Cicada Mania

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

Magicicada periodical cicada Broods.

June 21, 2019

My Brood VIII Report

Filed under: Brood VIII,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 7:54 pm

This year Brood VIII periodical cicadas emerged in the Pittsburgh area, and I traveled to see and map them. Unfortunately, I only had 3 days, so I only saw the western side of the Brood.

Mating Magicicada septendecim

All things considered — including cool, cloudy weather (which cicadas don’t like as much as hot & sunny) and a very rainy spring — Brood VIII was the least impressive brood I’ve witnessed, in terms of the sheer number of cicadas. I hope no one in the Pittsburgh area takes offense to that statement — Brood VIII is your brood, and you should be proud of it. It is just that as we humans build more and more, and continue to alter the environment, the numbers of cicadas will steadily dwindle. and I think we’re seeing that happen to Brood VIII.

Here’s an impromptu map of the places I saw cicadas:

Brood VIII Mapping

And a list of places:

  • Allegheny Township
  • Apollo
  • Bethel Township
  • Black Lick
  • Blairsville
  • Blue Spruce Park
  • Bolivar
  • Boyce Park
  • Brush Valley Township
  • Center Township
  • Crooked Creek Horse Park
  • Derry Township
  • Elizabeth
  • Hempfield Township
  • Home
  • Homer City
  • Hoodlebug Trail
  • Indiana
  • Keystone State Park
  • Ligonier
  • New Alexandria
  • New Florence
  • Parks Township
  • Pine Ridge Park
  • Rayne Township
  • Round Hill Park
  • St Clair Township
  • Stahlstown
  • Two Lick Creek Dam
  • Unity
  • Washington Township
  • West Wheatfield Township
  • White Township
  • Yellow Creek State Park

And some photos:

Female Magicicada septendecim

Male Magicicada septendecim

Just a head

Video of the amazing cicada that was just a head.

A very cool Brood VIII cicada frisbee:

Cicada Frisbee

January 26, 2019

Brood VIII will emerge in 2019 in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia

Filed under: Brood VIII,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 8:01 am

Summer Cicadas

Brood VIII will next emerge in 2036.

Periodical cicada Brood VIII (Eight) has emerged in 2019 in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and the tip of the northern panhandle of West Virginia, as well as Oklahoma (which was unexpected). The last time this brood emerged was in 2002.

  1. Look out for browning of leaves aka “flagging”, and in about a month, look for tiny cicada nymphs on branches where eggs were laid. You can still use the 📱 Cicada Safari App to report Flagging. It is available for iPhones/iOS and Android phones.
  2. If you’re on Facebook, there’s a Brood VIII Group for discussion.
  3. Read about my trip to see Brood VIII

What, when, where, and why:

What:

  • Millions of these: Magicicada septendecim Brood VII 2018 09
  • Cicada insects with a 17-year life cycle.
  • Some people call them “locusts” but they’re really cicadas.
  • Which species: All three 17-year species, Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini and Magicicada septendecula. How to tell the difference between the species.
  • NOT the green ones that arrive annually.

When: Typically beginning in mid-May and ending in late June. These cicadas will begin to emerge approximately when the soil 8″ beneath the ground reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit. A nice, warm rain will often trigger an emergence.

Other tips: these cicadas will emerge after the trees have grown leaves, and, by my own observation, around the same time Iris flowers bloom.

Where:

Magicicada.org has the most up to date maps, including this modernized Google map.

📱 You can report cicada sightings using the Cicada Safari App, available for iPhones/iOS and Android phones. The app helps you identify periodical cicada species, take photos and add your findings to a map. See a map of sightings reported by the app.

