Cicada Mania

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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

April 1, 2008

Brood XIV: When, Where and What do they look like?

Filed under: Brood XIV — Dan @ 6:39 pm

This is the first of several Brood XIV Magicicada posts to help you enjoy this year’s cicada mania experience:

When will they appear?


In April people will start to find cicada nymphs close to the surface of the ground, under stones, while landscaping, etc. This is what a nymph looks like:

Nymph and Adult

If you find a nymph in the soil, leave it alone so it will have the opportunity to become an adult.


Adults will emerge once the temperature is right, typically at dusk. The best method we know of is using Gene Kritsky’s emergence formula. This is a tool that will allow you to determine the approximate time when the cicadas will emerge in your area.

Generally speaking, Magiciadas will begin emerging in the last 2 weeks of May, and the last adults should have passed by the first week of July.

Where will they appear?


In 2008 they’re set to appear in eastern Massachusetts, Long Island New York, south-western New Jersey, south-eastern Pennsylvania, south-eastern and north-western West Virgina, southern Ohio, most of Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, southern Indiana, and bits of Virgina.


The great Cicada Central site has a map of Brood XIV emergence locations.

Gene Kritsky’s site has a map as well.

and this is the Cicada Mania map, made by Roy.

Do some research:

Okay! So now you know where the Magicicada might appear, but how will you know if these cicada will appear in your yard, neighborhood or local woods? Time for some investigation:

  1. Ask people who were around 17 years ago. Old timers, townies, local press — anyone how was around 17 years ago.
  2. Go to the library and check old news papers.
  3. Contact local colleges and universities. Try the entomology department or agricultural extensions.
  4. Encourage the local press to cover the cicadas, and let them do the research. The local press have the most resources to do this research.

Note that old timers call Magicicadas “locusts“; Magicicadas are not true locusts, but the term might help jar people’s memories. Magicicadas can also be called periodical cicadas, as well as 17-year cicadas. Don’t forget to use those terms while asking around

What do they look like?

You already saw what the nymph form looks like, but what does an adult look like? They look like this:


Black heads and and upper bodies, black and orange bellies (belly is not a scientific term), reddish-orange eyes, orange legs and wings. Yes, sometimes the eyes can be brown, yellow, orange and even white or blue!


March 1, 2008

Brood XIV will be here soon enough

Filed under: Brood XIV — Dan @ 6:47 pm

Today is March 1st, and in a couple of months the Brood XIV cicadas will be here. I’ll work up a comprehensive article in the coming weeks. Historically speaking, Brood XIV has emerged in Long Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Some of Brood XIV pre-emerged in 2007, ands pictures of that on the site.

The first sign of an emergence is usually news articles. Here’s one of the first:

And here’s and NPR Story about eating bugs including cicadas.

August 5, 2007

1st Instar Magicicada Nymphs

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada | Nymphs | Roy Troutman | Video — Dan @ 4:04 pm

Here’s a photo of first instar Magicicada nymphs by Roy Troutman:

1st instar Magicicada nymphs

Here is video of a 1st instar magicicada nymph crawling around taken just minutes after it crawled from its egg sack:

1st instar magicicada nymph from Roy Troutman on Vimeo.

1st instar magicicada nymph in slow motion by Roy:

1st instar magicicada nymph in slow motion from Roy Troutman on Vimeo.

June 1, 2007

Adult Cicadas

Filed under: Brood XIV | Roy Troutman — Dan @ 10:01 pm

This is as adult as it gets for Magicicadas.

Adult Magicicadas

Another great photo from Roy Troutman (who I apologize to for the crop job on his original photo).

May 22, 2007

Brood XIV Stragglers in Ohio, Part 3

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada | Periodical Stragglers | Roy Troutman — Dan @ 7:05 pm

Here’s another Brood XIV straggler from Roy Troutman’s yard. It’s hard to believe all that cicada once fit in that tiny skin.

Brood XIV Stragglers in Ohio, Part 3

May 20, 2007

Imagining Magicicada

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada | Roy Troutman — Dan @ 8:52 am

In the coming days I’ll get a lot of emails from people telling me that they’ve found albino cicadas — well, they aren’t albinos, they just haven’t turned black yet. Once a cicada splits its nymph skin and imagines into the adult form, it takes some time for it to turn the familiar black color. Now, if you find a cicada with blue eyes, that’s different, that’s unusual (about 1 in 1000), so we want to hear about that.

This picture was take by Roy Troutman, last night in Batavia Ohio. It’s important to note that this is a Brood XIV straggler and not a Brood XIII cicada.

May 15, 2007

Brood XIV emerges before Brood XIII

Filed under: Brood XIV | Matt Berger | Periodical Stragglers — Dan @ 4:21 am

Brood XIII cicadas are a bunch of slackers. Brood XIV stragglers (Brood XIV isn’t due until next year) have already emerged and imagined into their adult form around Ohio.

Here’s some photos from Matt Berger:

cicadas on newspapaer


What’s up Brood XIII? What are you waiting for? An invitation?

May 14, 2007

Brood XIV Stragglers in Ohio

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada | Periodical Stragglers | Roy Troutman — Dan @ 8:58 pm

Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin aren’t the only states that can look forward to periodic cicadas.

Brood XIV stragglers are beginning to emerge in Ohio. So far we’ve had reports of chimneys from Roy and some photos of nymphs taken by Matt Berger in Terrace Park, Ohio (hopefully he’ll let us post the pics). Stragglers are periodic cicadas the emerge a year or more ahead or behind schedule. Brood XIV is due to emerge in many states next year (KY, GA, IN, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WVA), but a few will emerge this year instead.

Here’s a photo of a cicada chimney taken by Roy Troutman in Ohio.


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