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June 27, 2021

The Evolutionary Origin of Periodical Cicadas: A Sci-Fi Story by Jin Yoshimura

Filed under: Jin Yoshimura | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 8:09 am

Here’s a video from Jin Yoshimura who researches periodical cicadas.

The Evolutionary Origin of Periodical Cicadas: A Sci-Fi Story:

The Evolutionary Origin of Periodical Cicadas: A Sci-Fi Story:
Periodical cicadas are known for their unique 17- and 13-year life cycles and mass emergence events. This mystery of why they would have evolved these two prime-numbered life cycles has attracted many biologists and mathematicians. Dr. Yoshimura will explore this phenomenon

June 9, 2021

Brood X 2021 Princeton, New Jersey

Filed under: Brood X | Eye Color | Magicicada — Tags: — Dan @ 9:37 pm

The Princeton Battlefield (historical location of one of George Washington’s battles) has always been a great place to find Brood X periodical cicadas.

Here are a few photos I took last weekend:

A female Magicicada septendecim with white eyes & costal wing margin mating:
Magicicada with white eyes mating

A female Magicicada septendecim with white eyes & costal wing margin:
Magicicada septendecim female with white eyes

Magicicada with beige eyes:
Magicicada with beige eyes

Many, many exit holes:
Loads of holes

Triple exit holes in mud (kinda looks like a skull):
Triple exit holes in mud

Egg nests carved into branches by the cicadas ovipositor:
Egg nests

June 7, 2021

Dr. J. C. Fisher & John Cassin on Magicicada cassinii

Filed under: Magicicada — Tags: , — Dan @ 9:03 pm

Update (4/10/2022) David C. Marshall published a paper arguing for the use of the name Magicicada cassini (one i): Marshall, David C. On the spelling of the name of Cassin’s 17-Year Cicada, Magicicada cassini (Fisher, 1852) (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). 2022. Zootaxa 5125 (2): 241–245.

My friend asked “when did Magicicada cassini become Magicicada cassinii“? Over the years, the spelling Magicicada cassini with the single “i” at the end became the most commonly used form of the name, but the original spelling ended with “ii”.

(Ignore this meme):
Cassini or cassinii

The original name of the cicada was Cicada Cassinii, named by Dr. J.C. Fischer. The genus changed to Magicicada (no dispute there), but cassinii stuck around, although it was shortened to cassini over the years (originally in Walker 1969: 8941) in many publications. There is no reason why we shouldn’t call the cicada Magicicada cassinii, as far as I know.

In the 1850s, Dr.J.C. Fisher, M.D. proposed the name Cicada cassinii for this cicada, named for ornithologist John Cassin, who described the cicada in detail. See Vol V, 1850 & 1851 of the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, pages 272-275. Here’s a link to the document. Quotes below:

The Committee to which was referred Dr. J. C. Fisher’s description of a new species of Cicada, with Mr. Cassin’s Notes on the same and on C. septendecim, reported in favor of publication in the Proceedings.

On a new species of Cicada.
By J. C. Fisher, M. D.

In the course of the observations made by the Committee of this Academy, to which was assigned the duty of investigating the habits and history of the seventeen year Locust, Cicada septendecim, which appeared during the present year (1851) in the neighborhood of Philadelphia, the attention of its members was directed by Mr. John Cassin to the fact that two species had been confounded, and that the insect regarded as the smaller variety was in fact a distinct species, a conclusion at which he had arrived during their previous appearance in 1834. It is much smaller, is blacker in color, especially on the lower surface of the abdomen, where also the segments are bordered more narrowly with yellow, and has a note entirely different from that of the larger Cicada septendecim, Linn. Syst. Nat. i., pt. ii., p. 708, (1767).

The two species did not associate together, but were found mostly on separate trees, the smaller being the less abundant.

I propose on these grounds to characterize the smaller species as follows: —

Cicada Cassinii, nobis. (♂ total length of body, 9-10ths of an inch; of the wings, 1 2/10ths inches; ♀ frequently smaller.
Colors and general appearance much like those of Cicada septendecim, Linn., but darker, and the segments of the abdomen below are more narrowly bordered with yellow. Note different to that of C. septendecim, and more like that of some of the grasshoppers. Inhabits the neighborhood of Philadelphia, appearing in the winged or perfect state at intervals of seventeen years.

