Cicada Mania

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

Cicada T-shirts

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. Blackbirds 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 as 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 a 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 Flemington, and down Rt 31 and heard no cicada populations. I visited Sourland Mountain. I visited many of the markers on Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly 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 exuvia at a rest stop on Rt 70 hear Cedar Springs, Ohio. This was a nice find because I didn’t see any sightings in this area on the Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly 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).

April 27, 2017

Brood VI 17-Year Cicadas Due in Spring of 2017

Filed under: Brood VI | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 1:01 am

Brood VI will next emerge in 2034.

This page was last updated in 2017.

Final Update: I traveled to Wisconsin last week and spent a few days looking for cicadas in the southern part of the state (Madison, Baraboo, Janesville, Cedar Bluff, Dodgeville) but unfortunately I did not see or hear any. :(. So far this year though, Brood VI was spotted in GA, NC, SC, OK, OH and perhaps NY….

BROOD VI

Previous updates can be found in the comments.

Brood VI (6) 17-year cicadas (“locusts”) will emerge in the spring of 2017. The main group will emerge in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Other lesser groups should emerge in Ohio & Wisconsin. And possibly other states/locations as well.

About Brood VI:

The cicada species that will emerge are Magicicada septendecim1, Magicicada septendecula1, and possibly Magicicada cassini2. These periodical cicadas have a 17-year life cycle. The last time they emerged was 2000.

When: Generally speaking, these cicadas will begin to emerge when the soil 8" beneath the ground reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit 3. A nice, warm rain will often trigger an emergence. So, definitely May, but something might happen in April if we have a particularly hot spring.

Report a sighting: If you see or heard cicadas, please report them to Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org). This helps researchers map the location of the cicadas.

Locations where they are likely to emerge:

This data comes from the Cicada Central Magicicada Database6 and other sources 5, 7.

Georgia:

Counties:

Best bet: Rabun.6

1889 document: Dade (Trenton), Elbert (Elberton), Floyd (Rome), Habersham (Turnerville), Hill (Virgil), Paulding (Brownsville), Rabun, Spalding (Experiment), White (Tesnatee). 7

Not Atlanta.

North Carolina:

Counties:

Best bet: Buncombe (Asheville), Burke, Caldwell, Henderson, McDowell, Polk, Wilkes6.

1889 document: Alexander (Mount Pisgah, Taylorsville), Bladen, Buncombe (Asheville), Burke (Morganton), Cabarrus, Caldwell (Lenoir, Hickory), Catawba (Claremont, Maiden), Henderson (Westfeldt Park, Horse Shoe), Iredell, Lincoln (Denver, Lincolnton), Macon (Franklin), McDowell (Greenlee), Moore, Montgomery, Pender (Long Creek), Polk (Columbus, Saluda, Mill Spring), Rabun (Highlands), Randolph, Rutherford, Swain (Whittier), Transylvania, Union (Waxhaw), Washington, Wilkes (Moravian Falls, Wilkesboro).7

South Carolina:

Counties:

Best bet: Oconee, Pickens6.

1889 document: Oconee (Stumphouse Mountain which is near Westminster).7

Brood VI

Wisconsin:

Wisconsin seems like a sure thing as well.

Counties:

Best bet: Columbia, Dane, Rock, Sauk (Baraboo)5

1889 document (aside from those mentioned above: Burnett (Spooner), Columbia (Madison), Crawford (Towerville), Dane (Janesville), Fond du Lac (Ripon), Green Lake (Dartford), Marquette (Harrisville), Sauk (Baraboo), Sawyer (Hayward), Washburn (Shell Lake), Waushara (Auroraville). 7

Ohio

Counties:

Best bet: Hamilton (Hyde Park, Delhi, Finneytown, Green Township, Anderson). 5

1889 document: Carroll, Champaign, Columbiana, Delaware, Madison, Mahoning, Montgomery, Morrow, Pickaway, Shelby, Union.

And Maybe…

Various counties in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. More about that here.

Learn more about Brood VI:

Wanted Poster

Download a PDF of the wanted poster (1.3MB).

(more…)

May 22, 2013

Finneytown Ohio 17 year Cicada Acceleration

Filed under: Brood VI | Gene Kritsky | Periodical Stragglers | Roy Troutman — Dan @ 11:10 pm

Roy Troutman, Gene Kritsky and his wife Jess witnessed a Magicicada emergence in Finneytown Ohio tonight. It is believed that this could be an acceleration of a new Brood VI, or an eight year acceleration of Brood X.

From Roy:

We had an unexpected emergence in parts of the Cincinnati area last night & I got some pics with my new Canon t4i. Gene [Kritsky] & his wife Jess came out to witness it as well. I would say hundreds emerged in a very small suburb of Cincinnati called Finneytown. This could be 4 year acceleration of the new brood VI that Gene has been talking about verifying in 2017 or 8 year acceleration of Brood X.

Photos of these cicadas by Roy:

Finneytown OH Acceleration Magicicada Exuvia by Roy Troutman

Finneytown OH Acceleration Teneral Magicicada by Roy Troutman 2

Finneytown OH Acceleration Magicicada Nymph by Roy Troutman

Finneytown OH Acceleration Magicicada Exuvia by Roy Troutman 2

Finneytown OH Acceleration Magicicada Exuvia by Roy Troutman 3

Finneytown OH Acceleration Teneral Magicicada by Roy Troutman

Finneytown OH Acceleration Teneral Male Magicicada by Roy Troutman

Finneytown OH Acceleration Teneral Magicicada by Roy Troutman 3

Finneytown OH Acceleration Magicicada Nymph by Roy Troutman 2_jpg

April 2, 2013

The most interesting 17 year cicada facts

These are the 17 most interesting 17-year cicada facts (IMHO). All these facts apply to 13-year cicadas as well.

