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September 28, 2017

Cigars got their name from cicadas?

Filed under: Folklore — Dan @ 7:05 pm

Cigars got their name from cicadas?

A 1916 article titled “How Men’s Habits Began” (The Press Publishing Co, The New York Evening World) says this:

A cigar deserves a better start, but some of our highbrows claim it got its name from our little friend, the katydid. “Cigarro” was the Spanish name, and the learned ones twist this into coming from “cicada”.

This story seems believable. “Cigarra” is one word Spanish-speaking people use for cicadas. Cicadas do look like cigar butts. Katydids — while not cicadas — are insects that sing like cicadas, and their wings kind of look like tobacco leaves.

Here’s a link to the story.

September 21, 2017

2017 Cicada Summer

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Dan @ 8:48 pm

Today is September 21st, 2017 — the last day of Summer, in central New Jersey. Leaves of maple trees have started to turn scarlet and yellow. Oaks are dropping their acorns. The few, remaining Morning (Neotibicen tibicen tibicen) and Linne’s (Neotibicen linnei) cicadas sound decrepit and tired — like tiny breaking machines, low on fuel and oil. I found one dead Morning cicada lying on a sidewalk — its body crushed. Here in New Jersey, at least, the cicada season is all but over.

teneral Neotibicen tibicen tibicen 2
Molting Neotibicen tibicen tibicen in Little Silver, NJ. August 26st.

As cicada years go, this one had ups and downs. It wasn’t as awesome as 2016, but I can’t blame the cicadas.

Downs:

  • No group cicada hunts this year. My cicada hobby is much more fun when I can share it with other people.
  • A skunk took over my favorite spot for finding Morning Cicada nymphs.
  • I had to go on a business trip during what would have been the best weeks for finding nymphs.
  • I forgot to bring my good audio recording equipment to Titusville, NJ & Washington Crossing, PA, and only got so-so iPhone audio of the weird N. winnemanna there.

Ups:

  • I found a new Megatibicen auletes location in Highlands, NJ. The location is about 50 miles north of where I usually find them.
  • I found more Megatibicen auletes exuvia than ever at the Manchester, NJ location where my friends and I normally hunt for auletes. Normally I find one or two — this year I found dozens. I found no adult specimens, other than those singing in the trees at dusk.
  • I found a small but productive Neotibicen canicularis location in Little Silver, NJ. This yielded several specimens for a few good photos.
  • I did find enough exuvia & Morning cicadas that I should be happy.

Here’s some images from this summer:

Neotibicen tibicen tibicen with bad wing. The indigo color is fascinating. August 9th.
Neotibicen tibicen tibicen with bad wing

A Neotibicen tibicen tibicen found during a lunchtime stroll. September 1st.
Neotibicen tibicen tibicen 5

A female Neotibicen canicularis found in Little Silver, NJ. August 25th.
female Neotibicen canicularis

You’ll find more photos in the gallery, and more activity on the Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

And last, the most popular post on the Cicada Mania Facebook page:

September 19, 2017

Neotibicen linnei and canicularis compared

Filed under: Neotibicen — Tags: , — Dan @ 6:24 am

Sometimes the best cicada locations are just a short distance from your home. This summer I came across a grove of pine trees that had two species of Neotibicen: Neotibicen linnei (Linne’s Cicada) and Neotibicen canicularis (Dog-Day Cicada). Neotibicen linnei and Neotibicen canicularis look very similar when they’re adults (appearances vary by location), so it helpful to compare the two species.

