Cicada Mania

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June 26, 2016

Got Flagging? Report flagging and egg nests.

Filed under: Community Science | Flagging | Magicicada | Ovipositing | Periodical — Dan @ 1:01 am

Got flagging? Flagging happens when tree branches wilt or die due to cicada egg laying, resulting in bunches of brown leaves. Don’t worry, this will not cause trees to die, unless they are small and weak trees. Flagging can actually do a tree a favor, by removing its weakest branches.

Some video of cicada flagging:

A photo of flagging:

Periodical Cicada Flagging

May 13, 2014

Cicadas, Social Media and Community Science

Filed under: Community Science | Mail, Comments & Social — Dan @ 3:09 am

Want to meet other cicada fans, help with cicada science projects, or simply check out cicada photos, images, or video? Try these projects and links.

Connect to Cicada Mania

Cicada Mania on FacebookCicada Mania on FlickrCicada Mania on TwitterCicada Mania on YouTubeCicada Mania on Vimeo

Cicadas @ UCONN Mapping Project

In 2014, contribute your Magicicada/Periodical/17 & 13 Year cicada sightings to Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org). They will add your report to their Google map.

Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org)

Citizen Science Projects

Want to participate in a cicada community science project? Check out the cicada science projects on Cicada Central. There is the The Simon Lab Nymph Tracking Project and a Magicicada Biology Class Exercise.

If you are in Ohio or Kentucky and spot a periodical cicada this year (2014), send a geo-tagged cellphone photo to Gene Kritsky.

Your Wild Life wants your dead cicadas! They will use them to study the effects of urbanization (pollution, etc.) on the cicadas.

Discuss cicadas on Twitter

Use hash tags like #cicadas for general cicada issues. Use @cicadamania to get my attention.

Cicada Mania on Twitter

Discuss cicadas on Facebook

Once you’re done reporting your cicada sighting to magicicada.org, head over to Facebook to discuss your cicada experiences.

Cicada Mania Discussion Board on Facebook

Discuss cicadas with cicada experts

If you’re serious about cicadas, try the Entomology Cicadidae Yahoo group.

Entomology Cicadidae Yahoo group

Share your cicada photos, sounds and videos

Share your cicada photos and videos with the world:

Cicada Photos Group on Flickr

Cicadas on Pinterest (note, there’s no guarantee just photos of cicadas will show up)

Search Instagram photos for cicadas (note, there’s no guarantee just photos of cicadas will show up)

Cicada Mania Videos and Audio:

Cicada Mania on Vimeo

Cicada Mania YouTube

Update:

If you want to tag a species, you can use what’s called a “machine tag” or “triple tag” (see Wikipedia article on Tags).

taxonomy:binomial=Magicicada tredecim
taxonomy:binomial=Magicicada neotredecim
taxonomy:binomial=Magicicada tredecassini
taxonomy:binomial=Magicicada tredecula

If you’re tagging on sites that use spaces instead of commas (like flickr) put them in quotes when you enter them.

June 26, 2013

Help the Simon Cicada Lab study periodical cicada nymphs

Filed under: Community Science | Magicicada | Nymphs | Periodical — Dan @ 9:20 pm

The Simon Lab is dedicated to the study of cicadas, in particular, periodical cicadas.

One of the things they study is the development of cicada nymphs while they are underground.

They need your help to collect cicada nymph specimens. You would dig for them, and if you find them, mail them to the Simon Lab. The nymphs will be used for valuable scientific study, so the loss of a few from your yard will not be in vain.

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 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.

Cicada Nymphs

June 8, 2013

More crowd sourcing opportunities for cicada community scientists

I created a category for community scientist crowd sourcing projects. These are projects for you, the people, who want to help cicada researchers & scientists study cicadas.

