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November 23, 2013

Timelapse video of a Redeye Cicada Molting

Filed under: Australia,Psaltoda,Video — Tags: — Dan @ 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 21, 2013

A Cicada Attacked by Bull Ants

Filed under: Video — Dan @ 6:21 am

Poor, poor cicada — never had a chance. Here’s a video of bull ants attacking a molting cicada:

via Twitter

October 12, 2013

A third way cicadas make sounds

Filed under: Australia,Cicada Anatomy,Cyclochila,Sounds,Video — Dan @ 8:06 am

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 11, 2013

A look back at the 2013 Brood II Periodical Cicada Emergence

Filed under: Brood II,Magicicada,Periodical,Video — Dan @ 10:03 pm

2013 has been an awesome year for cicadas. Here’s a look back at my favorite Brood II moments.

  1. My 17 Year Cicada sneakers: nikeid
  2. The They’re Baaack! Return of the 17-year Cicadas exhibit at The Staten Island Museum.
  3. Meeting Ed Johnson of the Staten Island Museum.
  4. This cicada pillow by Tegan White, that my friends Judie and Cliff gave me.
  5. Being interviewed by and appearing in Wired Magazine.
  6. My Cicada Mania pins and magnets that I hand out to people I meet in person.
  7. This April Fools Day joke (that no one believed).
  8. Hipster Cicada
    hipster cicada
  9. Cicada Ron Swanson
    Cicada Ron Swanson
  10. Keep Calm, They’re only 17 Year Cicadas
    Keep Calm
  11. Getting 7,500 visits from Reddit in a single day (April 7th).
  12. Finding the first nymph on April 16th under a garden slate, not ready to emerge.
  13. Finding the first cicada chimneys on May 10th.
  14. Giving a presentation about cicadas at musician/naturalist/philosopher/professor David Rothenberg’s “Richard Robinson: Song of the Cicada (World Premiere), Insect Music, based on the calls, chirps and clicks of various insects” event in New York City.
  15. Finding and photographing Magicicada septendecula, thanks to Elias Bonaro’s keen hearing.
  16. My sister’s chihuahua discovering a cicada nymph.
    chihuahua cicada
  17. Cicada tracking in New York state.
  18. An interview with Sonja Beeker of the German radio program Neonlicht.
  19. The Oklahoma Brood II emergence. A lot of us didn’t expect it, but Oklahoma residents did. Add another state to the Brood II map!
  20. Shooting lots of cicada video for the site
  21. Observing the Magicicada cassini’s “musical chairs” calling and flying routine, captured in this photo by Roy Troutman.
  22. Having Roy and Michelle Troutman visit New Jersey (I think Michelle enjoyed the beach more than the cicadas).
  23. Going cicada hunting with Roy Troutman and Elias Bonaros.
    Roy Troutman and Elias Bonaros near cicada mosiac in subway
  24. The Joy of Six Legged Sex event at the Staten Island Museum, featuring John Cooley and Ed Johnson. Roy, Michelle, Elias and David Rothenberg were also in attendance.
    John Cooley and Ed Johnson speaking at the Staten Island Museum Six Legged Sex event by Roy Troutman
  25. Going cicada hunting in Staten Island with Elias and Chris Simon.
  26. Going cicada hunting with John Cooley, David Rothenberg, and a crew from the New York Times, and ending up at my folk’s place in Metuchen.
  27. Fighting back against companies that sell pesticide to kill cicadas.
  28. Discovering that the periodical cicadas along the shore of Staten Island survived Superstorm Sandy.
  29. Meeting cicada filmmaker Sam Orr.
  30. All the reports, comments, Tweets, and cicada photos sent to us by Cicada Mania readers. You make it all worthwhile.
  31. The Finneytown, Ohio acceleration… technically not Brood II, but…
  32. All the cool cicada citizen science opportunities presented by magicicada.org, the Simon Lab, the Urban Buzz Project, Gene Kritsky and Radiolab.

I’m looking forward to the Brood III and XXII emergences next year, but I don’t know if they’ll be as fun as Brood II 2013.

17 year cicadas y u no?

August 9, 2013

August is a great time to look for Tibicen cicadas in North America

Filed under: Canada,Tibicen,United States,Video — Tags: — Dan @ 9:33 am

Now is a great time to look and listen for Tibicen cicadas in North America. Tibicen are the medium to large sized annual cicadas. Typically they are well camouflaged – with colors like black, white, green & brown.

During the day you can listen for them, of course, and spot them that way. Try Insect Singers for cicada songs. You can also look for their exuvia (skins), and if you’re lucky you can catch on on a low branch.

Last night I started looking around 10pm and found three Swamp Cicadas (T. tibicen tibicen) shedding their skins on trees around the yard. I also collected about 30 exuvia (skins). All in a quarter acre yard. Take a look at this video:

Swamp Cicada shedding its nymphal skin from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Swamp Cicada

Teneral Swamp Cicada

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