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March 22, 2016

Some Songs About Cicadas

Filed under: Music,Pop Culture — Dan @ 1:26 am

Everyone knows cicadas love to sing (the males) or be serenaded (the females).

A lot of people like to write songs inspired by cicadas. If you search online music stores or YouTube, you’ll find hundreds of songs about cicadas, in every genre imaginable including rap, country, rock, folk, dance, parody, classical and experimental.

Here are some cicada songs:

Cicada By Hannah Gansen

Laura Imbruglia sings her song Cicada on a talk show for teens (YouTube Link):

(You might want to skip ahead 20 seconds to when the music starts.)

Here’s one of my favorite bands, Southern Culture on the Skids peforming their song Cicada Rock (YouTube link):

CICADA Song – SICKA CICADAS by Kathy Ashworth:

Not quite a song, but still very much an audio performance about cicadas: Tessa Farmer and David Rothenberg perform Magicicada in Dublin (YouTube Link):

Do you have a favorite cicada song? Let us know in the comments!

Bonus: Another cicada song send by a reader:

CICADA by Liam Titcomb (YouTube link):

And more:

Seventeen Years (a cicada love song) – Lloyd H. Miller (YouTube Link):

Baby Bug by Samm Bennett:

“Seventeen Years” by Jen Schaffer and the Shiners:

I Ate A Cicada Today:

Periodic Cicadas by Dr. Chordate:

No video for this song, but Dr Chordate wrote a song called Periodic Cicadas.

March 13, 2016

The 17-Year Locust Tour by The Agency

Filed under: Music — Dan @ 7:12 pm

I buy things just because they’re cicada related.

Here is my latest purchase:

The Agency

This week I bought The 17-Year Locust Tour by the band The Agency. It was recorded in Leetown, West Virginia, and copyrighted in 1993. Periodical cicadas are known as “17-Year Locusts” in the U.S., which is where this band got the name for the album. My guess is the album title was inspired by the Brood XIV emergence of 1991.

I haven’t yet listened to the album from start to finish but it falls into the hard rock genre.

The artwork is very nice and was done by bassist and singer Paul Sager using Corel Draw. I used Corel Draw to create the first Cicada Mania logo.

March 2, 2016

What do cicadas symbolize?

Filed under: FAQs — Dan @ 4:34 am

You might ask, what do cicadas symbolize? What are cicadas a metaphor for?

2005-dantibicen-7

Cicadas, for many, represent personal change, renewal, rebirth, and transformation.

Unlike a butterfly, moth or other insect that undergoes complete metamorphosis, cicadas have no pupal state. They transform from one fully-functioning state (instar) to another — one viable form, in a small amount of time, changing to another. The cicada’s transformation is closer to that of a human beings. If a person wants or needs to make a change in their life, they don’t enclose themselves in a pod and emerge the next spring (I suppose some might) — more likely they remain in their human form as they change.

A lot of people use cicadas to symbolize their own personal transformation, in art, song, poetry or even a tattoo. The cicada inherently symbolizes what they were (nymph) and all the glory of what they have become (adult form).


Watch some cicada transformations:

February 7, 2016

The Periodical Cicada Brood VII Revisited

Filed under: Brood VII,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 9:22 pm

The Internet Archive has a lot of cicada documents and information, including a growing collection of articles from journals.

Today I came across a paper about Brood VII called The Periodical Cicada Brood vii Revisited (Homoptera, Cicadidae) by L. L. Pechuman, published in 1985 in the journal Entomology News (link to the article). Brood VII will be back in New York in 2018 (not too far away) so I’m glad I found this now. Brood VII is interesting because it is geographically isolated from other broods, near the Finger Lakes area of New York. This always makes me wonder what happened that led to their isolation (glacial melting, a massive die off of host trees… who knows).

The article is a quick, but melancholy read — unfortunately Brood VII is a small and dwindling brood; it has gone extinct in many areas, and has suffered over-predation by birds in recent emergences. “Populations were just not high enough to support ‘predator satiation'”, according to L. L. Pechuman.

People who witness massive periodical cicada emergences would never think that they were a fragile insect, but they are and papers like this make that fact abundantly clear.