  • Pennsylvania Counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, Lawrence, Venango, Washington, Westmoreland.
  • Pennsylvania Cities: Aliquippa, Allegheny Township, Apollo, Baden, Beaver, Belle Vernon, Bethel Township, Black Lick, Blairsville, Bolivar, Brush Valley Township, Burgettstown, Center Township, Cheswick, Chippewa, Cranberry, Derry Township, Economy Boro, Elizabeth, Ellwood City, Fawn Township, Finleyville, Freedom, Gilpin, Greensburg, Harmony, Hempfield Township, Home, Homer City, Hopewell, Indiana, Leet Township, Ligonier, Midland, Murrysville, Natrona Heights, New Alexandria, New Brighton, New Florence, Parks Township, Pittsburgh, Rayne Township, Rector, Robinson Township, Rochester, Round Hill Park, Sewickley, Shelocta, St Clair Township, Stahlstown, Unity, Washington Township, West Deer, West Wheatfield Township, White Township, and more.
  • Pennsylvania parks: Keystone State Park, Blue Spruce Park, Boyce Park, Crooked Creek Horse Park, Hoodlebug Trail, Pine Ridge Park, Yellow Creek State Park
  • Ohio Counties: Columbiana, Mahoning. Trumbull, Ashtabula.
  • Ohio Cities: Boardman, Calcutta, East Liverpool, Girard, Glenmoor, Lisbon, Mineral Ridge, New Waterford, Toronto, Wellsville, Youngstown, and more.
  • West Virginia Counties: Hancock
  • West Virginia Cities: Weirton, and more.
  • West Virginia parks: Tomlinson Run State Park
  • Oklahoma: Around Lawton, and north of Tulsa. Read this article.

More Location Tips:

  • County data is from the Cicada Central Periodical Cicada Record Database and Periodical Cicadas, the Plague and the Puzzle by Gene Kritsky. Cities come from 2002 reports.
  • Brood VIII does overlap with Brood V (which emerged 3 years ago in 2016). Most of Brood VIII is east of V.
  • As a general rule, if you experienced Brood V in 2016, or did not experience Brood VIII in 2002, you won’t experience them this year.
  • Not sure? Ask someone in your community who lived there 17 years ago.

Visually, the cities mentioned above look like this:
Map

Why: Why do they emerge in massive numbers every 17-years? In a nutshell, the long life cycle has helped them avoid gaining a specific above-ground predator, and the massive numbers allow them to satiate predators in general, allowing enough to survive and reproduce.

Bonus content:

Video of newly emerged periodical cicada nymphs:

Magicicada cicada nymph mania from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

More facts and fun:

September 7, 2018

Cicada Fun with Google Trends

Filed under: Australia,Brood X,Life Cycle,Periodical — Tags: — Dan @ 9:22 pm

Note: I originally took this article down because embedding Google Trends slowed down the loading of the page. I’m republishing without the embeds.

This article was inspired by Serious Fun with Google Trends by Simon Leather.

Google Trends is a Google website that lets you see trends in the search terms over time. When people search for “cicada” it usually means cicadas have emerged in their area at the time they search.

The following graph shows when people searched for “cicada” over the past 10 years in the United States. The largest spike, in May of 2004, coincided with the emergence of Brood X. See it on Google Trends.

Google Trends 2004-2015

You might think that periodical cicada emergences cause the largest spikes, but not always — and not just because periodical cicadas don’t emerge every year.

2004: Cicada searches spiked May 16-22, which was Brood X – Magicicadas.
2005: Jul 31-Aug 6 spike which was for Neotibicen Cicadas. No periodical cicadas.
2006: Aug 13-19, Neotibicen Cicadas. No periodical cicadas.
2007: May 20-26, Brood XIII – Magicicadas.
2008: Brood XIV Magicicadas emerged (spike Jun 8-14), but the largest spike was Jul 29-Aug 2, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2009: Aug 16-22, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2010: Aug 8-14, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2011: May 29-Jun 4, Brood XIX – Magicicadas.
2012: Jul 29-Aug 4, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2013: May 5-11, Brood II – Magicicadas.
2014: Brood XXII – Magicicadas had a relatively small spike May 25-31, compared with Aug 24-30 for Neotibicen Cicadas (late season due to cool weather). There was also a teeny bit of a spike around January of 2014 due to the “cicada 3301” meme/game.
2015: Brood XXIII & IV Magicicadas emerged (spike around Jun 7-13), but the largest spike was around Aug 9-15 for Neotibicen Cicadas.

Which cities had the most cicada searches over the past 14 years? Nashville, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Arlington, Washington, Alexandria, Pittsburg, St. Louis, Columbus, and Chicago. Time to move to Nashville.

Australia

In Australia, searches for “cicadas” peaks in December (summertime in Australia). It looks like there is a year-over-year pattern arising as well, with peaks every 4 years (2009, 2013, 2017) particularly, if you drill down to New South Wales.