Here are more ways you can help cicada researchers study cicadas:

Project 1:

Chris Simon and the Simon Cicada Lab need your help with a couple of projects:

We at the Simon Lab are anxious to get the word out that we are very interested in finding upcoming Brood II locations with lots of flagging (broken branches and wilted stems that should turn brown in late June or July or sooner down south).

When cicadas lay eggs they cause some damage to tree branches called flagging. It is easy to spot the brown patches of leaves. The Simon Lab want your sightings of flagging come the end of June and July.

A form to submit your sightings will be available soon.

flagging

Project 2:

Also we need to continue to crowd source locations of spring stragglers from any brood in any year.

A straggler is a periodical cicada that emerges years in advance of the rest of its brood. Typically they emerge four years in advance. An example of this is the cicadas that emerged in Ohio this year. Please let us know if you see a periodical cicada outside the Brood II area.

You can probably use this form for that.

Next year (2014), folks in western New York state might see some stragglers from Brood VII (due 2018) for example.

This chart will give you an idea of when stragglers can be expected. The best bet is -4 years for 17 year broods, and +4 for 13 year broods.

Probability of Straggling chart from Chris Simon

I’ve added straggler probabilities to this brood chart.

Note to self: read Periodical Cicada (Homoptera: Cicadidae) Life-Cycle Variations, the Historical Emergence Record, and the Geographic Stability of Brood Distributions by David Marshall.

Future projects:

There will be at least one more major crowd sourcing project coming soon. Stay tuned!

June 5, 2013

Urban Buzz 17-Year Cicada Citizen Science Project

Filed under: Brood II | Community Science | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 7:00 pm

Are you interested in participating in a cicada citizen science project? Check out: Urban Buzz: A 17-Year Cicada Citizen Science Project.

The folks behind the Your Wild Life website are hoping people will collect cicadas and send them to them for a science project to see how Urbanization impacts periodical cicadas.

They want samples from forests, from cities, from suburbs, from farms — in other words, across a gradient from low to high urbanization.

They have instructions on their site as to which cicadas to collect and where to send them.

Time is wasting though. The 17 year cicadas will only be around so long, so you have to act fast.

April 14, 2013

How you can help with temperature related periodical cicada research

Filed under: Brood II | Community Science | Gene Kritsky | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 5:35 am

Gene Kritsky is one of the leading periodical cicada researchers. He’s asked that we help with his research regarding temperature and cicada emergence. He needs to know the date that cicadas first emerge, and then the date when they appear in large numbers in a given locality. To contact Gene with your findings, email him at cdarwin@aol.com.

Here are the details:

I wanted to alert you to a paper that I published with Roy after Brood XIV. I had placed sensors at cicada depths in Roy’s backyard, and also hung others in the area trees. We recorded the temperatures at 10 minute intervals at all the locations. I was trying to find a weather model to predict soil temperatures without using probes. This would be cheaper for people wanting to monitor an impending emergence. This research is based on what potato farmers do to track the growth of their crop.

We found that the average of the running three day and two day mean temperatures was a good predictor of soil temps.

The formula along with the extended forecast can be used to forecast soil temperatures. Once we get the 64º F soil temps and a nice rain we got emergences. I am hoping to test this model again this year, which in part is why I emailing you. What I need to know is the date that cicadas first emerge, and then the date when they appear in large numbers in a given locality. I will then use weather data to check the soil model. Can you ask readers to send me that info? Many thanks.

You can find more details on the model at:

http://inside.msj.edu/academics/faculty/kritskg/cicada/Site/Estimating_soil_temperature.html

An easier way of getting to the details is to go to www.msj.edu/cicada and click on estimating soil temperatures. That site will also link them to John’s mapping page, activities for kids, etc.

Thank you for your help.

Gene Kritsky

More info about Gene Kritsky:

April 3, 2013

Cicada “Crowdsourcing”

Filed under: Brood II | Community Science | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 5:40 am

What is crowdsourcing? Here is what the Wikipedia says:

Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. Often used to subdivide tedious work or to fund-raise startup companies and charities, this process can occur both online and offline.