#1. Names for cicadas

People call these cicadas “locusts” but they are not true locusts — real locusts look like grasshoppers. The phrase “17-year cicada” indicates that they arrive every 17 years. The name “periodical cicadas” indicates that they arrive periodically and not each and every year. The scientific name for the Genus of these cicadas is Magicicada, and there are 3 types of 17 year Magicicadas: Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini and Magicicada septendecula.

This is a true locust:
Locust

#2. There are 13-year cicadas too

There are 13-year cicadas too! There are four species of 13-year cicadas: Magicicada tredecim, Magicicada neotredecim, Magicicada tredecassini, and Magicicada tredecula. Broods XIX, XXII and XXIII feature these cicadas.

Here’s a video that will help you identify the various species.

#3. Many Eye Colors

Most 17-Year Cicadas have red eyes, but they can also have white, gray, blue , or multi-colored eyes.

Yellow-White Eyed Male Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ

#4. Fungus

The Massospora cicadina fungus infects Magicicadas, destroying their abdomen and ability to reproduce. Often, their entire abdomen will fall off. The cicadas spread the fungus throughout their local colony via mating. The Massospora fungus is a cicada STD!

Male Magicicada septendecim infected with Massospora cicadina fungus

#5. They will land on you if you are using a power tool or lawn mower

Cicadas think the sounds made by power tools and lawn maintenance equipment are made by cicadas. They get confused and will land on the people using the equipment! Pro-tip: cut your lawn in the early morning or near dusk when the cicadas are less active.

guy with cicadas

#6. Cicadas have five eyes

Cicadas have two, obvious, large, compound eyes, and three ocelli. Ocelli are three jewel-like eyes situated between the two main, compound eyes of a cicada. We believe ocelli are used to detect light and darkness. Ocelli means little eyes in Latin.

5 Eyes

#7. People eat them

People eat them. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There, uh, cicada kabobs, cicada creole, cicada gumbo, panfried, deep fried, stir fried. There’s pineapple cicada, lemon cicada, coconut cicada, pepper cicada, cicada soup, cicada stew, cicada salad, cicada and potatoes, cicada burger, cicada pizza, cicada sandwich… that’s, that’s about it.

Cicada Ice Cream

#8. Animals eat them

All wild animals and domestic pets will eat them. Dogs will gorge themselves until they choke. Squirrels will eat them like corn on the cob. Wild turkeys will grow fat and juicy on the cicada feast. Fish go crazy for them too — you can use them as bait, or use lures that mimic them.

#9. Cicadas “eat” tree fluids

Cicadas don’t eat solid foods like leaves or fruits. Instead they use their slender, straw-like mouth parts to drink tree fluids.

#10. Cicadas pee

Yes cicadas pee, so wear a hat when walking under trees if that sort of thing bothers you. Cicadas drink tree fluids and then expel the excess fluid they do now need. People call it “honeydew” or “cicada rain”.

#11. How cicadas make their sound

Only male cicadas make the loud sound they are famous for. Males have organs on their abdomen called tymbals. Muscles pop the tymbals in and out, which creates the sound we hear. Males make different calls for different reasons, and each species has a unique sound. Females can make sound too: they flick their wings to respond to males.

tymbals

#12. There are billions of them

There are literally billions, if not trillions, of 17-year cicadas. Why? One theory suggests that a large number of cicadas overwhelms predators, so predators are never able to eat them all and cicadas, and many always survive to mate. This is a survival strategy called “predator satiation”.

#13. They damage wimpy trees

The biggest concern about 17-year cicadas is their potential to damage young trees. The truth is they will damage limbs on the wimpiest of trees, so if you have weak, pathetic, wimpy ornamental trees in your yard you should consider placing netting around the trees if the cicadas visit your yard. Also, you can try hosing them off with water, placing insect barrier tape around the trunk of the trees, or picking them off like grapes! Or, plant strong, beefy American trees — that’s what I would do. Cicadas actually benefit the health of trees by aerating the soil around the roots and trimming the weak or damaged limbs.

#14. Stragglers

Periodical cicadas that emerge in years before they are supposed to emerge are called stragglers.

hipster cicada

#15. 17 and 13 are prime numbers

Scientist speculate that one reason why these cicadas emerge in 17 or 13 year cycles is because those are prime numbers. The fact that 13 & 17 are relatively large* prime numbers makes it difficult for predators to synchronize with them. (*Relative to the average lifespan of an animal.) Annual cicadas (cicadas that arrive every year) often have wasps specialized to prey on them; periodical cicadas have no such wasp because no wasp could evolve to synch with it.

#16. They use their color to warm up

Cicadas need to be warm to sing and fly around. Their dark skin absorbs the heat of the sun, which helps to warm them up.

#17. 17-year and 13-year broods co-emerge every 221 years

Cicada Broods usually don’t overlap geographically, and it is very rare when they emerge in the same year. In 2024, Brood XIX and Brood XIII are both emerging.

###

If you have 18 minutes to spare, watch the video version of this article.

Cicada T-shirts