Cicada Mania

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

May 18, 2013

Photos of a Brood II Magicicada from Madison, NC.

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Photos & Illustrations — Dan @ 7:48 am

These photos of a Magicicada undergoing ecdysis (moulting) in Madison, NC are by photographer Heather James.

Click thumbnail images to see progressively larger versions of the images:

Heather James - Brood II

The “white strings” connecting the teneral (soft) adult cicada to its exuvia (shell, skin) are the old lining of the cicada’s trachea (the tubes through which it breathed).

Heather James - Brood II

May 10, 2013

Cicada chimneys and a nymph under a slate

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical | Video — Dan @ 8:21 pm

I didn’t see any nymphs emerge and undergo ecdysis tonight, but I did find plenty of cicada chimneys and nymphs trapped under slates.

Cicadas build chimneys above their holes, typically after it rains a lot and the soil becomes soft. The chimneys help keep water from rushing into their holes, and they keep ants and other menaces out.

Brood II 2013 - Dan Mozgai - Cicada Chimneys

Brood II 2013 - Dan Mozgai - Cicada Chimneys

Brood II 2013 - Dan Mozgai - Cicada Chimneys

A good place to find cicada nymphs is under backyard slates (or similar objects that cover the ground). Flip over your slates and you might find a nymph tunneling their ways to the side of the slate.

Brood II 17 Year Cicada Nymph trapped under a slate from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

May 9, 2013

Brood II 17 Year Cicadas in New Jersey

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 9:27 pm

Jersey Cicada

Final update:

Here’s a map of all the towns reported in the comments:


View Towns where the Brood II cicadas emerged in 2013 in a larger map

Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) will eventually publish a complete and accurate map of the emergence.

17 year cicadas are about to emerge are currently emerging in New Jersey. I asked cicada super-expert Chris Simon of The Simon Lab at the University of Connecticut for some specifics. The information below is based on Dr. Simon’s notes.

Historically Brood II periodical cicadas have appeared in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Hunterdon (in the east), Middlesex, Monmouth (“Slight in eastern part”), Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties. Also, you can keep an eye on where cicadas are emerging in New Jersey (and report your own sightings) on Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org), which has a live map of the emergence.

I’m personally very interested in periodical cicada sightings in Monmouth county — let us know if you spot any there.

Here are some specifics (don’t be dismayed if your town isn’t on the list — they still might appear in your town):

Atlantic County:
– Galloway

Bergen County:
– Alpine (Greenbrook Nature Sanctuary)
– Englewood
– Ft. Lee
– Oakland
– Wyckoff (near Lucine Lorrimer Sanctuary)

Essex County:
– Cedar Grove
– Essex Fells
– Livingston
– Maplewood
– Millburn (South Mountain Reservation)
– Montclair
– North Caldwell
– Short Hills (confirmed in 2013 already)
– Upper Montclair
– West Orange

Middlesex County:
– Edison (confirmed for 2013 – lots of exit holes near the Edison Monument).
– Fords
– Iselin (visually confirmed for 2013)
– Jamesburg
– Metuchen (confirmed in 2013 already)
– Perth Amboy

Mostly north of the Raritan River

Morris County:
– Flanders
– Kinnelton
– Madison
– Rockaway

Passaic County:
– West Milford

Somerset County:
– Bedminster (Pluckemin section)
– Belle Mead
– Bound Brook
– Far Hills
– Rocky Hill
– Warren

Union County:
– Fanwood
– Plainfield
– Summit (Confirmed – see a video)
– Westfield (Confirmed for 2013)

Warren County:
– Port Murray

BTW, what better way to celebrate Brood II in New Jersey like a Brood II tank top:

The Carl


May 4, 2013

Cicada News Review for April 2013

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada — Dan @ 7:37 am

Here’s a review of the cicada news for April 2013.

First, periodical cicadas have started to emerge in North Carolina.

There are three cicada experiments you can be a part of! 1) Report cicada emergences to Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org), 2) help Gene Kritsky with temperature related periodical cicada research, and 3) be a part of Cicada Tracker project.

Musician and philosopher David Rothenberg released his book Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise.

Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips have produced a Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico, which features maps for North American cicada species. This is an essential document for cicada researchers and enthusiasts.