There are two prominent cicada crowdsourcing efforts you can take part in!

First, there is the Cicada Tracker project:

The group Radiolab is hoping you’ll build what they call a cicada tracker. A cicada tracker will measure the temperature of the soil and report that back to Radiolab, to help estimate the arrival of the cicadas. Here is a short video about the project:

The Cicadas Are Coming! from Radiolab on Vimeo.

Throughout April there will be events where you can get to together with other cicada enthusiasts, and build cicada trackers. See their website for more details.

Second, there is Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org).

Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) is a website where you can report and map cicada emergences in your area. I strongly suggest that everyone visits that site to report their cicada sightings. Your reports will be used to build new and better maps of the periodical cicada populations in the U.S.A.

When you visit their site, look for this icon, click it and enter your report:

Report Icon

Information needed for the report include the location (GPS coordinates, or simple street address), and what you observed: was it a nymph or adult, how many were there, etc. I think they’ll even have a Google maps interface to help you locate your sighting.

May 5, 2012

Six Cicada Experiments and Projects

Filed under: Community Science | Magicicada | Periodical | Video — Dan @ 4:18 am

Here are six cicada projects and experiments you can try during the coming Brood XIX 13-year periodical cicada emergence in America.

White eyed Magicicada by Dan from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Find a White or Blue Eyed Magicicada!

(Magicicada only)

White or Blue eyed Magicicada are very rare! Typically they have red or orange eyes. There was even an urban legend that scientists were offering a reward for white-eyed Magicicada (well, that was a legend, until Roy Troutman actually offered a reward in 2008). Aside from Blue or White-eyed Magicicada, you can find other colors like yellow eyes, and multicolored eyes.

Try this: Have a contest amongst your friends and family for who can find the most white, yellow and multicolor-eyed cicadas.


Wing Clicks

(Magicicada only)

How do you get a male cicada to sing? Imitate a female cicada. Female cicadas don’t sing, but they do click their wings together to get a male cicada’s attention.

Try this: snap your fingers near cicadas almost immediately (half-second) after a Male stops singing. Male cicadas will hear the snap and think it’s a female clicking her wings, and they may sing in response.

You can also try imitating male cicada calls to get the females to click their wings. Magicicada tredecim and Magicicada neotredecim are probably the easiest to imitate with their “Waaah Ooh”/”WeeOoh” calls. You can find sound files on the Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) site so you can practice.

Cicada Free-Styling

(Magicicada only)

One of the best ways to locate cicadas is to simply listen for them. When you’re driving or biking around town, take note of where you hear cicadas. If you hear cicadas in a public place, don’t we afraid to stop and observe them.

Try this: Travel around listening for cicadas, document their location and numbers, and report them to magicicada.org.

Tips:

  • Learn the songs of the periodical cicadas, and learn what they look like, including the different phases of development (nymph, teneral adult, adult) and species. Cicadas @ UCONN has sound files and images of what they looks like.
  • Study the maps and other documentation of previous sightings
  • Network with friends to find out where they are
  • Drive with your windows open (so you can hear them)
  • Car pool to save gas (or use you bicycle)
  • Respect private property
  • Document the specific location. Some smart phones and GPS devices will give you the latitude and longitude coordinates, but street addresses and mile markers work fine as well.
  • Document: how many cicadas you saw, and what phase they were in (nymph, white teneral cicadas, live adults, deceased adults).
  • Document the cicadas: take photos, take video, share your experience on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
  • Report the your discovery to magicicada.org

Document the Cicada’s Life Cycle

(Works for most cicadas)

You can observe many phases and activities of a cicada’s life while they are above ground.

Try this: Photograph or film as many stages of a cicada’s life as possible, then create a slideshow or movie depicting the life of a cicada. Post your finished slideshow or movie on the web (YouTube?) so other people can enjoy it.

