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April 12, 2008

2008 Cicada Temperature Study

Filed under: Brood XIV | Gene Kritsky | Magicicada | Roy Troutman — Dan @ 7:21 am

Roy Troutman sent me these photos of temperature loggers that allow cicada experts, like Gene Kritsky, to measure the ground soil temperature, and improve their formulas for predicting Magicicada emergences.

We [Gene Kristsky and Roy Troutman] buried 3 temperature probes & tied one on a tree branch for air readings. The temperature loggers will take a very accurate reading every 10 minutes & after the emergence has started in full swing Gene will dig them up & hook them to a usb cable & download all the data to his laptop for study. He [Gene] is trying to determine the exact temperature that they will emerge so he can fine tune his formula for calculating emergence times.

Last year Gene’s emergence formula calculator (try it!) did a good job of predicting the Brood XIII emergence, and the 2008 temperature study should only improve it.

You might be able to participate in the 2008 cicada temperature study. If you’re interested, contact Gene Kritsky.

Temperature Logger

Temperature Logger


  1. David E says:

    Thanks very much Roy. Your comments are much appreciated as they clarified and added appreciably to the passing remarks in Williams & Simon(1995) Rev Entomol.,40,269.

  2. Roy Troutman says:

    Hello David,
    Minor variations in altitude play a role in which area of the forest the nymphs will emerge first. South facing slopes & hilltops usually see the first of an emergence & the lower valleys will see the last of the emerging nymphs days later. Densly shaded forest also tends to have later emerging cicadas. I have noted this tendency in my own backyard during the Brood X emergence 4 years ago. Also a nice warm rain will bring out a large emergence as well.
    Climate & geographic location will have a noticable effect on emergence times as well with, say Tennessee seeing an emergence of Brood XIV start in the middle of May while areas such as New York or Massachusetts not seeing the emergence until the first week of June.


  3. David E says:

    Hi Roy, I gather that rainfall has little to do with the Magicicada emergence times or numbers and that temperature is critical? Does this temperature formula work as a predictor with variables of altitude and latitude as well?

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