Australia Google Trends

Japan

In Japan, searches for “セミ” peaks in August.

Google Trends Japan

Other countries

  • Argentina peaks in March for cigarra.
  • Brazil peaks in October and April for cigarra.
  • France peaks in July for cigales.
  • Mexico peaks in May or June for chicharra, but October for cigarra.
  • New Zealand peaks in February for cicadas.
  • South Korea peaks in July for 매미.
  • Spain peaks in July for cigarra.

Now I know when to visit these countries. :)

Try it yourself.

July 31, 2018

New paper: The periodical cicada four-year acceleration hypothesis revisited and the polyphyletic nature of Brood V

A new paper about periodical cicadas! View it: https://peerj.com/articles/5282/

“The periodical cicada four-year acceleration hypothesis revisited and the polyphyletic nature of Brood V, including an updated crowd-source enhanced map (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada)”

Authors: John R. Cooley​, Nidia Arguedas, Elias Bonaros, Gerry Bunker, Stephen M. Chiswell, Annette DeGiovine, Marten Edwards, Diane Hassanieh, Diler Haji, John Knox, Gene Kritsky, Carolyn Mills, Dan Mozgai, Roy Troutman, John Zyla, Hiroki Hasegawa, Teiji Sota, Jin Yoshimura, and Chris Simon.

Abstract:

The periodical cicadas of North America (Magicicada spp.) are well-known for their long life cycles of 13 and 17 years and their mass synchronized emergences. Although periodical cicada life cycles are relatively strict, the biogeographic patterns of periodical cicada broods, or year-classes, indicate that they must undergo some degree of life cycle switching. We present a new map of periodical cicada Brood V, which emerged in 2016, and demonstrate that it consists of at least four distinct parts that span an area in the United States stretching from Ohio to Long Island. We discuss mtDNA haplotype variation in this brood in relation to other periodical cicada broods, noting that different parts of this brood appear to have different origins. We use this information to refine a hypothesis for the formation of periodical cicada broods by 1- and 4-year life cycle jumps.

June 23, 2018

Brood VII, the Onondaga Brood, Will Emerge in New York State in 2018

Filed under: Brood VII,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 1:01 am

Brood VII will return in 2035.

Update (June 17th): I just got back from Onondaga county and I can report that the emergence is in full swing. Lots of chorusing and mating. The best locations are around the Onondaga Nation reservation. If you visit, please do not trespass into the reservation — there are plenty of cicadas outside of it. John Cooley of Magicicada.org said there are also reports of cicadas in the Green Lakes State Park.

Here’s a video montage:

And a gallery:

Brood VII Magicicada septendecim 2018 Syracuse.

About Brood VII

Periodical cicadas (Magicicada septendecim, people call them “locusts”) will emerge in the Finger Lakes area of New York state in 2018.

This group of cicadas is called Brood VII (7) and is known as the Onondaga Brood. This brood is shrinking, and will likely be the next periodical cicada brood to go extinct

A pair of Magicicada septendecim:
A pair of mating Magicicada septendecims found in Woodbridge Township NJ

More details:

  • What: Brood VII is the smallest periodical cicada brood in the U.S., and is isolated in the Finger Lakes area of New York State. Only one species of cicada belongs to the brood: Magicicada septendecim (click link for sounds, video). This cicada has a 17-year life cycle. Sadly, Brood VII will likely be the next Brood to go extinct.
  • When: June, but perhaps May if it’s a very warm year. Magicicada cicadas typically emerge in the spring, once the soil underground where they live reaches approximately 64 degrees Faraihneght.
  • Where: the Finger Lakes area of NY State.
    • Where they appeared (last) in 2001: Onondaga and Livingston.
    • The following counties have had these cicadas in the distant past: Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wyoming, York.
  • The Onondaga Nation survived starvation one year by eating these cicadas

Further reading / viewing / listening:

Papers about Brood VII

  • The Historical Contraction of Periodical Cicada Brood Vii (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada by John R. Cooley, David C. Marshall and Chris Simon. J. New York Entomol. Soc. 112(2–3):198–204, 2004. Link to PDF download.
  • Decrease in Geographic Range of the Finger Lakes Brood(Brood Vii) of the Periodical Cicada (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada Spp.) by Cole Gilbert and Carolyn Klass. J. New York Entomol. Soc. 114(1–2):78–85, 2006.