Note on the above species of Cicada, and on the Cicada septendecim, Linn-

By John Cassin.

There are two distinct and easily recognized species of Cicada which appear at intervals of seventeen years, and both of which were observed in this neighborhood, especially in the woods at Powelton, during the present year. I saw them in Delaware county, Pennsylvania, in 1834, and their entire specific distinctness I have insisted on through good and evil report for the last seventeen years.

It was therefore highly gratifying to me to have an opportunity of calling the attention of the gentlemen of this Academy to the smaller species which Professor Fisher has done me the honor of naming as above, and particularly to its note. This is quite different from the prolonged and loud scream of the larger species, (which is C. septendecim, Linn.) and begins with an introductory clip, clip, quite peculiar. No disposition to associate with each other exists between the two species, and although I have seen both on the same tree, yet most frequently they were entirely separated, and occupied different parts of the woods. In 1834, I observed the smaller species in localities which were somewhat favorably situated for moisture, but during the present year it occurred in localities as varied as those of the other and larger species. At Powelton it was very abundant in an orchard of apple trees on the most elevated part of the estate, and also on trees in the adjacent woods.

That the smaller species preferred low grounds was the observation of Dr. Hildreth, of Marietta, Ohio, who, in an article on the Cicada septendecim, in Silliman’s Journal, xviii. p. 47, (1830) has the following paragraph: — ” There appeared to be two varieties of the Cicada, one smaller than the other; there was also a striking difference in their notes. The smaller variety was more common in the bottom lands and the larger in the hills.”

The size and the peculiar note are the most striking characters of the smaller species, otherwise it much resembles the larger. The consideration of its claims to specific distinction involves the general problem of specific character, which is difficult in theory, but practically is readily solved. An animal which constantly perpetuates its kind, or in other words reproduces itself
either exactly or within a demonstrable range of variation, is a species. These two Cicadas do not associate together as varieties commonly do. Of the very numerous instances in which the phenomenon introductory to propagation has been observed this year, in the course of the particular attention paid to these insects by gentlemen of this Academy, not one case occurred in which the male and female of the two insects were seen together. They are distinct species.

The appearance of the Cicada septendecim in various localities at different
periods, each terminating intervals of seventeen years, for instance in Ohio in 1846 and in Eastern Pennsylvania in 1851, is a matter of remarkable interest.

Many independent ranges or provinces are known to exist in the United States,
and they are now ascertained to be so numerous that this species probably appears in some part of the country every year. Assuming all that part of North America in which it has ever been observed to be its zoological province, how are the sub-provinces and different times of appearance to be accounted for? Are all those sub-provinces to be regarded as the theatres of independent creations? Do the facts demonstrate that the same species may exist in provinces which may be presumed to have had different eras of origin?

It would be a curious fact, and one of important application, that exactly the same species can inhabit provinces having independent creations, and if, too, as in the case of this insect, it should be clearly impossible for it to have extended from one province to another.

Or, can it be possible that every distinct district in which the Cicada appear is really an entomological province, and that entomological provinces in this part of North America are quite restricted in extent, as has been observed by Dr. Le Conte in California? (Communicated by that gentleman to the American Association for the advancement of Science at its meeting in August, 1851.)

Those sub-provinces may have relations to geologic changes. Having the extraordinary characteristic necessity of remaining in the earth for seventeen years, as a fact in the history of this insect, may it be possible to infer that geologic changes have effected the difference in the times of its appearance, or that so short periods as fractions of seventeen years have been of geologic importance throughout the range of the Cicadas?

The Cicada septendecim has appeared in the vicinity of Philadelphia, at intervals of seventeen years, certainly since 1715. There has been, it appears, no variation of temperature, nor causes accidental nor other since that date sufficient to affect its habits in any perceptible degree. It is stated in Clay’s Swedish Annals, to have appeared in May, 1715, in this neighborhood, (which, so far as I know, is the earliest authentic record 😉 punctually in the same month, every seventeeth year, now certainly for nearly one hundred and fifty years, has this extraordinary insect been known to make its visit. No causes have affected it during that period, not even so far as relates to the month in which it appears.

Passing, I would observe that so far as relates to the neighborhood of Philadelphia, the Cicada septendecim clearly had not a fair start with the year 1, — anno mundi of the commonly received chronology. If it had had, the sum produced by 1851X4004 — 1 ought to divide by 17 without a remainder, which it will not do, — more insignificant facts than which have troubled schoolmen.

