Cicada Mania

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

Genera of cicadas.

August 7, 2019

Check for first instar periodical cicada nymphs

Filed under: Magicicada,Nymphs,Periodical — Dan @ 4:26 am

It’s been about six weeks since the emergence of Brood VIII in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Oklahoma. Now (first week of August) is a good a time as any to check for periodical cicada nymphs that have hatched from eggs laid in branches. Once they hatch they’ll find their way to the ground, where they’ll find and begin feeding on roots for the next 17 years.

Look on branches where cicada laid their eggs.

An illustraition of egg nests:

A nymph on a branch with adult male finger for comparison:
Periodical Cicada Nymph

Close up:
Periodical Cicada Nymph

Another close up:
Periodical Cicada Nymph

June 21, 2019

My Brood VIII Report

Filed under: Brood VIII,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 7:54 pm

This year Brood VIII periodical cicadas emerged in the Pittsburgh area, and I traveled to see and map them. Unfortunately, I only had 3 days, so I only saw the western side of the Brood.

Mating Magicicada septendecim

All things considered — including cool, cloudy weather (which cicadas don’t like as much as hot & sunny) and a very rainy spring — Brood VIII was the least impressive brood I’ve witnessed, in terms of the sheer number of cicadas. I hope no one in the Pittsburgh area takes offense to that statement — Brood VIII is your brood, and you should be proud of it. It is just that as we humans build more and more, and continue to alter the environment, the numbers of cicadas will steadily dwindle. and I think we’re seeing that happen to Brood VIII.

Here’s an impromptu map of the places I saw cicadas:

Brood VIII Mapping

And a list of places:

  • Allegheny Township
  • Apollo
  • Bethel Township
  • Black Lick
  • Blairsville
  • Blue Spruce Park
  • Bolivar
  • Boyce Park
  • Brush Valley Township
  • Center Township
  • Crooked Creek Horse Park
  • Derry Township
  • Elizabeth
  • Hempfield Township
  • Home
  • Homer City
  • Hoodlebug Trail
  • Indiana
  • Keystone State Park
  • Ligonier
  • New Alexandria
  • New Florence
  • Parks Township
  • Pine Ridge Park
  • Rayne Township
  • Round Hill Park
  • St Clair Township
  • Stahlstown
  • Two Lick Creek Dam
  • Unity
  • Washington Township
  • West Wheatfield Township
  • White Township
  • Yellow Creek State Park

And some photos:

Female Magicicada septendecim

Male Magicicada septendecim

Just a head

Video of the amazing cicada that was just a head.

A very cool Brood VIII cicada frisbee:

Cicada Frisbee

May 1, 2019

Cicada Safari app for tracking Magicicada periodical cicadas

Filed under: Citizen Science,Gene Kritsky,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 9:28 pm

Mount St. Joseph University has released a new app called Cicada Safari. Its purpose is to help you identify periodical (Magicicada, 17-year, 13-year, “locusts”) cicadas, and share the location you found them. Scientists like Dr. Gene Kritsky, of Mount St. Joseph University, will use the data to determine exactly where periodical cicadas exist.

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.msj.cicadaSafari
iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cicada-safari/id1446471492?mt=8

See a map of sightings reported by the app.

Judging by screenshots of the app, it looks like you can 1) identify cicadas, 2) take a photo and share it, 3) map the location where you found it, 4) compete with other cicada scientists for the most cicadas found. Looks that way at least.

Cicada Safari App

Cicada Safari App

March 23, 2019

Platypleura hampsoni (Distant, 1887)

Platypleura hampsoni is a cicada found in India.

Platypleura hampsoni

Image and Description from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website:

Male. Head luteous; front with a number of black linear markings; vertex with a transverse, narrow, black fascia between the eyes, and with a central black spot containing the ocelli. Pronotum greenish-ochraceous, the disk with the following black markings: — a central I-shaped spot, on each side of which are some oblique linear markings; the lateral dilated margins are black, and the anterior margin is narrow — and the posterior margin broadly— dull reddish ochraceous. Mesonotum greenish-ochraceous, with the following black spots: — four obconical from anterior margin, of which the central two are smallest; and a large, oblong, discal spot, with a small partly rounded spot on each side of it; the basal cruciform elevation dull reddish ochraceous. Abdomen above black. Head beneath, with the face black, marked with luteous transverse lines; sternum somewhat ochraceously pilose; abdomen beneath black, the segmental margins ochraceous, the anal appendage of the same color; legs castaneous, streaked or spotted with piceous and luteous. Rostrum black, the basal portion luteous.

Tegmina pale hyaline, with the venation brown, the costal membrane greenish, the basal third somewhat opaque, with darker transverse markings and small basal black markings; a double irregular series of dark brown spots cross the tegmina at about center, a dark brown fascia at bases of upper apical areas, a few small subapical spots and some small marginal spots of the same color. Wings brownish-ochraceous, paler at apex than at base and very pale across the center, with a white marginal spot near anal angle; the venation brown.

The rostrum reaches the basal abdominal segment; the lateral margins of the pronotum are distinctly angulated; the face is robustly gibbous, with a profound central longitudinal sulcation; the posterior tibijE have three distinct spines on each side of apical half.

Long. excl. tegm. 2 . 23 millim. Exp. tegm. 70 millim. ; exp. pronot. angl. 13 millim.