May 23, 2018

Brood X Stragglers Emerge in Ohio

Filed under: Brood X,Gene Kritsky,Magicicada,Periodical Stragglers — Dan @ 9:59 pm

Gene Kritsky, author of Periodical Cicadas. The Plague and the Puzzle, let us know that many of what are likely Brood X cicada stragglers have emerged around the Mount St. Joseph University campus, in Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s likely that cicadas are emerging elsewhere in the Cincinnati area.

This is significant because Brood X cicadas should not emerge until 2021.

This is a photo of a Magicicada periodical cicada emerging on the MSJ campus, courtesy of Gene:
2018 MSJ nymph

Quick facts:

  • Gene Kritsky is a periodical cicada expert and Dean of the School of Behavioral and Natural Sciences and Professor and of Biology at Mount St. Joseph University. Read more.
  • Brood X is a massive brood of Magicicada (the genus) periodical (the lifecycle type) cicadas that are set to emerge in 2021 in 15 states.
  • A straggler is a periodical cicada that emerges off-schedule, often a few years before or after the rest of its Brood.

May 17, 2018

Periodical cicada season starts, with a straggler

Filed under: Brood XXIII,Magicicada,Periodical,Periodical Stragglers — Dan @ 7:59 pm

Update: in addition, two Brood X stragglers were reported on 5/21 in Bloomington, Indiana (thanks Rhonda and Leah).

Original post:

Cicada researcher John Cooley has received the first cicada sighting of the year — a Brood XXIII straggler in western Tennessee!! 3 years later than expected.

So, what’s a straggler? A straggler is a periodical cicada that emerges sooner or later than it is expected to emerge. In this case, a cicada with a 13-year lifecycle emerged in 16 years — 3 years off.

January 6, 2018

New paper about Brood XXII Magicicadas

There is a new paper out about Brood XXII, titled Evolution and Geographic Extent of a Surprising Northern Disjunct Population of 13-Year Cicada Brood XXII (Hemiptera: Cicadidae, Magicicada). I helped with the field work for this paper, traveling through Ohio and Kentucky with Roy Troutman, recording the locations of periodical cicadas.

Brood XXII, a brood of Magicicada periodical cicadas with a 13-year lifecycle, exists in Louisiana & Mississippi, and Ohio & Kentucky with no geographic connection between them (the two groups are geographically isolated). The paper discusses the similarities and differences between the two groups.

You can read and download the paper for free.

Citation for the paper:
Gene Kritsky, Roy Troutman, Dan Mozgai, Chris Simon, Stephen M Chiswell, Satoshi Kakishima, Teiji Sota, Jin Yoshimura, John R Cooley; Evolution and Geographic Extent of a Surprising Northern Disjunct Population of 13-Year Cicada Brood XXII (Hemiptera: Cicadidae, Magicicada), American Entomologist, Volume 63, Issue 4, 12 December 2017, Pages E15–E20, https://doi.org/10.1093/ae/tmx066

July 9, 2017

My 2017 Brood X and VI Experiences

Filed under: Brood VI,Brood X,Life Cycle,Magicicada — Dan @ 8:28 am

I’ll cut to the chase, in terms of Brood VI, I only experienced the emergence via my web browser. I planned on visiting North Carolina but rain and car troubles stood in my way. I did travel to Wisconsin to try to find legendary populations said to exist there, but I found no cicadas. I drove routes 90, 14, 12, 23 and roads in between, but I had no luck finding them. My investigation was by no means comprehensive, but I covered as much ground as I could in the two days I was there, and found no periodical cicadas.

Brood X stragglers are a different story. I missed seeing the massive Virginia/Maryland area populations, but I was able to see cicadas in Princeton, and the significant emergence in the Dublin area of Ohio.

Princeton, NJ

On May 20th I visited Princeton and found exuvia (shed skins/”shells”) on a pole next to where I parked my car, which was very encouraging. I headed for the Princeton Battle Monument park, a place where I saw massive numbers of cicadas in 2004. There, in 2017, I found exuvia but no adults — from 5 to as many as 200 per tree (I counted what I could see). The park was overflowing with squirrels and birds that would love to eat cicadas — I have no doubt why no stragglers survived. Black birds paced the lawn five abreast, like a small army systematically hunting for insect prey. During a normal emergence periodical cicadas emerge in such great numbers that many are able to get past the armies of hungry birds and rodents (this is called predator satiation). After visiting the park, I walked many side streets and found exuvia everywhere I went — not massive piles like we see during a normal, on-schedule emergence — but at least a few on every tree.

