Cicada Mania

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

Magicicada periodical cicada Broods.

April 27, 2008

Cicada Links and Video to hold you over… part two

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada — Dan @ 8:07 am

Gene Kritsky awaiting their noisy return:

UPI: Scientist awaits cicadas’ noisy return

Gene Kritsky, a professor of biology at the College of Mount St. Joseph, said this year most of the bugs are expected to appear in the area east of Interstate 71.

The Enquirer Cicadas making noisy return

Gene Kritsky, a professor of biology at the College of Mount St. Joseph, says in a news release that cicadas are coming to eastern Cincinnati this May.

Video:

NECN.com: Cicada pheomenon interview with entomologist Doug Fraser. Very good.

A Kentucky article:

News Channel 5: Cicadas ready to reappear in Kentucky after 17 years

Gene Kritsky, a cicada expert at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, says their appearance will be spotty. That could be caused by a number of factors, including development that has dramatically changed landscapes since the early 1990s.

A Cape Cod artlce:

Cape Cod Times: Creeped out by creepy-crawly season on Cape

Periodical cicadas went underground on the Cape 17 years ago, and have been living off tree sap ever since. Experts expect them to emerge from their holes all at once, probably on a night in early May. They can number in the millions per acre, and cling to any vertical surface after coming from their holes, to molt, then fly up into the tree tops to mate.

April 24, 2008

Is the soil 65 degrees yet?

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada — Dan @ 8:07 pm

Hey folks, The Mount’s Cicada Web Site is monitoring the ground temperature in the Cincinnati area. Today it was up to 59.8ºF. Why is that important you ask? Well, once the soil temperature hits 65ºF (8″/20cm deep) the cicadas will emerge. Just 5ºF to go, and yes, cicadas will emerge from sunny areas before shaded areas because the soil will be warmer. (thanks Gene)

BTW, the Cincinnati press is finally catching on that another emergence is about to happen (I think they’re a bit jaded from Brood X).

April 23, 2008

Cicada Links and Video to hold you over…

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada — Dan @ 5:51 pm

Here’s a video news cast from YouTube called Cicadas invade CapeCast. I assume “Cape” refers to Cape Cod. Good information in video form.

Charleston Daily Mail: After 17 years, cicadas set to reappear for a few noisy weeks:

Cicadas will start appearing in southern West Virginia – including much of Kanawha County – starting in May. They have black bodies about an inch and a half long, red beady eyes and a shrill song.

Cape Cod Times: Cicadas stage return after 17 years :

“They’re a phenomenon,” said Miller, the golf course superintendent at The Golf Club at Southport in Mashpee. His job is all about controlling bugs, but Miller sees no harm done by the cicadas who feed on watery tree sugars.

Penn.com: Scientists abuzz about cicadas:

“The amazing thing is that there have not been very good records kept on Brood XIV in Pennsylvania,” said Marten Edwards, an entomologist at Allentown’s Muhlenberg College.

Edwards is among a team of insect experts planning to use Global Positioning Systems to document this year’s emergence. National Geographic is supporting the work through a grant to the University of Connecticut, university biology professor John Cooley said.

Evansville Courier & Press Cicada season Red-eyed insects scheduled to appear in late April:

It may be extra noisy around trees located across Kentucky this year due to Brood XIV of the Periodical Cicada. All of Kentucky, except for the Purchase Areas, should expect some activity from the periodical cicada this year.

Towers: Seasonal cicadas to infiltrate Southern Seminary in May :

Once every 17 years a species of periodical cicada pop out of the ground in numbers too big to be ignored, often at densities of 10,000 to 100,000 per acre.

Home and Garden with John Marra: The Cicada: Nature’s Pruning Machine. Includes video!!!

First of all, how would you like for someone to come to your landscape and prune your trees free of charge? That’s not a chance happening but something that will happen whether or not you agree.

The free pruning service will be in the form of insects. Yep, I said insects, more specifically the 17 Year Periodical Cicada or Locust as some people call them.

Kentucky.com: Cicadas begin cyclic racket:

We’ve had drought and floods, and now, a plague of locusts.

OK, the billions of noisy, red-eyed teenagers emerging soon from the ground beneath your feet aren’t really locusts, although they often are mistakenly called that.

Periodical Cicadas is a classic cicada website that explains most of the information you need to know all in one page, with lots of great photos. It’s one of my favorites.

and

Regardless of the fact that there are not periodical cicadas emerging in the Chicago area this year, the Chicago Cicadas blog is still tracking them.

Cicada nymphs, chimneys and holes

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada | Periodical | Roy Troutman — Dan @ 5:12 pm

Here are some new photos from Roy Troutman that will give you a good idea of what to look for when searching for signs of cicadas in your yard:

This is a pair of Magicicada nymphs, much like you might find when gardening or turning over logs or stones in your yard.

Magicicada nymphs

See those beige globs of soil amongst the leaves and debris? Those are called cicada chimneys. They are a sure sign that a cicada nymph is below the soil, and will emerge in a few days or weeks.

Magicicada chimneys

Look closely at this picture and you’ll see holes in the ground. Those are holes that cicada nymphs have dug, and they’re another sure sign of where a cicada will emerge.

Cicada holes

On May 1st we’ll start making predictions as to when they’ll start to emerge.