I have never seen any animals more entirely stupid than the seventeen year Locusts. They make no effort to escape, but allow themselves to be captured with perfect passiveness, thus reminding one of the lameness of animals in countries where they are not molested by enemies. All animals of as high grade of organization as these insects, acquire instincts from impressions made by the presence of danger and otherwise, which they transmit to their offspring. The young Fox of today is undoubtedly superior to his juvenile progenitor of a century since. The cicadas have acquired no such instinct. Their short life of maturity above the surface of the earth does not appear to be of sufficient duration for such to be formed and impressed on their posterity.

In short, it appears to me that the study of these insects, and the examination of their separate ranges, might result in conclusions of extraordinary importance, especially relative to modern views of the distribution of animals.

No animal is more easily traced. In other aspects, too, they present interesting points for study, perhaps of general interest in zoological science.

A couple of interesting things about their texts:

  1. “during their previous appearance in 1834” — 1834 would be Brood X, but it is now extinct in Philadelphia, which they reference
  2. ” especially on the lower surface of the abdomen, where also the segments are bordered more narrowly with yellow” that description sounds more like Magicicada septendecula Alexander and Moore, 1962 than Magicicada cassinii (Fisher, 1852) aka Cassini 17-Year Cicada because of the “more narrowly with yellow” instead of no yellow at all.

1 Allen F. Sanborn. Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). 2014. DOI:

May 31, 2021

What are the black spots on the back of a Magicicada cicada?

Filed under: Magicicada | Teneral — Dan @ 3:24 pm

Black Spots

The question I saw most this year (2021) was “what are the black spots on the back of cicadas for”? The people asking this question are specifically talking about Magicicada cicadas that have recently molted and are still white/cream colored and soft (teneral from the Latin word “tenen” meaning soft).

The area of the cicada where the black spots appear is called the pronotum — “pro”, meaning before in Greek, and “notum”, meaning the back, also in Greek. Before the back.

The spots contain a pigment that will gradually spread throughout a cicada body as it hardens, and transforms from white to black.

People speculate that the two black spots resemble eyes, and that might scare away predators. This might be possible, but I haven’t read anything to substantiate the hypothesis.

May 30, 2021

Rainy day Magicicada behavior

Filed under: Behavior | Brood X | Magicicada — Tags: — Dan @ 8:09 pm

Brood X has emerged in Princeton, New Jersey, but the weather is currently not great for cicadas: less than 50°F and rainy. Undaunted, I visited Princeton yesterday to observe Magicicada cicada behavior on a cold, rainy day.

I arrived at Princeton Battleground State Park around 3:30 PM and immediately head to the short trees and tall weeds, like honeysuckle, that line the perimeter of the park. I was pleased to see hundreds of cicadas clinging to the leaves, stems, and branches of the plants — seemingly without extra effort or discomfort. Many were weighted down by droplets of rain, which seemed to roll off their bodies and bead on their wings like translucent pearls.

Even though temperatures were below 50°F I did hear an occasional distress call, and saw plenty of cicadas mating — perhaps they started mating before the rain and cold weather began. No flying. No calls, chorusing, or wing flicks.

Other than thousands of seemingly healthy but (patient) cicadas hanging from vegetation, there were plenty of malformed cicadas on the trunks of larger trees, and piles of exuvia and corpses circling tree trunks. The air around trees stank like ammonia and rotting fat and meat — not unlike a dumpster behind a burger restaurant.

I saw mostly Magicicada septendecim and some Magicicada cassini. No apparent Magicicada septendecula. I saw just one M. Septendecim infected with Massospora cicadina fungus. While there was plenty of avian activity in the area, I did not see any birds or other creatures feast on the docile or dead cicada — maybe I scared them away — maybe their appetites were satiated.

Cicadas dripping with rain:
Cicadas dripping with rain

Cicadas mating:
Cicadas Mating

Cicadas mating

M. Septendecim infected with Massospora cicadina fungus:

May 10, 2021

The Cicada Olympics: Engaging Kids in Live Insect Activities

Filed under: Books | Community Science | Magicicada — Dan @ 10:49 am

Hey! There’s a new cicada book out for Kids. Looks fun. The Cicada Olympics: Engaging Kids in Live Insect Activities. by Cynthia ‘Cindy’ Smith, Ph.D. & Richard Grover. It is available on Kindle or Paperback from Amazon.