This image compares Neotibicen linnei and canicularis when they’ve recently molted (teneral). Note that the N. linnei is yellow and green, while the N. canicularis is a pink/salmon color.
Linnei and Canicularis compared

This image compares these cicadas approximately 24 hours after molting. Note that they’ve achieved there adult coloring, which is very similar, but you can see vestiges of the pink on the N. canicularis.
Neotibicen linnei and canicularis compared

This last image compares the wing shape of N. linnei (foreground) and N. canicularis (background). Both cicadas are standing on the same piece of white paper. The wings of the N. linnei have a sharper bend — see how the tip of the wing is lifted far off the surface of the paper, while the wing of the N. canicularis almost sits on the paper. Also note that the N. linnei is a more vibrant green, and the N. canicularis is more of a drab/olive green.
linnei top canicularis bottom wing comparison

Read this journal article, to learn how closely these cicadas are related genetically:
HILL, KATHY B. R., DAVID C. MARSHALL, MAXWELL S. MOULDS, & CHRIS SIMON. “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).” Zootaxa [Online], 3985.2 (2015): 219–251. Web. 20 Sep. 2017

September 17, 2017

New species of Clinopsalta cicadas

Filed under: Australia,Clinopsalta,L. W. Popple — Dan @ 9:36 pm

Lindsay Popple announced on Twitter that two new species of Clinopsalta cicadas have been described.

Links:

Sounds: Calling songs of Clinopsalta cicadas.

Journal Article: TWO NEW SPECIES OF CLINOPSALTA MOULDS (HEMIPTERA: CICADIDAE) AND ADDITIONAL DISTRIBUTION RECORDS FOR CLINOPSALTA ADELAIDA (ASHTON), WITH NOTES ON THEIR DISTINCTIVE CALLING SONGS. Popple and Emery, 2017. Rec. Aust. Mus. 69(4): 237–256

Abstract from the journal article:

Two new species are described in the genus Clinopsalta Moulds. Clinopsalta autumna sp. nov. exhibits a warm temperate distribution from south-east Queensland south to Goulburn and Nerriga in eastern New South Wales. Clinopsalta semilunata sp. nov. has a patchy distribution in southern Queensland from Binjour Plateau west to near Miles, south to Yelarbon State Forest and Durikai State Forest, both near Inglewood. In addition to the descriptions of these new species, further distribution records are provided for C. adelaida (Ashton), which extend its distribution from south-eastern South Australia and northern Victoria to inland central and northern New South Wales. The species of Clinopsalta are small–medium sized cicadas (< 20 mm body length) with distinctive calling songs of an intermediate frequency (c. 6 to 18 kHz). The temporal structures of the calling songs follow a similar pattern in each species, comprising an introductory rattle followed by a series of clicking phrases. The call is characteristically accompanied with bouts of prominent wing-snapping, except in one species (C. semilunata sp. nov.).

September 13, 2017

Fiji 8-year periodical Nanai aka Raiateana knowlesi 🇫🇯

Filed under: Fiji,Raiateana — Dan @ 5:25 am

Fiji $100 note

Update (9/13/2017): the Nanai have begun to emerge! This cicada last emerged in 2009 in Nadroga-Navosa and Serua Provinces, and now again emerge in 2017. People in Fuji will be able to report sightings to nanai-tracker.herokuapp.com.

Notes from Chris Simon:

Early this morning I got the first Reports of the 8-year periodical Nanai emerging in Navosa, Fiji! Some people in that area had them for dinner.

This confirms earlier reports of the eight year periodicity. There was some uncertainty because the original specimens were dated (1906) a year later than they would be if on the current 8-year schedule.

Duffels and Ewart (1988, The Cicadas of the Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga Islands, their taxonomy and Biogeograohy) noted that, “Until recently the present species is only known from three males collected in “Fijii” in 1906 by C. knowles.” Duffels was not able to describe them when he first saw the specimens because they were missing the male genitalia. After obtaining, “a series of females and two males” from Dick Watling and Andrew Laurie in 1986, Duffels was able to assign it to the genus Raiateana. There is one other species of Raiateana in Fiji, R. kuruduadua (two subspecies in Fiji and one in Samoa) but it is not periodical as far as we know.

You might be familiar with American periodical cicadas (Magicicada) and the World-cup synchronized Chremistica ribhoi of India, but Fiji has a periodical cicada too: the 8-year periodical Nanai cicada aka Raiateana knowlesi.

It also appears on Fiji’s $100 note.

There’s even a local legend about the cicada.

More information:

Thanks to Chris Simon of the University of Connecticut for this information.

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