February 1, 2016

Cicada Fireworks 🎆

Filed under: Pop Culture,Roy Troutman,Video — Dan @ 1:01 am

Update! New packaging for the Clustering Cicada fireworks (thx Roy). Find it here.

cicada fireworks

The Fourth of July should be fun this year at Roy Troutman’s place. Check out the Clustering Cicada fireworks he found.

Cicada Fireworks

Video of “Chirping Cicada” firework by Roy

“Chirping Cicada” firework from Roy Troutman

Here is a video shot on the 4th of July of a mutli shot cake called the Chirping Cicada.

January 28, 2016

Snapchat

Filed under: Cicada Mania — Dan @ 7:28 pm

I joined snapchat as “cicadamania”. I probably will wait until the spring to snap anything interesting (and just cicada stuff).

snapchat

December 31, 2015

19 Articles about Cicadas from 2015

Filed under: News — Dan @ 3:42 pm

Here are 19 articles from scientific journals about cicadas from 2015 that you may have missed.

January:

A review of the cicada genus Kosemia Matsumura (Hemiptera: Cicadidae)

February:

External morphology and calling song characteristics in Tibicen plebejus (Hemiptera: Cicadidae)

The phylogenetic utility of acetyltransferase (ARD1) and glutaminyl tRNA synthetase (QtRNA) for reconstructing Cenozoic relationships as exemplified by the large Australian cicada Pauropsalta generic complex

March:

Cicada genus Pomponia Stål, 1866 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) from Vietnam and Cambodia, with a new species, a new record, and a key to the species

April:

Intraspecific sexual mimicry for finding females in a cicada: males produce ‘female sounds’ to gain reproductive benefit

A new cicada species of the genus Psithyristria Stål, 1870 (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae: Psithyristriini) from Luzon, Philippines, with a key to the 15 species

A redescription of Yoyetta landsboroughi (Distant) and Y. tristrigata (Goding and Froggatt) (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) and description of four new related species

May:

A review of the cicada genus Haphsa Distant from China (Hemiptera: Cicadidae)

Description of two new cicada species of the genus Poviliana Boulard (Insecta: Hemiptera, Cicadoidea, Cicadidae) from New Caledonia

June:

Four new species of cicadas from Papua New Guinea (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae)

Description of a new genus, Auritibicen gen. nov., of Cryptotympanini Hemiptera: Cicadidae) with redescriptions of Auritibicen pekinensis (Haupt, 1924) comb. nov. and Auritibicen slocumi (Chen, 1943) comb. nov. from China and a key to the species of Auritibicen

Cicadidae types (Hemiptera-Cicadomorpha) housed at the Museo de La Plata entomological collection (Argentina)

July:

Molecular phylogenetics, diversification, and systematics of Tibicen Latreille 1825 and allied cicadas of the tribe Cryptotympanini, with three new genera and emphasis on species from the USA and Canada (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadidae)

August:

New species of Simona Moulds, 2012 and Chelapsalta Moulds, 2012 cicadas (Cicadidae: Cicadettinae: Cicadettini) from Australia: comparative morphology, songs, behaviour and distributions

Additional records of cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) to the fauna of Mindanao, Philippines, with the description of three new species and a key to the species of Champaka Distant

September:

Comparative morphology of the distal segments of Malpighian tubules in cicadas and spittlebugs, with reference to their functions and evolutionary indications to Cicadomorpha (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha)

October:

New combinations for six species belonging to Cryptotympanini Handlirsch (Hemiptera: Cicadidae), former members of the genus Tibicen Latreille, 1825

November:

The visual system of the Australian ‘Redeye’ cicada (Psaltoda moerens), Arthropod Structure & Development

Erection of a new genus Biura gen. nov., of the subtribe Aolina (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae: Dundubiini)

December 24, 2015

Cicada Christmas Lights 🎅🏼

Filed under: Christmas,Cicada Arts,Pop Culture,Video — Dan @ 1:58 am

I made cicada Christmas lights using some LED USB Christmas lights, and some plastic cicada whistles from Australia. The song of cicadas heralds the Christmas season in many countries in the souther hemisphere like Australia.