About the book:

With two periodical broods set to emerge this spring, now is the perfect time to start planning educational events and activities that celebrate this fascinating natural phenomenon. The Cicada Olympics book is packed with 14 easy-to-implement engaging activities, student worksheets you may copy, and sample letters to parents, providing you with everything you need to organize successful cicada events at parks, schools, neighborhoods and communities. From interactive games and races to exoskeleton exploration, these activities are designed to spark curiosity, promote learning, and foster deep appreciation for these gentle giants.

The Cicada Olympics book offers a comprehensive toolkit designed to help you create a fun, informative and memorable experience for learners of all ages. 62 pages.

Cicada Olympics

An interview with the author:

1) Why did you decide to create a book about periodical cicadas? Please tell us more about the book.

In 2004 I hosted a highly successful school Cicada Olympics event where kids rotated through 12 activity stations with their own personal cicada. It was magical! To start, each child decorated a small wire-handled takeout food container and then selected a male or female cicada, which they named and carried to all the events. Kids were laughing, cheering, comparing with friends and learning. I was encouraged by the teachers, parents and volunteers to capture the activities in a book so that that other parents, educators and youth leaders could easily recreate them. The book details all the materials needed and ways to teach, even if you’re terrified of bugs. For example, a STEM engineering challenge is detailed, where kids build a small boat which they ‘race’ across a kiddee pool with their cicada as captain.
Periodical Cicadas are the best teaching tools. They’re big, slow, they don’t bite and they mostly stay put while you hold them. Kids tell me that if you stare into their pointy faces, they kind of look like they’re smiling. My goal in writing the book was to help youth leaders, educators, parents, and guardians to easily put on an educational event or engage children in individual activities with cicadas. In addition to examining anatomy, mimicking calls with kazoos and building pyramids out of exoskeletons, integrating cicadas into learning activities is an awesome way to help kids become very comfortable with insects, retain a great deal of life history knowledge and have more awareness about insects’ roles in the environment.

2) How did you become interested in periodical cicadas?

Since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with insect and animal behavior. I remember as a 2nd grader, collecting loads of ladybugs and moths in a metal coffee can and (much to my mother’s horror), releasing them in my bedroom to show her how I ‘trained’ them all to fly to the windows. For my master’s degree, I focused on bird behavior, working on projects ranging from seagull feeding behavior in landfills to bowerbird displays in Australia.

I love the intrigue of the periodical cicada life cycle. What exactly are they doing underground for 13 or 17 years? Just sucking on tree roots seems rather boring to me. Are they communicating with each other? “Hey, are you going to the big party in the trees? I can’t wait!” Do they interact with the grubs and centipedes underground? Do they ever sneak up to the surface years too early, check out the aboveground scene and then go back down to wait? I have observed stragglers coming out in their ‘wrong’ year and quickly getting carried away by birds.

3) Which was the first cicada Brood you experienced, and where did you experience it?

Brood IV near Manhattan, Kansas while I was attending Kansas State University working on my Wildlife Biology degree. I’ve experienced Brood X in Northern VA in 2004 and 2021.
One evening in May 2013 when Brood II emerged in the woods near my home in Virginia, I sat, my back against an old beech tree, as 100s of nymphs crawled out of their soil tunnels. Nymphs crawled up my shoes, up my legs and when they reached my bent knees – the highest point, they turned around a few times and then crawled back down to the ground to find a better ‘tree’.

When I brought neighborhood kids to witness the emergence, at first, they were squeamish and squealing as pairs of tiny toes touched and tickled their legs. Once the children got comfortable and noticed how determined the cicadas were to walk upwards, (and that the insects did not care one iota about them), the wonder questions flowed like floodwaters: Do you think he likes me? How high will they climb? Are their red eyes full of blood? Can they see me? Can I take them home as a pet? That would hurt me if my back split open, does it hurt when they molt? Can they still breath when they molt? What are those white hairs in the shells? etc…
Emotional experiences like this are unforgettable.

4) Are you interested in other types of cicadas? Are you interested in other types of insects?

Yes! I always anticipate the songs of the annual cicadas. I love how they crank up the volume on hot summer days. I’m very interested in insect-plant associations. I strategically plant flowers in my yard for insect observation and photography. Today for example, I watched small bees (Ceratina species) clearing out tunnels in last year’s elderberry stems.