I appeared in the April issue of Wired Magazine, The Cicada-Obsessed Prepare to Scratch a 17-Year Itch (and immediately started to diet and exercise).

News Articles about the Brood II emergence:

April 30, 2013

Return of the Cicadas Documentary

Filed under: Brood X | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 2:46 am

Return of the Cicadas is a documentary about the return of the Brood X periodical cicadas, by producer Samuel Orr. It is worth watching for for folks in the Brood II area so they know what to expect.

Take a look:

April 16, 2013

The first Brood II emergence report of 2013

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 5:20 pm

Yesterday I visited my family’s house in Metuchen, New Jersey. I looked in the backyard and found loads of cicada holes — a hole every 6″ to 12″. I was also clear that animals, like squirrels and raccoons, had been digging at many of the holes. Today I got a spade and gently dug around one of the holes. About 3″ down I found a Magicicada cassini nymph, about 1 inch in length, legs wiggling slowly, red eyes.

Here’s the hole:

Nymph Hole

Here is the nymph:

Brood II cicada Nymph

It’s clear that the cicadas are ready to emerge, and are just waiting for the temperatures to get a little warmer (to warm their bodies to around 64 degrees F/18º C). Today reached 72 degrees F. It will reach 77 F on Friday, and some will likely emerge. Saturday temperatures will be back down to 39 F. These cicadas will likely be confused for a little while.

More holes, many of which were widened by predators looking for a cicada snack!

Brood II; Cicada Holes

Also visit: updates on the emergence.

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 11, 2013

My Goals and Objectives for the Brood II Emergence

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 10:34 pm

My Goals and Objectives for the Brood II Emergence:

Cicada Shirt

  1. Continue to spread the word about Brood II periodical cicadas.
  2. Take excellent photographs of all three 17-year Magicicada species: M. septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula.
  3. Record the songs of each of the species.
  4. Document the emergence on video from start to finish.
  5. Visit some of the events and exhibits at the Staten Island Museum.
  6. Eat at Chez Catherine a cicada-themed restaurant in Westfield,NJ (Westfield will experience Brood II BTW).
  7. Travel all around the NJ area, report cicada signings to Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org).
  8. Look out for rare white or blue eyed cicadas.
  9. Meet up with fellow cicada enthusiasts and researchers like Elias Bonaros and Roy Troutman.
  10. And of course dress the part, and wear cicada-related clothes and paraphernalia.
  11. Make sure my sister’s chihuahua doesn’t choke on a cicada.

Chances are you might see me during the emergence. I’m told I look like “Lucius Malfoy”.


April 10, 2013

An updated Brood II map and more

Filed under: Brood II | John Cooley | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 5:15 pm

John Cooley of Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) kindly provided us with an updated version of the Brood II map. The old map was circa 1907. Click the image below for a BIG version:

Brood II Map with Notes

If you’re very interested in recording data for the Brood II emergence, John posted a handy PDF and Excel sheet on the Entomology-Cicadidae Yahoo Group.

April 9, 2013

Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico

Download the PDF here: www.cicadamania.com/downloads/diversity-05-00166.pdf.

We are excited to announce the availability of a document by Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips titled Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico. This document features distribution maps for North American cicada species! This document is an excellent companion to The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of North America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath (link to that book).

Abstract: We describe and illustrate the biogeography of the cicadas inhabiting continental North America, north of Mexico. Species distributions were determined through our collecting efforts as well as label data from more than 110 institutional collections. The status of subspecies is discussed with respect to their distributions. As we have shown over limited geographic areas, the distribution of individual species is related to the habitat in which they are found. We discuss the biogeography of the genera with respect to their phylogenetic relationships. California is the state with the greatest alpha diversity (89 species, 46.6% of taxa) and unique species (35 species, 18.3% of taxa). Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Utah are the states with the next greatest alpha diversity with Texas, Arizona and Utah being next for unique species diversity. Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are the states with the least amount of cicada diversity. Diversity is greatest in states and areas where there is a diversity of plant communities and habitats within these communities. Mountainous terrain also coincides with increases in diversity. Several regions of the focus area require additional collection efforts to fill in the distributions of several species.
Keywords: cicada; distribution; Diceroprocta; Tibicen; Okanagana; Okanagodes; Cacama; Magicicada; Platypedia; Cicadetta

An example of a map from the document:

Example Map

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