Phases of a cicadas life you can try to capture:


Test Gene Kritsky’s Cicada Emergence Formula

(Magicicada only)

Cicada researcher Gene Kritsky developed a cicada emergence formula to try to predict when the cicadas will emerge based on the mean temperature in April.

Try this: on May 1st, go to our cicada emergence formula page, follow the instructions and find out when the cicadas might emerge in your area. Document when the cicadas emerge in your area, and compare the results. Note whether the cicadas emerge in sunny or shady areas.

Magicicada nets from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

How to Keep Cicadas in Captivity

(Works for most cicadas)

People ask: “what’s the best way to keep a cicada in captivity?” The answer depends on how long you plan on keeping the cicada, and how happy you want the cicada to be.

Wooden and plastic bug houses (“Bug Bungalows”, “Critter Cabins”, “Bug Jugs”, etc.) will suffice as temporary homes for cicadas. The classic jar with holes punched in the lid works too. Add a fresh branch for them to crawl on and drink fluids from (or at least try). Remember not to leave it in the sun so the cicadas inside don’t bake!

Butterfly Pavilions are collapsible containers made of netting that you can use to gather cicadas, and provide them with a temporary home. People also use Fish Aquariums to keep cicadas in their homes for extended periods of time — add plenty of vegetation for the cicadas to crawl around on and some water for the cicadas to sip.

Try this: get some flexible netting and wrap it around a branch on a tree, making sure not to leave any openings, then put your cicadas inside. Cicadas in this kind of enclosure will be more likely to sing and interact because life trees are their natural habitat.

You can also try wrapping netting around a small, potted maple tree.


Want to keep your cicadas forever? Try the Massachusetts Cicadas guide to preserving cicadas.

August 1, 2005

Have you seen an unusually large number of cicadas this year?

Filed under: Chris Simon | Community Science | Okanagana | Proto-periodical — Dan @ 7:32 pm

Cicada.

Chris Simon a Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut asked us to post this on our site, and so we did.

Dear Cicadamaniacs,

If you have seen unusually large numbers of cicadas this year (or
last),and have not seen such numbers for a long time, can you please
report them to me? Chris dot Simon at UCONN dot edu? Please report
the location in which you saw the cicada, what month and year, how
long it has been since you have seen a similar emergence magnitude.

This seems to be an unusually good cicada year, maybe related to
unusually wet or otherwise favorable weather:

Dan Johnson from Southern Alberta, Canada reported an outbreak of
Okanagana synodica this year. He says: “I saw only a few between
1983 and 1985, then a few per year in 1986-88, then rare again, then
slightly more in 2000-2003, and only last year did they bloom, and
really with a bang (more than 1000X). My study area is southern
Alberta and Saskatchewan, mainly mixed grass sites in Alberta, plus
fescue foothills.” He had not seen an emergence like this in the 20
years he had worked there.

John Cooley reports Okanagana rimosa and canadensis as being very
dense this year in Northern Michigan and Dan Vanderpool reported that
an unidentified species of cicada was out in Northern Idaho that
residents noted they had never heard before (at least not in big
numbers) and one respondent had lived there for 30 years.

This record was from last year: Eric Toolson of New Mexico writes-
Last year, there was a widespread & heavy emergence of Tibicen
townsendii across a rather large area of central New Mexico
grassland. Prior to that, I knew of only one population in an area
of several hundred square miles, and that occupied an area of only
about 2 hectares. That population has been emerging in good numbers
for over a decade [in this location], but I never saw the species
anywhere else within a distance of several tens of miles in any
direction. I had formed the impression that although T. townsendii
was geographically widespread, its range was occupied by a relatively
few, widely-scattered, discrete populations that were failing to
occupy what seems to be a lot of contiguous suitable habitat.

Cicadas are known for their boom and bust years. It would be nice to
start keeping track of them.

Thanks very much,

Chris

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