5) How are insects and other smaller creatures (frogs, turtles, birds) useful in engaging and educating young people about their local environment?

Experiences with live organisms are memorable. Last week at one of my environmental education programs, 7th graders were collecting data on water chemistry in a stream. While testing the water, they spotted a dragonfly nymph molting on a stem. Immediately, all the children crowed around to watch. When they met up later with their teachers, none of them discussed the amount of dissolved oxygen they recorded, but all of them chattered about the bald eagle that flew by, how the dragonfly cracked out of its exoskeleton and how cute the baby turtle was that they held.

When I train K12 teachers and ask about their most memorable science experiences, most smile and share stories about farm trips, raising rabbits and chicks, finding a box turtle, holding a snake and visiting public aquariums.

6) How can parents, guardians, and teachers educate young people about insects and their local environment? What types of resources should they look for?

Take your kids outside and often. Examine the different plants on your playground, in your yard and under your feet. Visit parks, nature preserves, wooded areas, meadows, streams, and the ocean. Join tours with naturalists. Visit the same natural spaces again and again and notice what has changed. Scheduling enough time to listen to insects and birds and watch their behavior. Encourage your kids to ask questions and wonder. You don’t have to have answers for them. The most important thing is to value their observations skills, honor their discoveries and ask them questions about what they are seeing, such as: How do you think this plant/insect/animal got here? What might it have looked like last week? What might it look like next week? Do you think anything eats this? This will build critical thinking skills.
Identification apps like iNaturalist, Seek, and Merlin are good, but… frequently, I see nature conversations end the second someone identifies the plant or insect. Skip the apps for a while and let children observe, describe and sketch what they see without checking to see if they are ‘right’.

7) Tell us about your role as professor of Environmental Science & Policy?

As instructional faculty at George Mason University, I teach undergrad and graduate courses covering topics such as Stream Bioassessments, Heat Island Impacts, Ecology of Climate Change, Sustainability, product Life Cycle Assessments and more. Because Mason is located close to Washington DC, I host members of congress, state delegates and lobbyists into my classes to give students authentic experiences with policymakers focused on environmental issues.

8) Tell us how Environmental Science & Policy matters to the community (“everyday people”):

Much of what the public hears about the environment and climate is doom and gloom which can lead to eco-anxiety. I like to highlight success stories, empower my students to select problems they want to solve, and to understand all stakeholder viewpoints, because environmental issues are rarely two-sided. In our local neighborhoods for example, native plant proponents want residents to reduce their lawns, plant natives to encourage more insects and let the oak-hickory forest return. But opponents ask, “Where will the kids and dogs play? What if my family is allergic to bees?” All stakeholders have valid points. Crafting policies that support all residents go a long way in building positive communities.

9) Tell us about your role as Outreach Director for the Potomac Environmental Research & Education Center (PEREC):

PEREC is a research Center at George Mason University. My colleagues’ research topics span aquatic and fisheries ecology, microbiology, invertebrate invasions, environmental chemistry, sustainability and coral reef diseases. My role is to translate their research into hands-on public programs, exhibits and tours. With my part-time student staff we deliver ~ 60 days of watershed education programs directly reaching over 7000 youth per year. I also train 100s of K12 teachers on ways of Teaching Kids Outside, while still meeting their required learning objectives.

10) What is one (or more) thing the average person can do to help improve the health of their local environment?

Consider outdoor spaces in neighborhoods as essential ecosystems. Plant, plant, plant! Add native plants, shrubs and trees to your yard or plant in pots if you have limited outdoor spaces. These will attract insects, which in turn feed birds and pollinate plants.
My son, for example, lives in a concrete urban city where it’s challenging to have access to outdoor planting spaces. His neighbor drops routinely seeds into alleyway crevices, next to dumpsters, and along building/sidewalk cracks. Sunflowers, corn, as well as native and annual flowers pop up randomly throughout this urban area. You can build up biodiversity almost anywhere.

11) Do organizations like the PEREC communicate and share ideas with similar organizations around the country and world.

Of course! Our faculty all have webpages and social media sites.

