by @ 4:26 pm

Magicicada Brood XXII, the Baton Rouge Brood, will emerge in 2014 in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Some Brood XXII facts:

  • Brood XXII Magicicadas have a 13-year life cycle.
  • Three of the four 13-year Magicicada species, M. tredecim, M. tredecassini, and M. tredecula, belong to Brood XXII.
  • The last time Brood XXII emerged was 2001.
  • We received reports from Baton Rouge, LA, Houma, LA, Pride, LA, Weyanoke, LA, Vicksburg, MS and Natchez, MS in 2001


View Brood XXII Cicada Reports from 2001 in a larger map

Looking at the Cicada Central Magicicada Database:

  • The following counties in Louisiana will surely experience the Brood XXII emergence: Catahoula, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana. There are also literature records (typically older, and not substantiated by recent evidence) that the cicadas will appear in La Salle, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington counties.
  • In Mississippi, Brood XXII should emerge in Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Hinds, Jefferson, Warren and Wilkinson counties, with literature records for Franklin county.

A lot of folks ask if they will appear in Orleans county, but I haven’t seen evidence for that. However, there is no reason why you couldn’t start looking there, have some gumbo and fancy drinks, and then head north towards Baton Rouge.

These cicadas often appear where they aren’t expected, and are absent where they are expected. So, keep an eye and ear out for them, but don’t be too disappointed if they don’t show up in your town.

For more information, see the Magicicada.org Brood XXII page.

June 29, 2013

Where’s the cicadas?

Filed under: Brood II,Magicicada,Periodical — by @ 12:57 am

At this point in the 2013 Brood II emergence, all the cicadas that will emerge, have emerged. I’m sorry to say that if periodical cicadas have not emerged in your yard/neighborhood/town, they won’t. This is frustrating for people who heard that the cicadas would emerge in their state, or those who looked at a brood map and assumed their neighborhood fell within the area shown on the map.

People in Pennsylvania, for example, heard that cicadas would arrive in their state, but unfortunately, the cicadas only occupy a small banana-shaped region in the east of the state:

Pony tail on New Jersey

If you look at one of the older maps for Brood II, it looks like the state of New Jersey is covered, however, each dot might represent only one sighing in one specific area. These old maps are useful, but they can be misleading (more on maps later in this article).

map example

Back in 2004, after Brood X emerged, I wrote an article called: What Happened: the Magicicada No-Show of 2004. The information in that article is relevant for Brood II as well.

The truth is periodical cicadas do not occupy every square acre of a state in which they are expected to emerge. Even in towns where they do emerge, they are rarely present in every acre or block of those towns. Why? Well, either they were eliminated in the areas where they once were found (due to urban sprawl, pesticides, weather-related events, etc), or they simply were never there in the first place. New threats like extreme weather (flooding and tree destruction by tropical storms) and tree-destroying invasive species (like the emerald ash borer) will continue to shrink cicada habitat areas.

It is important, for future emergences, that the press/media and cicada websites provide more accurate information about the location of the cicadas. The cicada sighting information people provide to Magicicada.org is very important because it will lead to better maps and more accurate sighting information.

One thing I’m glad that I did this year was provide a page that listed specific towns in New Jersey where cicadas could be expected. I wish I did one for every state in the Brood II area [but Cicada Mania is not my day job, and there are only so many hours in a day].

That said, we never want to discourage people from looking for periodical cicadas in areas we don’t expect them to exist. Last year unexpected Brood I cicadas emerged in Tennessee. This year periodical cicadas unexpectedly emerged in Oklahoma. A lot of us where hoping cicadas would show up in Central Park in Manhattan, but they didn’t (however, I didn’t personally walk every acre of the park).

So, what can you do to help?

  • If you’re a member of the press/media (yes that includes bloggers and tweeters), make sure you get precise locations from cicada experts.
  • Report cicada and flagging sightings to Magicicada.org so we have better records of the emergence.
  • Help cicada research by participating in a cicada citizen science project.
  • Help preserve the current cicada habitat. Preserve trees. Avoid pesticides. Don’t wipe out another forest to add yet another redundant giant store.

A consolation for people who missed out on the 17 year cicadas: there are about 160 species of annual cicadas in North America. They’re usually harder to find and catch, but you can still hear and capture them if you put some time and effort into it.

June 28, 2013

The Brood II Emergence Has Begun

Filed under: Brood II,Magicicada,Periodical,Video — by @ 1:12 am

June 28th Update

At this point if you haven’t had a periodical cicada emerge in your yard/neighborhood/town, you won’t. The best last chance to see them would be in New York State along rte 9G, parts of 9 and 9J. The more northern, the better. I visited that area last weekend, and found some great spots.

Flagging (when leaves turn brown from cicada egg laying) can be seen in New Jersey and states south of there. Probably a little bit of Connecticut and New York as well.

People are noticing sap dripping from the scars left behind from cicada egg laying.

Next up will be the hatching of the eggs.

Don’t forget to report FLAGGING (brown leaves) sightings to Magicicada.org so they can add them to their live map. You can report flagging, as well as egg nests, and newly hatched nymphs.

As usual Cicada Mania offers a full line of shirts, glassware, buttons and other souvenirs:

Cicada Schwag

(more…)

June 26, 2013

Help the Simon Cicada Lab study periodical cicada nymphs

Filed under: Citizen Science,Magicicada,Periodical — by @ 9:20 pm

The Simon Lab is dedicated to the study of cicadas, in particular, periodical cicadas.

One of the things they study is the development of cicada nymphs while they are underground.

They need your help to collect cicada nymph specimens. You would dig for them, and if you find them, mail them to the Simon Lab. The nymphs will be used for valuable scientific study, so the loss of a few from your yard will not be in vain.

