Cicada Mania

Dedicated to cicadas, the most amazing insects in the world.

Cicada T-shirts

May 10, 2021

The Cicada Olympics: Engaging Kids in Live Insect Activities

Filed under: Books | Community Science — Dan @ 10:49 am

Hey! There’s a new cicada book out for Kids. Looks fun. The Cicada Olympics: Engaging Kids in Live Insect Activities. by Cynthia ‘Cindy’ Smith, Ph.D. & Richard Grover. It is available on Kindle.

Description of the book:

In 2021, a special kind of cicada will emerge – the Brood X. This is the first time these cicadas will dig out of the soil in 17 years! This book, by Cindy Smith, Ph.D. and Richard Groover, Ph.D., will equip you with age-appropriate information to make this a fun learning opportunity for your children. The authors have made the learning activities streamlined and easy to implement for individuals and groups. Within these pages, you’ll find: 13 fun cicada activities with instructions and materials list, parent and volunteer information, cicada jokes, pictures, and online resources

May 3, 2021

Be cautious and considerate when looking for Brood X cicadas

Filed under: Brood X | Community Science — Dan @ 6:34 pm

Brood X will emerge in 2021, and people will want to travel to see and hear them. Should you decide to travel to witness Brood X or any cicada emergence in the U.S., be cautious and considerate of the following:

Be respectful of private property

Periodical cicadas thrive in neighborhoods and campuses with old hardwood trees and grass lawns, as you’ll find in places like Princeton, New Jersey. Don’t traipse and trample onto private property without permission and always visit local parks, instead of neighborhoods, when possible.

Observe local laws and customs

This should go without saying: obey local laws. Do not: litter, trespass, speed, j-walk, etc. Don’t give cicada fans a bad name.

Be prepared to practice social distancing and to wear a mask, even if just as a courtesy. I noticed that even outdoors in public parks, people in New Jersey wear masks.

Do not bring Spotted Lanternflies home with you

Spotted Lanternflies are true bugs, just like cicadas, but they are very, very destructive pests and an “invasive species”. Like the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website says, they “cause serious damage including oozing sap, wilting, leaf curling, and dieback in trees, vines, crops and many other types of plants”! They kill the trees cicadas call home.

Pennsylvania and western New Jersey are loaded with Spotted Lanternflies, so if you travel to those states to see Brood X cicadas, make sure you check your vehicle and belongings for Lanternfly hitchhikers. Don’t bring them home with you. At this time of year, I believe they are still in their black phase.

Spotted Lanternfly Sign
This sign is downloadable from the USDA website.

And squash them all — for the good of the forest and cicadas.

More info at the USDA website.

Protect yourself from ticks

Long Island (NY), New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nearby states are loaded with Lyme Disease carrying Blacklegged/Deer Ticks. I’ve known people who have Lyme Disease and it practically ruined their lives. Unfortunately, ticks are found in the same areas as cicadas, like parks, yards, and forests. The CDC website has tips for preventing tick bites on people that I highly recommend you read and follow their tips. I personally wear pyrethrum-treated clothes when outdoors in New Jersey.

From the CSC.gov website:
Lyme Ticks

May 2, 2021

Different types of Magicicada periodical cicada holes

Filed under: Brood X | Chimneys | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 5:19 pm

Different types of Magicicada periodical cicada holes found in Princeton, NJ. Brood X, 2021. Generally speaking, their holes are about the size of a dime. You won’t see a spray or kickback of soil around the hole like you would when an animal is digging into the soil rather than coming out of it (cicadas are coming out).

Typical dime-sized cicada holes

Typical Holes

A hole with a corresponding mini cicada-chimney

Here's a hole and cap

A golf ball sized chimney over a hole

Mud Golf Ball

A hole borrowed into a hay bale laying on the ground

Hole in Hay

A hole in moss

A hole in moss

Holes in the underside of a rotten log, with a nymph!

Cicadas will burrow up from the soil of the ground and keep going into the rotting wood of a rotten log! I had to roll the log over to see it.
Holes in a Log

The inside view of a 4″ cicada chimney

Chimey

Video of a Nymph

April 19, 2021

17-year cicada cross word puzzle

Filed under: Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 6:02 pm

Want to try a 17-year cicada crossword puzzle? It isn’t easy.

Download a large version of the image with the hints. Or use the one on this page:

Cicada Cross Word Puzzle

ACROSS
2. Two of them are…
7. Mistaken identity
8. Soil temperature sampler
10. Insect Singers site
11. The cicada’s old outfit
13. Where you’ll find the arches.
15. Keep a lid on it.
17. Longest lifecycle.
22. Ohio expert
24. Five.
27. Never on time.
28. A delicious drink.
29. I’m seeing red.
30. Grill.
31. 5 steps.
33. Final form.
35. Seven is the smallest.