April 19, 2008

Reporting your cicada sightings

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada — Dan @ 9:20 am

You can play an important role this year in documenting the Brood XIV 17 year cicada emergence. Brood maps are built using data from scientists and people like you. This year we have an opportunity to build a better Brood XIV map, but the scientists who collect the data will need your help.

Where to post your sightings

The two main web sites where you will be able to post your sightings this year are:

Both sites promise to feature interfaces that will easily allow you to enter your sighting.

Where else:

In the Massachusetts area (and beyond): Massachusetts Cicadas (Jerry Bunker).

In the Mid-Atlantic region: Cicadas.info.

Share Your Brood XIV Cicadas!!!

Filed under: Brood XIV | Pop Culture — Dan @ 1:01 am

I originally posted this article last year, but the information is still good.

A lot has changed since I started this site in 1996, including the web — back then websites where static pages with a couple of images and links, and only geeks like myself knew how to make them.

Now there are lots of web sites where YOU can share your cicada photos and video. Now you can write about your cicada discoveries on a blog, read other cicada blogs, or share cool cicada web sites with the world using bookmarking sites like Digg and del.icio.us. The web is now all about you (and the cicadas you find). The power is in your hands: start sharing your cicadas!

Share Your Cicada Photos:

Flickr: Flickr is a web site where you can post and share your digital photos. You can also connect with other photographers and people with similar interests. It’s a fun site. When you post your cicada photos, don’t forget to tag them with tags like “cicada”, “broodxiv“, “Magicicada”, “17year”, “periodical”, etc. Don’t forget to include geographic information in the descriptions.

Panoramio: Panoramio is a photo sharing site like Flickr, but it places your photos in Google Maps, which is really cool.

As of 2008 Flickr lets you upload videos too.

Share Your Cicada Video:

YouTube: You’ve heard of YouTube, haven’t you? It’s a great site where you can upload your videos and share them with the world. Like Flickr, don’t forget to tag your cicada video with cool tags like “17year”, “cicadas”, “broodxiv”, and include geographic information in the description.

Others: MySpace videos, Veoh, Metacafe (has a family filter), Google Video (upload longer videos than with YouTube), Dailymotion, Yahoo Video (has SafeSearch) etc. Again the important thing is to look for a service that will allow to to send links to your videos and embed them in web pages.

Blog Your Cicada Stories:

You have a Blog, don’t you? If you don’t, it’s never too late to start! Blogger, LiveJournal, WordPress, Typepad, and of course MySpace. Best of all, they’re free to use! So why not?

Reading & Searching Blogs:

The homepage of this site is a blog — if you notice, it’s composed of multiple posts about cicadas. Blogs aren’t like other websites, because they’re updated frequently and they’re composed of a series of posts. This series of post is known as a feed, which is available as both an xml file and the webpage you’re reading (too technical, I know…). Blog Search Engines are like regular search engines, but they’re adapted specifically to search blogs.
Blog Readers let you subscribe to blog feeds — subscribe to enough feeds and you can build your own virtual newspaper made up of the stories and news you care about (like cicadas).

Sharing the sites, video and images you find on the web:

Now, you’ve found a cool cicada website — you want to share it, and you want to remember it.

del.icio.us is my favorite bookmarking site. I can bookmark sites at work and then check them out later on my home computer, or at a friend’s house.

Digg is a super-popular forum where you can share and vote on (digg/bury) links. I read it every day.

StumbleUpon is a cool site and toolbar for your web browser. The toolbar will suggest cool sites for you to try. I’ve “stumbled upon” many cool sites using StumbleUpon.

More to explore: Furl, ma.gnolia, Newsvine, reddit, Simpy, Spurl, Yahoo MyWeb, Google bookmarks, Fark

You don’t have to use these resources for just cicadas, but I’d be disappointed if you didn’t use them at all.

April 18, 2008

Gene Kritsky’s new cicada site and Brood XIV news

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada — Dan @ 4:22 am

Gene Kritsky’s new site

Gene Kritsky’s new enhanced cicada site is now up here: THE MOUNT’S CICADA WEB SITE. The new site will feature much of the information you’ll need to know for 2008, including maps, a place to enter your cicada sightings, podcasts and more. You’ll want to bookmark this site.

Gene’s cicada temperature experiments

Gene is looking for folks to report where and when a emergence occurs in their yard/neighborhood/local park etc. “I would like to find several of your readers who are willing to let us know the day that cicada emerge in good numbers in their locations. I would like to test the emergence formula at several sites.” A good number would be an aggregation of approximately 25 cicadas on a single tree. Like the picture on this page. So, be sure to head to Gene’s site and make a report if the opportunity arises.

Nymphs in Long Island

Andrew from Long Island sent us photos of nymphs and soil with many cicada tunnels from Satauket L.I. Looks like 2008 will be a good year for Long Island cicadas.

Some random linkage

Photo: A woman in a giant cicada costume.

Cicadas ready to emerge on east side.

Brood XIV Event on Thursday, April 24 in Massechusettes

Filed under: Brood XIV — Dan @ 3:56 am

Brood XIV Event on Thursday, April 24 in Massachusetts:

School vacation program “Year of the Cicadas,” David Simser, 2 p.m., Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, Route 6A, Brewster, free.

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?

Nymphs

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

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?

States:

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.

Maps:

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:

Magicicada

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!

(more…)

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