If you are interested in participating in cicada nymph research, visit The Simon Lab Nymph Tracking Project page for more information. You must have had periodical cicadas on your property in past 13 or 17 years to find the nymphs — not including the Brood II area, since those nymphs came out of the ground this year.

Cicada Nymphs

June 23, 2013

New York is still loaded with cicadas

Filed under: Brood II,Magicicada,Periodical,Video — by @ 7:51 pm

New york cicadas If you want to see and hear the Brood II cicadas, play hookey this week, and head on up the Hudson Valley in New York State. DO IT! It’s your last chance until 2030 (unless you want to see Brood III and XXII next year).

Today I took an eight hour road trip along the Hudson River in NY. I hit Palisades Interstate Park, Bear Mountain, Cold Springs, virtually every town along rte 9G and 199, Germantown, Hudson, and Woodstock.

Cold Spring and Woodstock were a little disappointing, though their downtowns seemed like nice places to visit (no time for human fun when you’re tracking cicadas). The east side of the Hudson River was definitely more active than the west side, although I did hear cicada choruses along Interstate 87 between exit 18 and 16.

Here’s my favorite locations. The first one is pure gold.

Rt 199
A rest stop for cars.
Rhinebeck NY 12572
41.972693,-73.915277
Loads of ‘decims and cassini. Cassini could be picked off the low lying trees like grapes. ‘Decims hugged trees by the 100’s. Best spot of the day.

130 Main street by the river.
Germantown, NY 12526
42.134975,-73.897069
Cassini and decim choruses. Decims and cassini on low vegetation.

400 New York 308
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
41.938882,-73.88215
Cassini and decim choruses. Decims in low lying trees.

Dutchess Mall, ironically near a big box hardware store that will remain nameless
Fishkill, NY
41.515125,-73.892328
Cassini and ‘decim choruses. ‘Decims in low lying trees. Very active and feisty.

Tiorati Brook Rd
Stony Point, NY 10980
41.252589,-74.055829
‘Decim choruses. ‘Decims in low lying trees.


Some video and audio from the New York emergence:

Periodical cicadas at a rest stop in Rhinebeck NY:

Magicicada septendecim in Stony Point NY:

Magicicada cassini Court II and III NY Brood II 2013:

June 20, 2013

Got Flagging? Report flagging and egg nests.

Got flagging? Flagging happens when tree branches wilt or die due to cicada egg laying, resulting in bunches of brown leaves. Don’t worry, this will not cause trees to die, unless they are small and weak. Areas of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey should have flagging by now.

The Magicicada.org cicada report page has added an area where you can report flagging, egg nests and hatching nymphs. Please report flagging today.

Flagging

Some video of cicada flagging:

Periodical Cicada Flagging 3

June 17, 2013

Jean-Francois Duval’s Cicada Photos from Connecticut

Jean-Francois Duval of Victoriaville, Québec wrote me back on April 15th looking for advice for where and when to observe the 2013 Brood II emergence. Where is easier than when. I recommended a park in Connecticut (closest state to Victoriaville, Québec) that is known to have Brood II cicadas. When was more difficult this year because of a cold and rainy spring; cold and rain delay emergences or make them difficult to appreaciate.

I’m happy to say Jean-Francois made it to Connecticut at the right time to see the cicadas. Here is a selection of his photos.

Click each image to see a larger version:

Exuvia on a tree in Connecticut by Jean-Francois Duval

Magicicada exuvia in Connecticut by Jean-Francois Duval

Magicicada septendecim in Connecticut by Jean-Francois Duval

Teneral Magicicada and exuvia in Connecticut by Jean-Francois Duval

Teneral Magicicada in Connecticut by Jean-Francois Duval

Adult Magicicada and cicada with failed ecdysis in Connecticut by Jean-Francois Duval

Cicada emergence holes in Connecticut by Jean-Francois Duval

June 15, 2013

Oklahoma surprise periodical cicada emergence!

Filed under: Brood II,Magicicada,Periodical — by @ 5:13 am

Periodical cicadas (Magicicada) are emerging in and around the Oklahoma City area, unexpectedly!

OK map

June 15th:

The Facebook page for this event posted that there are Oklahoma State University records of going back to 1996, 1979, 1962, and 1928, showing a 17 year pattern. There’s also some confusion between this “micro brood” [a term I'm using because I like beer] and Brood IV, because the Oklahoma M. cassini have orange stripes like an M. septendecula, and you can only tell them apart by their DNA (and their song, of course).

Magicicada.org had a Facebook update as well.

June 13th:

Chris Simon says they “think that this might be an undiscovered brood that just happens to coincide with Brood II.”

Gene Kristsky found a page that mentioned Brood II in OK, and Chris Simon pointed out that the cicadas fill a gap in Brood IV.

Thanks to T. Wilken for posting this image. it is a male M. cassini.

I checked the document Drew, W. A., F. L. Spangler and D. Molnar. 1974. Oklahoma Cicadidae (Homoptera). Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science. Stillwater. 54: 90-7. No specific mention of Oklahoma county.

Original post:

There is an Oklahoma 17 Year Cicada Early Emergence Facebook page. (They might be 13 year cicadas, BTW).

If you are in Oklahoma please visit Magicicada.org and report your sighting! View the sightings on the map.

Random conjecture:

  • They could be Brood IV, which are due to emerge in 2015, making this a two year acceleration that brood. This could also be Brood XIX, which last emerged in 2011, making this a two year deceleration.
  • They could be an undocumented emergence of Brood II.
  • But the really weird thing is, Oklahoma City is outside of the Brood IV and Brood XIX areas.
  • Did some windy weather move the cicadas westward?
  • Did a nursery in the Brood IV or XIX area inadvertently move them to OK City?
  • Did someone play cicada egg “Johnny Appleseed”?
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