I returned on May 27th, and actually found adult cicadas in Princeton. I found dozens of Magicicada cassini and a few Magicicada septendecim. There were not enough adults to form viable choruses. I doubt few mated. I heard a single Magicicada cassini court song, so all least they were trying.

The most interesting cicada I saw was this Magicicada cassini with a mosaic pigment mutation, which caused the unusual orange marking on its abdomen. At first I thought it was a Magicicada septendecim, but Chris Simon confirmed that it was not.

Magicicada cassini with mosaic pigment mutation in Princeton 2017

I also drove Rt 29 from Trenton to Frenchtown, across Rt 12 to Flemmington, and down Rt 31 and heard no cicada populations. I visited Sourland Mountain. I visited many of the markers on Magicicada.org but found no cicadas, and certainly no viable adult populations (no singing, not enough to perpetuate a population).

North of Dublin, Ohio

On June 10th I made it to the suburbs north of Dublin, Ohio (itself north of Columbus). There I encountered a very active periodical cicada emergence. I mostly found Magicicada cassini, but I could hear Magicicada septendecim from time to time. I have little doubt that many cicadas mated and some of their progeny will survive to appear in another 14 or 17 years.

North of Dublin

Cedar Springs, OH

When I’m mapping cicadas I try to stop at every rest stop and welcome center to look for cicadas. I found periodical cicada exvuia at a rest stop on Rt 70 hear Cedar Springs, Ohio. This was a nice find because I didn’t see any signtings in this area on the Magicicada.org map.

Indianapolis, IN, near Ft. Harrison State park

I passed through Indianapolis, IN twice on my way to and from Wisconsin. I found some exuvia on the outskirts of Ft. Harrison State park, but nothing inside the park (weird).

June 4, 2017

Periodical cicada Brood X (10) will emerge in 15 states in 2021

Filed under: Brood X,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 1:01 am

Periodical cicada Brood X (10) will emerge in the spring of 2021 in Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.

The last time this brood emerged was in 2004.

What, when, where, and why:

What:

  • Millions of these:
    Adult, Nymph Molting
  • Cicada insects with a 17-year life cycle.
  • Some people call them “locusts” but they’re really cicadas.
  • Which species: All three 17-year species, Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini and Magicicada septendecula. How to tell the difference between the species.
  • NOT the green ones that arrive annually.

When: Typically beginning in mid-May and ending in late June. These cicadas will begin to emerge approximately when the soil 8″ beneath the ground reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit. A nice, warm rain will often trigger an emergence.

Other tips: these cicadas will emerge after the trees have grown leaves, and, by my own observation, around the same time Iris flowers bloom.

Where:

Magicicada.org has the most up to date maps.

  • Delaware counties: Kent, Sussex
  • Georgia counties: Union, White
  • Illinois counties: Edgar, Clark, Crawford, Vermilion
  • Indiana counties: Brown, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Dubois, Fountain, Gibson, Greene, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Montgomery, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Ripley, Spencer, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, Vigo, Warrick
  • Kentucky counties: Boone, Breckenridge, Bullitt, Carroll, Daviess, Gallatin, Grayson, Henry, Jefferson, La Rue, McLean, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Ohio, Oldham, Trimble
  • Maryland counties: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Washington
  • Michigan counties: Hillsdale, Washtenaw
  • North Carolina counties: Cherokee, Surry, Wilkes
  • New Jersey cities: Princeton for sure
  • New Jersey counties: Burlington, Hunterdon, Mercer, Salem
  • New York counties: Suffolk
  • Ohio counties: Defiance, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Logan, Montgomery
  • Pennsylvania counties: Adams, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Columbia, County, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Schuylkill, Somerset, York
  • Tennessee counties: Blount, Greene, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Roane, Sumner, Wilson
  • Virginia counties: Arlington, Clarke, County, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Shenandoah, Warren, Winchester
  • West Virginia counties: Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan
  • Washington D.C. counties: Washington

More Location Tips:

More facts and fun:

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