CicadaMania Cicada Christmas Lights from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Cicada Christmas Lights

Bonus Christmas Cicada stuff:

There is a cicada nicknamed the Kobonga Christmas Clanger in Australia (thx David Marshall and Kathy Hill ):

How about a cicada Christmas Wreath?

wreath_crop

Or a Cicada Christmas Card from Sam Orr:

Cicada Christmas card

cicada Christmas

December 4, 2015

New Zealand Cicada Information 🇳🇿

Filed under: Amphipsalta,David Marshall,Kathy Hill,New Zealand — Dan @ 8:39 pm

Old Map of New Zealand

There isn’t a lot of New Zealand cicada information on this website, but I wanted to point you to a few good resources if you are interested:

First, there’s the NEW ZEALAND CICADAS (HEMIPTERA: CICADIDAE): A VIRTUAL IDENTIFICATION GUIDE which features photographs and extensive information about the cicadas of New Zealand. The site has an abundance of information, and a wonderful design & layout.

Second, there’s Cicada Central’s New Zealand Cicada website, which features an electronic field guide of New Zealand Cicada Species, a specimen database, and a photo gallery featuring Kikihia, Amphipsaltas and Maoricicada.

I asked David Marshall of InsectSingers.com, “when does New Zealand cicada season start and end?” His answer essentially is that it depends on the location, elevation and species, but the best months are between December and April. Interestingly, in certain locations K. muta sing every month of the year.

David also mentioned the Amphipsalta zelandica (Feb-March) which calls using wing-clicks! Here is a video.

Chorus Cicada at Punakaiki

Read the downloadable article Chorus Cicada, Amphipsalta zelandica (Boisduval), males calling with only wing-clicks by Kathy B. R. Hill, The Weta (2012) 43(1): 15–20, for more information.

Update: here’s some Google trends data. More people search for cicada & cicadas in February in New Zealand.

December 2, 2015

The Smaller Neotibicen

Filed under: Identify,Neotibicen,Tibicen — Dan @ 10:32 pm

This is my third, and possibly final, article on identifying Neotibicen, using the information on this website. Read the other articles, Identifying Neotibicen and Large Neotibicen.

Identifying the smaller Neotibicen is no easy task — with two exceptions.

The two easy ones are:

1) Neotibicen superbus, aka the Superb Cicada, because it looks like no other cicada in this group. It is pea green with bright yellow arches on its mesonotum. No other Neotibicen shares that coloration. No other cicada in the group sounds quite like it either.

Superb Cicada
Photo by Sloan Childers.

2) Neotibicen latifasciatus, aka Coastal Scissors Grinder Cicada, because it has a white X (pruinose) on its back. Otherwise, it looks like four other cicadas, kinda like four more, and sounds like three others.

While I’ve never heard an actual scissor being sharpened with a grinder, it must sound like the repetitive, rhythmic, short grinding sounds like cicada makes. Grind, Grind, Grind, Grind.

Neotibicen latifasciatus
Photo by me of Bill Reynolds’ collection.

The rest of the small Neotibicen closely resemble each other enough to make many scratch their heads in wonder. BugGuide.net organizes these cicadas into four groups4: the “Green Tibicen Species” (Tibicen is the old genus name for these cicadas), “Southern Dog-day Cicadas”, “Swamp Cicadas”/”The chloromerus Group”, and the “Lyric Cicadas”/”The lyricen Group”. I’ll use these groups for this article for consistency sake. These groups are also closely related genetically1, although Neotibicen similaris, which BugGuide puts under “Southern Dog-day Cicadas”, is a bit of an outlier1. Tables below might be a bit overwhelming — but they help to accurately align the similarities between these cicadas.

As you browse this page, if you click the cicada’s name you’ll be brought to a page that features more information about that cicada, including sound files, location information, links to other websites, and often more photos and video. When in doubt: visit the BugGuide Dog Day Cicada page.

The Green Neotibicen

These Neotibicen all share green markings on their pronotum, mesonotum, and pronotal collars. Find a Neotibicen with a green collar, and there’s a good chance it is one of these. As you can see, these insects are well camouflaged for an adult life in trees.

Green Neotibicen
Photo credits l to r: Roy Trountman, Tom Lehmkuhl , Paul Krombholz, me.