DOWN
1. Un-popped collar.
3. Four to get off the Floor.
4. A “cool” cicada expert.
5. Three of Five.
6. Youngsters.
9. Plates
12. A rare color.
14. Nest knife.
16. Pitch shifter
18. Left Connecticut forever
19. Drum kit.
20. Amphetamine fungus.
21. Cicada banners.
23. Keep hanging on.
25. Mr. Softy.
26. Just six of these.
32. Beak.
34. Connecticut lab leader

Answers are here.

I used the Discovery Education Puzzlemaker to create this.

April 18, 2021

Cicada Mania BINGO for Brood X 2021

Filed under: Cicada Mania | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 5:48 am

Here’s something fun: Cicada Mania BINGO. Use this BINGO card to keep track of everything you see, hear or do in context to the Brood X emergence. Here’s a PDF version. Tips below the image of the card:

Cicada Mania

Tips:

  1. Pictures of cicada Holes and Chimneys
  2. Magicicada septendecim photos & song
  3. A cicada with white eyes
  4. Cicadas with blue and yellow eyes
  5. Video of Cicada Nymphs at Night
  6. Cicadas with Massospora cicadina fungus infections
  7. Magicicada septendecula photos & songs
  8. Cicada eggs and young nymphs
  9. Are cicadas safe to eat?
  10. Magicicada cassini photos & songs
  11. Video of a cicada laying eggs
  12. Links to the Cicada Safari app.
  13. Cicada songs, including Choruses
  14. Wing Flicks Videos

I’ll probably do a version for summertime cicadas too.

Periodical cicada nymphs emerging at night

Filed under: Brood XIII | Magicicada | Molting | Nymphs | Periodical — Dan @ 5:29 am

One of the most fun periodical cicada experiences is watching thousands of nymphs emerge from the ground at night, and crawl to the nearest vertical surface (hopefully a tree) and begin to molt.

This is a video by Roy Troutman from 2007 of the Brood XIII emergence, specifically in Ryerson Woods in Illinois:

Observing magicicada emergence at Ryerson Woods from Roy Troutman on Vimeo.

Here’s a time-lapse video, also by Roy, of a cicada nymph molting:

Magicicada nymph molting from Roy Troutman on Vimeo.

April 17, 2021

Magicicada wing flicks

Filed under: Magicicada | Sounds — Dan @ 7:59 pm

Female Magicicada cicadas do not sing, but they do make a sound by flicking their wings. These percussive wing flicks get the attention of male cicadas and it compels them to sing their court songs in response.

Here’s a video of a female cicada flicking her wings:

A video of a group of female cicadas flicking their wings in a tree:

You can fool male cicadas into thinking a finger snap is a wing flick. Here’s a video of a male cicada calling in response to fake wing flicks:

New Book: The Cicadas Are Coming!: Invasion of the Periodical Cicadas!

Filed under: Books — Dan @ 10:39 am

A new photo-illustrated periodical cicada book for kids will be available on April 26th: The Cicadas Are Coming!: Invasion of the Periodical Cicadas! by Doug Wechsler. I haven’t see it yet, but it looks promising.

It’s available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Cicadas are Coming

Description:

When a million bugs come out of the ground at once, children pay attention. Periodical cicadas don’t disappoint. Almost every animal in the area fills its stomach. Then after a month the feast and the cacophony suddenly stops.

This book is about one of the oddest insect life cycles on the planet the periodical or 17-year cicada.

The beautiful photographs and engaging text bring to life every aspect of this insect’s life from a unique view of the eggs inside a twig, to its transformation to the noisiest insect around. Author Doug Wechsler, once again, brings the natural world into focus for children.

April 5, 2021

Buzzy and the Little Critters: A Curious Tale of a Cicada Invasion

Filed under: Books — Dan @ 8:04 pm

Got another kids book about cicadas:

Buzzy and the Little Critters: A Curious Tale of a Cicada Invasion by Kenton Hill. It’s on Amazon.com and other book stores.

It is a story about a boy, a girl, a grandpa (who is an entomologist), thousands of cicadas, and lots of other hungry critters. Along with the fun story (including an exciting dream scene) are several pages of scientific information in kid language to help them understand and appreciate these amazing insects.

Buzzy and the Little Critters: A Curious Tale of a Cicada Invasion

March 29, 2021

Snappy Cicada Pizza Jingles

Filed under: Eating Cicadas | Music — Dan @ 6:53 pm

There’s a pizza restaurant chain in the Cincinnati area called Snappy Tomato Pizza that occasionally runs commercials for Snappy Cicada Pizza. It’s a joke of course. Or is it? Maybe they’ll do it again in 2021.

Listen to the songs:

More »