Cicada Mania

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

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June 16, 2014

Got Flagging? Report flagging and egg nests.

Filed under: Citizen Science,Magicicada,Periodical — by @ 7:33 pm

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 trees. Flagging can actually do a tree a favor, by removing its weakest branches.

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:

A photo of flagging:

Periodical Cicada Flagging 3

June 5, 2014

Lookout for Stragglers in 2014

Filed under: Magicicada,Periodical,Periodical Stragglers — by @ 8:32 am

If you follow Cicada Mania, you’ve probably heard about the regularly scheduled emergences in Louisiana and Mississippi (Brood XXII); in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois (Brood III); and the (micro) brood in Ohio and Kentucky, BUT, there could be other Magicicada emerging around the USA.

Magicicada cicadas often straggle from the times they are expected to emerge. This can happen due to overcrowding (too many cicadas underground can delay the development and emergence of some). It could also be a natural thing they do — maybe some accelerate from a 17 year to 13 year life cycle, or back, to form new populations or as a strategy for survival. Most of the time they straggle in 1 year or 4 year intervals. Here is were I would expect to see stragglers.

  • Brood II 1-year (late) stragglers in CT, GA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OK, PA, VA
  • Brood IV 1-year (early) stragglers in IA, KS, MO, NE, OK, TX
  • Brood XXIII 1-year (early) stragglers in AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, TN
  • Brood VII 4-year (early) stragglers in NY


Check our broods page
for more precise locations and information.

This chart, courtesy of Chris Simon, details the probability for straggling:

Probability of Straggling. Image courtesy of Chris Simon.

If you see any stragglers, report them to Magicicada.org, so they can be mapped and studied. It looks like some Brood IV stragglers are showing up in the Kansas City area!

Kansas City

Of course, we’re only talking about the black & orange & red-eyed Magicicada here…
Magicicada septendecim

…not other species like Tibicen or Okanagana.

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

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

July 17th: I got confirmation from Dave Marshall and John Cooley that the ‘decim in the brood are Magicicada tredecim!

June 5th: Roy Troutman and I completed 3 days of cicada mapping in Ohio and Kentucky. This map includes our findings, Gene Kritsky’s findings and sightings submitted to Gene from local residents.

If you see or hear a cicada in the area, here’s what to do:


If you see these cicadas in Ohio or Kentucky, don’t forget to send your Geo-Tagged cellphone photos to Gene Kritsky and map your sighting on Magicicada.org.

June 4th: Audio of a Magicicada tredecula call from the Ohio/Kentucky brood.

June 3rd: I spent the last last two days looking for cicadas in Ohio and Kentucky with Roy Troutman. Mostly ‘cassini, some ‘decula, and a very small amount of ‘decims. We found ‘cassini chorusing in Mason, KY, in the west, and so far as south as Neurls Run, KY. JoAnn White & Monte Lloyd’s paper 17-Year cicadas emerging after 18 years: A new brood?1 mentioned emergences in the Mason location, going back to 1975 (three 13 year generations ago).

Mason

May 31th: Cicadas are reported to be “loud and plentiful” in the Germantown KY area, as well as, Harrison county KY.

May 30th: Roy Troutman confirmed that ‘decula, ‘cassini and ‘decim type Magicicada have emerged in Ohio.

2014 Ohio M tredecassini adult on leaf by Roy Troutman

May 23th: Gene Kritsky wrote to let us know that “the emergence is now in full swing” in Ohio and Kentucky. Roy also shared a photo of an adult 13 year cicada.

May 15th: Roy Troutman sent us a set of photos from Crooked Run Nature Preserve in Chilo, Ohio.

13 Year Nymph by Roy Troutman taken in Chilo Ohio in 2014 on tree

May 14th: Roy Troutman has reported that the emergence began last night in Chilo, OH according to a Clermont County Parks director. Cool weather this week (in the thirties!) will likely prevent more cicadas from emerging until next week (highs in 80s).

April 30th: Scientists ask for public’s help verifying cicadas hidden brood. Note: if you send your photos in to Dr. Kritsky, make sure Geo-Tag (Android) or Camera Location Services (iPhone) is turned on.

April 28th: Roy Troutman discovered cicada turrets, confirming the 2014 emergence of these cicadas.

More:

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.

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

Check out the paper 1 White, J., and M. Lloyd. 1979. 17-Year cicadas emerging after 18 years: A new brood? Evolution 33:1193-1199. It was the first to document this odd brood of cicadas, although it did not mention the 13 year periodicity.