Hab. — Continental India : Neelgiri Hills, northern slopes, 3500 & 5000 feet (Hampson — coll. Dist.).

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Platypleura
Species: Platypleura hampsoni (Distant, 1887)

For more information about this cicada, visit Cicadas of India.

March 22, 2019

Platylomia radah (Distant, 1881)

Platylomia radah is a cicada found in Burma, China, India, Nepal, and Thailand.

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
Platylomia radah

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Dundubiina
Genus: Platylomia
Species: Platylomia radah (Distant, 1881)

For more information about this cicada, visit Cicadas of India.

March 21, 2019

Platypleura mira Distant, 1904

Platypleura mira is a cicada found in Cambodia, Laos, Malasia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
Platypleura mira

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Platypleurini
Genus: Platypleura
Species: Platypleura mira Distant, 1904

March 20, 2019

Orientopsaltria beaudouini Boulard, 2003

Orientopsaltria beaudouini is a cicada found in Malasia and Thailand.

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
Orientopsaltria beaudouini Boulard, 2003

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Orientopsaltriina
Genus: Orientopsaltria
Species: Orientopsaltria beaudouini Boulard, 2003

March 19, 2019

Megapomponia intermedia (Distant, 1905)

Megapomponia intermedia is a cicada found in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
Megapomponia intermedia
Note: the image reads Pomponia intermedia, but since the time the photograph was taken the name of the cicada has changed to Megapomponia intermedia.

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Megapomponiina
Genus: Megapomponia
Species: Megapomponia intermedia (Distant, 1905)

March 18, 2019

Megapomponia imperatoria (Westwood, 1842)

Megapomponia imperatoria is a cicada found in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, and Thailand. This is the largest cicada in the world

Photo by Michel Chantraine:
Megapomponia imperatoria
Note: the photo reads “Pomponia imperatoria”, but since the time of the photograph the name of the cicada has changed.

Description 1:

Body above brownish-ochraceous, in some specimens castaneous. Head with a central longitudinal spot to the front, the area of the ocelli, a transverse spot behind eyes, and a spot at anterior angles of vertex, black. Pronotiim with two central longitudinal linear fasciae not extending beyond center — a central spot at the posterior margin — and the furrows black; posterior margin greenish, with two black spots on each side. Mesonotum with two obconical central spots, from the junction of which a longitudinal fascia extends to posterior margin, four spots in transverse series at the base, a spot on each lateral discal area, and sometimes some small spots at anterior margin black. Abdomen with the posterior margins of the abdominal segments narrowly black. Body beneath and legs brownish-ochraceous; transverse striations and the apex of the face, anterior tibiae, bases, and apical thirds of the intermediate tibiae, anterior and intermediate tarsi and the apex of the rostrum, black.

Tegmina and wings pale hyaline, the venation ochraceous. Tegmina with the costal membrane and basal cell brownish or ochraceous, the claval area ochraceous or sanguineous; the transverse veins at the bases of the second, third, fifth, and seventh apical areas infuscated and a series of fuscous marginal spots at the apices of the longitudinal veins to apical areas. Wings with the base of claval area ochraceous or sanguineous; outer margin of claval area ochraceous.

Long. excl. tegm. Male 46 to 68 millim. ; Female 41 to GO millim. Exp. tegm. Male 137 to 180 millim. ; Female, 145 to 216 millim.

This is a most variable species, both as regards size and markings. The largest specimen I have yet seen is a female in my o\vn collection from Perak, whose tegmina reach an expansion of 216 millim. In some of the smaller specimens, the body is darker, and the markings to same and the spotting of the tegmina very indistinct. There almost seem to be two races of this species, one very much smaller and somewhat less prominently marked than the other.

As I have elsewhere recorded, I captured this fine species myself, not infrequently, when sojourning in the Malay Peninsula. It often frequented the dining-room, and on holding it between the fingers its stridulation caused a thrill through the nerves of the arm.*

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Dundubiini
SubTribe: Megapomponiina
Genus: Megapomponia
Species: Megapomponia imperatoria (Westwood, 1842)

References:

  1. The description and location information comes from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadas by W. L. Distant. 1889-1892. Read it on the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.
  2. Species name information comes from Allen Sanborn’s Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha).

March 17, 2019

Lyristes plebejus or Tibicen plebejus?

Lyristes plebejus is a cicada found in most of Europe and middle-eastern Asia. There is an ongoing debate over its genus. Some say Lyristes, and some say Tibicen. I don’t have an opinion on the matter, but most folks in Europe say Lyristes plebejus, so I’m leading with that name.

Photo of an adult Lyristes plebejus by Iván Jesus Torresano García:
Lyristes plebejus

Photo of a molting Lyristes plebejus by Iván Jesus Torresano García:
Molting

Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cryptotympanini
SubTribe: Cryptotympanina
Genus: Lyristes or Tibicen
Species: Lyristes plebejus (Scopoli 1763) or Tibicen plebejus (Scopoli 1763)

According to iNaturalist this cicada is around between June and August. Peak in July.

For more photos of this cicada, visit this gallery of photos by Iván Jesus Torresano García.

For more information about this cicada, visit SONGS OF EUROPEAN SINGING CICADAS.

Older Posts »