Cicada Sounds Like Looks Like Looks Kind of Like
N. canicularis (Harris, 1841) aka Dog-day Cicada

The canicularis varies the most in terms of coloration. Some are very dark, with more black than green, and others have an even amount of green and black.
Sounds like an angle grinder tool grinding something.
N. auriferus
N. davisi davisi
N. davisi harnedi
N. auriferus
N. davisi davisi
N. davisi harnedi
N. latifasciatus
N. linnei
N. pruinosus pruinosus
N. robinsonianus
N. winnemanna
N. latifasciatus (Davis, 1915) aka Coastal Scissor(s) Grinder Cicada

If the cicada has a white X on its back, it is a latifasciatus.
Repetitive, rhythmic, call – like someone repeatedly running a scissor over a grinding wheel (I suppose).
N. pruinosus fulvus
N. pruinosus pruinosus
N. winnemanna
N. linnei
N. pruinosus pruinosus
N. robinsonianus
N. winnemanna
N. auriferus
N. canicularis
N. davisi davisi
N. davisi harnedi
N. linnei (Smith and Grossbeck, 1907) aka Linne’s Cicada

Known for the bend of their wing.

Linne’s cicada’s call builds up — a crescendo — peaks, and then fades back down.
N. tibicen australis
N. tibicen tibicen

It sounds like the N. tibicen species, but unlike them, it calls from high in the trees.
N. latifasciatus
N. pruinosus pruinosus
N. robinsonianus
N. winnemanna
N. auriferus
N. canicularis
N. davisi davisi
N. davisi harnedi
N. pruinosus fulvus Beamer, 1924 aka Yellow morph of Scissor Grinder.

This cicada should look like the other cicadas in this table, but its coloring is more yellow than green, like a teneral Scissor Grinder.
N. latifasciatus
N. pruinosus pruinosus
N. winnemanna
N. pruinosus pruinosus (Say, 1825) aka Scissor(s) Grinder

The Scissor Grinder looks a lot like Linne’s Cicada but their wing doesn’t have bend that Linne’s Cicada has. The Scissor Grinder also seems to have more of an orange coloration to the “arches” on its mesonotum.
Its call is like N. latifasciatus, but it is faster paced.
N. latifasciatus
N. pruinosus fulvus
N. winnemanna
N. latifasciatus
N. linnei
N. robinsonianus
N. winnemanna

N. auriferus
N. canicularis
N. davisi davisi
N. davisi harnedi
N. robinsonianus Davis, 1922 aka Robinson’s Annual Cicada or Robinson’s Cicada

Robinson’s Cicada looks like Linne’s Cicada with less of a wing bend, and a different call.
Its call is kind of like N. latifasciatus, but much more raspy.
N. latifasciatus
N. linnei
N. pruinosus pruinosus
N. winnemanna

N. auriferus
N. canicularis
N. davisi davisi
N. davisi harnedi
N. winnemanna (Davis, 1912) aka Eastern Scissor(s) Grinder

Like the Scissor Grinder, the Eastern Scissor Grinder seems to have more of an orange hue to the arches on its mesonotum, perhaps even more so than the Scissor Grinder.
Its call is similar to the Scissor Grinder.
N. latifasciatus
N. pruinosus fulvus
N. pruinosus pruinosus
N. latifasciatus
N. linnei
N. pruinosus pruinosus
N. robinsonianus
N. auriferus
N. canicularis
N. davisi davisi
N. davisi harnedi


Neotibicen canicularis (Green Group) and Neotibicen davisi (Southern Dog Day Group) compared. Photo by Paul Krombholz

Southern Dog Day

Cicada Sounds Like Looks Like Looks Kind of Like
N. auriferus (Germar, 1834) aka Plains Dog-day Cicada

Coloration varies from rusty browns to greens.
Sounds like an angle grinder tool grinding something.
N. canicularis
N. davisi davisi
N. davisi harnedi
N. davisi davisi
N. davisi harnedi
N. canicularis
N. latifasciatus
N. linnei
N. pruinosus pruinosus
N. robinsonianus
N. winnemanna
N. davisi davisi (Smith and Grossbeck, 1907) aka Davis’ Southeastern Dog-Day Cicada

The davisi comes in a wide variety of colors: from rusty browns to greens.
Sounds like an angle grinder tool grinding something.
N. auriferus
N. canicularis
N. davisi harnedi
N. auriferus
N. davisi harnedi
N. canicularis
N. latifasciatus
N. linnei
N. pruinosus pruinosus
N. robinsonianus
N. winnemanna
N. davisi harnedi Davis, 1918

Looks like Davis’ Southeastern Dog-Day Cicada but with slight differences in the wings.
Sounds like an angle grinder tool grinding something.
N. auriferus
N. canicularis
N. davisi davisi
N. auriferus
N. davisi davisi