May 28, 2014

Chremistica umbrosa

Filed under: Chremistica,Singapore — by @ 4:57 am

Chremistica umbrosa can be found in South-East Asia, in particular Singapore. If you go to see them, bring an umbrella. I don’t know why these cicadas pee this often, but I imagine they are eliminating some toxin or waste or chemical (sugar, perhaps) that is not good for them.

Watch the videos:

May 26, 2014

Tibicen superbus videos

Filed under: Tibicen,Video — Tags: — by @ 9:40 am

YouTube has lots of videos of cicadas. Here is a playlist of one of the prettiest North American cicadas, Tibicen superbus:

Tibicen superbus, aka the Superb Cicada, can be found in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

May 24, 2014

Cicada Myths

Filed under: Cicada Anatomy,Periodical — by @ 12:49 pm

Busting Cicada Myths

There are many myths (widely held but false beliefs or ideas) about cicadas. Time to bust some cicada myths.

Myth 1: Cicadas are sleeping when they are underground.

There’s a popular Twitter and Tumblr meme that (mis)states the following “if cicadas can sleep for 17 years and then wake up only to scream and reproduce so can i”. The actual tweet doesn’t say “reproduce”, but I want to keep it clean.

American periodical cicadas aren’t sleeping the entire 17 years they’re underground. Much of the time they’re digging tunnels and building feeding cells, tapping into roots and feeding, vying with other cicadas for space along a crowded root system, growing (they experience four phases or instars while underground), avoiding unfavorable conditions like flooding, and possibly actively avoiding predators like moles and voles. Yes, cicadas can sleep — or at least the insect version of sleep called torpor — but they are definitely not asleep for 17 years.

That said cicadas do spend their time screaming (the males) and procreating once above ground.

Myth 2: All cicadas have a 17 year life cycle.

This is false. Only three species, out of the thousands of cicada species in the world, have a 17 year life cycle: Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini, and Magicicada septendecula.

Myth 3: All cicadas have periodical life cycles and synchronized emergences.

This is false. Only seven species in the United States (belonging to the genus Magicicada), and a few species in Asia (belonging to the genus Chremistica 1) have been confirmed to have periodical life cycles and synchronized emergences.

All other species of cicadas emerge annually, although in some years they are more plentiful than in others.

Myth 4: All cicadas live a prime number of years.

Many cicadas live a prime number of years, but some do not. Chremistica ribhoi, the World Cup cicada, has four year life cycle.

Myth 5: A long, periodical, prime number life cycle has allowed American periodical cicadas to avoid gaining a predator.

American periodical cicadas have avoided gaining an animal predator that specifically predates them, but they haven’t avoided a fungus. Massospora cicadina is a fungal parasite of Magicicada cicadas.

Male Magicicada septendecim infected with Massospora cicadina fungus

That said, just about any animal will eat an American periodical cicada, so they definitely get eaten. They get eaten a lot.

Myth 6: Cicadas make their well-know sound by stridulation, like crickets, grasshoppers & katydids.

It is true that some cicadas can make noise by stridulation, making sound by rubbing body parts.

However, and this is a huge however, the sound cicadas are known for is made by organs found in male cicadas called tymbals. Tymbals are a pair of ribbed membranes, that produce the cicada’s sound when they are flexed in and out by muscles. The mechanism is like the popping sound made when the plastic of a soda pop bottle is flexed in and out.

Tymbal

Cicadas can also make sound by flicking or clapping their wings.

Myth 7: Cicadas eat vegetation.

This is false. Cicadas lack the mouth parts to chew and swallow vegetable matter. Your tomatoes are safe around cicadas. Rather than eating solid food, cicadas ingest xylem, which is a type of tree sap that cicadas drink through their straw-like mouthparts.

Myth 8: American periodical cicadas are locusts.

Cicadas are not locusts. Locusts are a form of grasshopper. People confuse cicadas with locusts because both aggregate in massive numbers.

This is an image of a locust:
Locust

Characteristic Locust Cicada
Order Orthoptera Hemiptera
Hind Legs Giant hind legs for jumping Hind legs about the same size as other legs; great for climbing and perching.
What they eat Everything green they can find to eat Xylem sap
They’re in your town All the plants in your town have been stripped bare Cool UFO movie soundtrack sounds during the day

9) If you see a W appear in a cicada’s wings it means there will be a war. If you see a P, there will be peace.

This is the most mythical of cicada myths and has no basis in fact. That said, here’s the W:

W in cicada wing

1 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.

May 13, 2014

Cicadas, Social Media and Citizen Science

Filed under: Citizen Science,Mail and Comments — by @ 3:09 am

Want to meet other cicada fans, help with cicada science projects, or simply check out cicada photos, images, or video? Try these projects and links.