Your audience can follow my research team at:
Instagram: @perec_gmu
X (Twitter): @PEREC_GMU

You can follow me on:
Instagram: @drcindysmith
X (Twitter): @cindyloohoo9
My Website:
LinkedIn: LinkedIn

Thank you for checking out my book, The Cicada Olympics – Engaging Kids in Live Insect Activities

Description of the book from Amazon:

This book, by Cindy Smith, Ph.D. and Richard Groover, Ph.D., will equip you with age-appropriate information to make this a fun learning opportunity for your children. The authors have made the learning activities streamlined and easy to implement for individuals and groups. Within these pages, you’ll find: 13 fun cicada activities with instructions and materials list, parent and volunteer information, cicada jokes, pictures, and online resources

May 2, 2021

Different types of Magicicada periodical cicada holes

Filed under: Brood X | Chimneys | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 5:19 pm

Different types of Magicicada periodical cicada holes found in Princeton, NJ. Brood X, 2021. Generally speaking, their holes are about the size of a dime. You won’t see a spray or kickback of soil around the hole like you would when an animal is digging into the soil rather than coming out of it (cicadas are coming out).

Typical dime-sized cicada holes

Typical Holes

A hole with a corresponding mini cicada-chimney

Here's a hole and cap

A golf ball sized chimney over a hole

Mud Golf Ball

A hole borrowed into a hay bale laying on the ground

Hole in Hay

A hole in moss

A hole in moss

Holes in the underside of a rotten log, with a nymph!

Cicadas will burrow up from the soil of the ground and keep going into the rotting wood of a rotten log! I had to roll the log over to see it.
Holes in a Log

The inside view of a 4″ cicada chimney


Video of a Nymph

April 19, 2021

17-year cicada cross word puzzle

Filed under: Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 6:02 pm

Want to try a 17-year cicada crossword puzzle? It isn’t easy.

Download a large version of the image with the hints. Or use the one on this page:

Cicada Cross Word Puzzle

2. Two of them are…
7. Mistaken identity
8. Soil temperature sampler
10. Insect Singers site
11. The cicada’s old outfit
13. Where you’ll find the arches.
15. Keep a lid on it.
17. Longest lifecycle.
22. Ohio expert
24. Five.
27. Never on time.
28. A delicious drink.
29. I’m seeing red.
30. Grill.
31. 5 steps.
33. Final form.
35. Seven is the smallest.

1. Un-popped collar.
3. Four to get off the Floor.
4. A “cool” cicada expert.
5. Three of Five.
6. Youngsters.
9. Plates
12. A rare color.
14. Nest knife.
16. Pitch shifter
18. Left Connecticut forever
19. Drum kit.
20. Amphetamine fungus.
21. Cicada banners.
23. Keep hanging on.
25. Mr. Softy.
26. Just six of these.
32. Beak.
34. Connecticut lab leader

Answers are here.

I used the Discovery Education Puzzlemaker to create this.

April 18, 2021

Cicada Mania BINGO for Brood X 2021

Filed under: Cicada Mania | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 5:48 am

Here’s something fun: Cicada Mania BINGO. Use this BINGO card to keep track of everything you see, hear or do in context to the Brood X emergence. Here’s a PDF version. Tips below the image of the card:

Cicada Mania


  1. Pictures of cicada Holes and Chimneys
  2. Magicicada septendecim photos & song
  3. A cicada with white eyes
  4. Cicadas with blue and yellow eyes
  5. Video of Cicada Nymphs at Night
  6. Cicadas with Massospora cicadina fungus infections
  7. Magicicada septendecula photos & songs
  8. Cicada eggs and young nymphs
  9. Are cicadas safe to eat?
  10. Magicicada cassini photos & songs
  11. Video of a cicada laying eggs
  12. Links to the Cicada Safari app.
  13. Cicada songs, including Choruses
  14. Wing Flicks Videos

I’ll probably do a version for summertime cicadas too.

Periodical cicada nymphs emerging at night

Filed under: Brood XIII | Magicicada | Molting | Nymphs | Periodical — Tags: — Dan @ 5:29 am

One of the most fun periodical cicada experiences is watching thousands of nymphs emerge from the ground at night, crawl to the nearest vertical surface (hopefully a tree) and begin to molt.

This is a video by Roy Troutman from 2007 of the Brood XIII emergence, specifically in Ryerson Woods in Illinois:

Observing magicicada emergence at Ryerson Woods from Roy Troutman on Vimeo.

Here’s a time-lapse video, also by Roy, of a cicada nymph molting:

Magicicada nymph molting from Roy Troutman on Vimeo.

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