N. canicularis
N. latifasciatus
N. linnei
N. pruinosus pruinosus
N. robinsonianus
N. winnemanna
N. superbus (Fitch, 1855) aka Superb Dog-Day Cicada

This cicada is the most unique looking: solid green with prominent yellow arches on its back.
Its call is so unique, you’ll have to listen to it and decide what it sounds like.
N. similaris (Smith and Grossbeck, 1907) aka Similar Dog-Day Cicada

This cicada is similar to the Neotibicen tibicen species in shape (hump back) and coloring.
N. tibicen tibicen

Swamp Cicadas

Swamp Cicadas are often the easiest cicadas to find, because they prefer to stay in the lower branches of trees. Listen for one, and you’ll likely be able to spot it in the tree above you.

Cicada Sounds Like Looks Like Looks Kind of Like
N. tibicen tibicen (Linnaeus, 1758) aka Swamp Cicada

Swamp Cicadas are are known for their rounded, humped back. Their coloration varies from mostly black & some green to black, brown and green. Their collar is usually black, but can include green.
Its call builds up — a crescendo — peaks, and then fizzles out.
N. linnei
N. tibicen australis
N. tibicen australis N. similaris
N. tibicen australis (Davis, 1912) aka Southern Swamp Cicada

Southern Swamp Cicadas look like Swamp Cicadas, but they are more colorful. Their collars are often green & black.
Its call builds up — a crescendo — peaks, and then fizzles out.
N. linnei
N. tibicen tibicen
N. tibicen tibicen N. similaris

Lyric Cicada and Swamp Cicada compared
Top: Swamp Cicada; Bottom: Lyric Cicada. Note the more rounded shape of the Swamp Cicada’s mesonotum. Photo by me.

Lyric Cicadas

The Lyric Cicadas all look physically similar, but their coloration is unique enough to tell them apart. They usually have brown/black collars, which makes it easy to tell them apart from the “Green” Neotibicen. They also resemble the Swamp Cicadas, but Lyric cicadas have flatter mesonotums, and Swamp Cicadas are less likely to have black collars.

Dark Lyric Cicada
Dark Lyric Cicada. Photo by Roy Troutman.

 Lyric Cicada
Lyric Cicada. Photo by me.

Cicada Sounds Like Looks Like Looks Kind of Like
N. lyricen engelhardt (Davis, 1910) aka Dark Lyric Cicada

The Dark Lyric Cicadas have the darkest coloration of all the Lyric cicadas. Their mesonotum is almost entirely dark brown/black. They have a “soda-pop pull-tab” or keyhole shape on their pronotum.
Its sound is like an angle grinder tool steadily grinding a slightly uneven surface.
N. lyricen lyricen
N. lyricen virescens
N. tibicen tibicen
N. lyricen lyricen
N. lyricen virescens
N. lyricen lyricen (De Geer, 1773) aka Lyric Cicada

The Lyric cicada, like most small Neotibicen, has a green, black & brown camouflage look, but the key is Lyric cicadas typically have black collars.
Its sound is like an angle grinder tool steadily grinding a slightly uneven surface.
N. lyricen engelhardti
N. lyricen virescens
N. tibicen tibicen
N. lyricen engelhardti
N. lyricen virescens
N. lyricen virescens Davis, 1935 aka Costal Lyric Cicada

The Costal Lyric cicadas can be distinguished from other Lyric cicadas by their vibrant turquoise-green colors.
Its sound is like an angle grinder tool steadily grinding a slightly uneven surface.
N. lyricen engelhardti
N. lyricen lyricen
N. tibicen tibicen
N. lyricen engelhardti
N. lyricen virescens

1Molecular phylogenetics, diversification, and systematics of Tibicen Latreille 1825 and allied cicadas of the tribe Cryptotympanini, with three new genera and emphasis on species from the USA and Canada (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadidae) by Kathy B. R. Hill, David C. Marshall, Maxwell S. Moulds & Chris Simon. 2015, Zootaxa 3985 (2): 219–251. Link to PDF.

3 Cicadas of the United States and Canada East of the 100th Meridian.

4BudGuide.net’s Dog Day Cicadas Page.

###

I will update & augment this article over time.

For more information about these cicadas, visit the North American Cicadas page and our U.S.A. & Cicada Search Page

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