Connect to Cicada Mania

Cicada Mania on FacebookCicada Mania on FlickrCicada Mania on TwitterCicada Mania on YouTubeCicada Mania on Vimeo

Magicicada.org Mapping Project

In 2014, contribute your Magicicada/Periodical/17 & 13 Year cicada sightings to Magicicada.org. They will add your report to their Google map.

Magicicada.org

Citizen Science Projects

Want to participate in a cicada citizen science project? Check out the cicada science projects on Cicada Central. There is the The Simon Lab Nymph Tracking Project and a Magicicada Biology Class Exercise.

If you are in Ohio or Kentucky and spot a periodical cicada this year (2014), send a geo-tagged cellphone photo to Gene Kritsky.

Your Wild Life wants your dead cicadas! They will use them to study the effects of urbanization (pollution, etc.) on the cicadas.

Discuss cicadas on Twitter

Use hash tags like #cicadas for general cicada issues. Use @cicadamania to get my attention.

Cicada Mania on Twitter

Discuss cicadas on Facebook

Once you’re done reporting your cicada sighting to magicicada.org, head over to Facebook to discuss your cicada experiences.

Cicada Mania Discussion Board on Facebook

Discuss cicadas with cicada experts

If you’re serious about cicadas, try the Entomology Cicadidae Yahoo group.

Entomology Cicadidae Yahoo group

Share your cicada photos, sounds and videos

Share your cicada photos and videos with the world:

Cicada Photos Group on Flickr

Cicadas on Pinterest (note, there’s no guarantee just photos of cicadas will show up)

Search Instagram photos for cicadas (note, there’s no guarantee just photos of cicadas will show up)

Cicada Mania Videos and Audio:

Cicada Mania on Vimeo

Cicada Mania YouTube

Update:

If you want to tag a species, you can use what’s called a “machine tag” or “triple tag” (see Wikipedia article on Tags).

taxonomy:binomial=Magicicada tredecim
taxonomy:binomial=Magicicada neotredecim
taxonomy:binomial=Magicicada tredecassini
taxonomy:binomial=Magicicada tredecula

If you’re tagging on sites that use spaces instead of commas (like flickr) put them in quotes when you enter them.

May 8, 2014

Gaeana atkinsoni from the Uttara Kannada district in India

Filed under: Gaeana,India,Raghu Ananth — by @ 1:46 am

Here’s a cicada I never thought I would see, but thanks to Raghu Ananth, here are two photos of a Tosena sibyla Gaeana atkinsoni .

Tosena sibylla from Uttara Kannada district in India by Raghu Ananth 2

This photo was taken on May 2nd, 2009:

Tosena sibylla from Uttara Kannada district in India by Raghu Ananth

Note the characteristic double stripes on the fore wings. Note how the smaller stripe doesn’t make it all the way to the claval fold.

Here are observations about this cicada provided by Raghu Ananth:

Brief description -
The cicada has red eyes, red thorax with black patch above, red abdomen, black wings with yellow veins and a large yellow patch lines on the wings.

Numbers. found – several dozens.
Habitat – tree barks near forest path
length – 4-5 cms

The orange-red coloured cicada is one of the beautiful cicadas in the forests. It has a red body, red eyes and black wings with yellow patches. During one of our trips to the evergreen forests in the Uttara Kannada district (Karnataka), we spotted two of them camouflaged on the bark of each tree, actively walking up and down and then appearing a colourful red when in flight from one bark of the tree to another. Their singing, however, seemed not in sync with each another. On our approach they would try to hide behind the bark or fly to a distant tree.

This illustration of a T. sibylla Gaeana atkinsoni comes from the document A monograph of oriental cicadidae (1892) by William Lucas Distant.

Tosena sibylla

Updated (5/8/2014) with a video by Harinath Ravichandran:

April 28, 2014

Periodical Cicada Turrets Spotted in Chilo, OH

Filed under: Brood OHKY,Magicicada,Periodical,Roy Troutman — by @ 7:48 pm

Roy Troutman spotted and photographed periodical cicada turrets in Chilo Lock 34 Park in Chilo, OH. We expect 13 year cicadas to emerge in Ohio and Kentucky this year, and this is proof it will happen.

Chilo Lock 34 Park

This group of cicadas is not officially aligned with a Brood, but given enough research, documentation and population samples, I imagine they’ll be aligned with Brood XXII (although they might be genetically different from the cicadas in LA and MS). TBD.

April 27, 2014

Cicada anatomy photo by Santisuk Vibul. Dundubia sp.


Cicada anatomy photo by Santisuk Vibul. Dundubia sp.

This photo points out the Tymbal (the organ that makes the cicada’s signature sound), the Tympanum (their hearing organ), the Operculum (which covers the Tympanum), and its wings.

More cicada photos by Santisuk Vibul.

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