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June 9, 2007

Gray Eyed Cicada

Filed under: Brood XIII | Eye Color — Dan @ 5:50 am

Here’s a great photo of a gray eyed cicada found in Glenview, IL by Matt Bergquist and photographed by James Planey.

gray eyed Magicicada

June 7, 2007

One Red Eye, One Blue Eye

Filed under: Brood XIII | Eye Color | Magicicada — Dan @ 12:18 pm

Talk about one in a million: Steve Turner found this Magicicada with one red eye and one blue (sort of like a Husky dog or David Bowie). This is one of the highlights of the emergence so far.

June 5, 2007

Magicicada nymphs emerging by Roy

Filed under: Brood XIII | Magicicada | Nymphs | Roy Troutman | Video — Dan @ 8:59 am

Magicicada nymphs emerging by Roy Troutman.

Magicicada nymphs emerging from Roy Troutman\.

May 24, 2007

Cicada Facts!

Filed under: Brood XIII | Eye Color — Dan @ 8:46 pm

Fact: Magicicadas can have blue and white eyes!

They’re very rare, but some Magicicadas can have blue or white eyes. Take a picture if you find one! Besides red, orange, white and blue, you might also find a magicicada with cream, yellow or tan eyes.

Fact: There is a wasp called the Cicada Killer Wasp

Can you guess why the Cicada Killer Wasp is called a cicada killer? They’re big wasps, but they’d rather sting a cicada than you. Read more about the Cicada Killer Wasp.

Fact: Cicadas don’t eat like people do, they drink tree fluids instead

Whether they’re in the ground on a root, or on a tree limb, cicadas drink tree fluids called xylem sap to stay nourished. They drink they fluid using their beak, also called a rostrum — it looks like a straw!

Fact: Magicicadas won’t appear everywhere

Even though the maps at the top of the page might suggest there are Magicicadas in your area, you might not find them on your property.

Here’s some reasons why:

  • You live in a new development, and the cicadas were killed when your neighborhood was built.
  • Too many pesticides.
  • There’s no large deciduous trees (like maples and oaks) in your neighborhood.
  • There simply aren’t any.

If none turn up in your yard, don’t give up hope:

  • Check local parks and forest preserves.
  • Ask some friends and family if they’ve seen some. Cicada networking!
  • Check your local news papers.

They’re out there, you just might have to travel a bit to see them.

August 28, 2006

Neotibicen anatomy page

Filed under: Anatomy | Neotibicen | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) | Tibicen — Dan @ 9:59 am

I panicked the other day when Richard Fox’s excellent Tibicen anatomy page was down. I’m glad to say that it is back in service and that it is an incredible resource. Check it out if you want to learn more about a cicada’s parts.

October 25, 2005

UC Engineering Researchers Find Mercury In Cicadas

Filed under: Anatomy | Eating Cicadas | Magicicada — Dan @ 5:43 am

I came across this article thanks to Google’s news alerts: UC Engineering Researchers Find Mercury In Cicadas. I’ve never eaten a cicada and I don’t plan on doing so in the future, but a lot of “cicada maniacs” do, so here’s your PSA.

Think twice before you eat one of Cincinnati’s Brood-X cicadas. That’s the warning from researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, who have found surprising levels of mercury in these insects.

October 11, 2005

Cicada Larvae Pictures

Filed under: Eggs | Nymphs — Dan @ 8:35 pm

So, what do cicada larvae look like? Technically they’re called nymphs, not larvae. When cicadas progress from one stage of development to another, they molt, rather than pupate. Each stage of development is called an instar. Most, if not all, cicadas go through five instars. The adult phase is the fifth instar.

First, here’s what their eggs look like:

Cicada Eggs
Photo by Roy Troutman.

When the eggs hatch, the cicadas don’t look like a grub or maggot as you might expect; instead they look like tiny termites or ants, with 6 legs and antennae. At this point, they’re called first instar nymphs.

Here are some first instar cicadas:

First instar cicada nymphs
Photo by Roy Troutman.

Here is a first and second instar cicada in the soil:

Elias's 1st and 2nd Instar Magicicada nymph
Photo by Elias Bonaros.

Here is a first, second, third, and fourth instar:

Cicada Nymphs
Photo courtesy of Chris Simon.

If you are interested in participating in cicada nymph research, visit The Simon Lab Nymph Tracking Project page for more information. You must have had periodical cicadas on your property in the past 13 or 17 years to find the nymphs — not including the Brood II area since those nymphs came out of the ground this year.

July 27, 2005

Do cicadas sing at night?

Filed under: Anatomy | Sounds — Dan @ 10:15 pm

A few people have asked me if cicadas sing at night. The truth is, in most cases, they do not. Most of the time when you hear an insect at night it is a cricket or katydid. However, there are a few cases when cicadas will sing at night:

  • In the presence of artificial light sources, like streetlights & floodlights, or a full moon. I turned on a flood light tonight to test this and it worked: a cicada started to sing.
  • When it’s extraordinarily hot.
  • If the cicada is disturbed or attacked.
  • If they’re overcrowded

Thanks to John Cooley for most of this information.

Tibicen fungi blues

Filed under: Anatomy | Massospora | Matt Berger | Neotibicen — Dan @ 3:44 am

Tibicen fungi.

Here’s a nice photo of a Neotibicen cicada infected with Massospora fungi. Yuck! Thanks to Matt for the photo.

May 13, 2005

Cicada Fossils, part 2

Filed under: Anatomy — Dan @ 11:15 pm

From article in The Journal News:

“We found cicada fossils,” says Norell, who also discovered evidence of ginko trees on his expeditions to China.

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