Cicada Mania

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

Genera of cicadas.

November 7, 2013

New Species of Tibicen: Tibicen neomexicensis

Filed under: Tibicen — Tags: — Dan @ 6:19 am

A new species of Tibicen cicada, Tibicen neomexicensis, has been described by Brian J. Stucky.

Read more about Morphology, bioacoustics, and ecology of Tibicen neomexicensis sp. n., a new species of cicada from the Sacramento Mountains in New Mexico, U.S.A. (Hemiptera, Cicadidae, Tibicen).

Thanks to David Marshall for the tip.

October 15, 2013

Zammara with a collar like Dracula! Zammara smaragdina

Filed under: Ecuador | Halloween | Zammara | Zammarini — Tags: — Dan @ 7:20 pm

Just in time for Halloween… the Zammara a genus of cicadas with a collar like Dracula!

Andreas Kay has been posting photos of the insects of Ecuador on Flickr for around a year now. He’s posted many excellent cicada photos, particularly, photos of Zammara. They are among the most visually interesting cicadas.

Cicada, Zammara tympanum?

Emerald Cicada, Zammara smaragdina:

Emerald Cicada, Zammara smaragdina

Emerald Cicada pair, Zammara smaragdina

Here’s an illustration from Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. I by W. L. Distant and The Rev Canon W. W. Fowler, F.L.S:

Zammara smaragdina

Here the Scientific classification:
Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Zammarini
Genus: Zammara
Species: Zammara smaragdina Walker, 1850

Here’s an article about Collared cicadas of Mexico, Central & South America.

October 12, 2013

A third way cicadas make sounds

Filed under: Anatomy | Australia | Cyclochila | Sounds | Video — Dan @ 8:06 am

Cicadas are well known for the songs male cicadas make with their their tymbals, which are drum-like organs found in their abdomens.

Some female cicadas will also flick their wings to get the males attention. Watch this video where a male Magicicada is convinced that the snapping of fingers is a wing flick. Note: Magicicada males will also flick their wings once they become infected with the Massospora cicadina fungus (which removes their sex organs).

There is a third way some cicadas can make sounds. This method of creating a sound is unique to the Australian species Cyclochila australasiae (aka the Green Grocer and Masked Devil). These cicadas have stridulatory ridges on their pronotal collars (the collar shaped structure at the back of their head), and a stridulatory scraper on their fore wing.

From M. S. MOULDS, 2012, A review of the genera of Australian cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea). Magnolia Press Auckland, New Zealand. p84:

Cyclochila is unique among the Cicadoidea in possessing a stridulatory file on the underside of the lateral angles of the pronotal collar that interacts with a scraper on the fore wing base (Fig. 132). Rubbed together these produce low audible sound in hand-held specimens (K. Hill, pers. comm.), the purpose of which is for sexual com- munication at close quarters (J. Kentwell and B. Fryz, pers. comm.)

Here is a photo of these structures:

Structure on Green Grocer

The location of these structures is right about where the blue pin is in this photo:
Collar

Update:

Tim McNary of the Bibliography of the Cicadoidea website, let us know that Clidophleps cicadas are also able to create should using a stridulatory structure. Clidophleps is a genus of cicada that can be found in California, Nevada, Arizona, and I assume adjacent parts of Mexico. Clidophleps differs from Cyclochila in that the stridulatory structure is on its mesonotum, and not its pronotal collar.

Photo courtesy of Tim McNary:
stridatory file

October 11, 2013

A look back at the 2013 Brood II Periodical Cicada Emergence

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical | Video — Dan @ 10:03 pm

2013 has been an awesome year for cicadas. Here’s a look back at my favorite Brood II moments.

  1. My 17 Year Cicada sneakers:
    nikeid
  2. The They’re Baaack! Return of the 17-year Cicadas exhibit at The Staten Island Museum.
  3. Meeting Ed Johnson of the Staten Island Museum.
  4. Being interviewed by and appearing in Wired Magazine.
  5. This April Fools Day joke (that no one believed).
  6. Hipster Cicada
    hipster cicada
  7. Cicada Ron Swanson
    Cicada Ron Swanson
  8. Keep Calm, They’re only 17 Year Cicadas
    Keep Calm
  9. Getting 7,500 visits from Reddit in a single day (April 7th).
  10. Finding the first nymph on April 16th under a garden slate, not ready to emerge.
  11. Finding the first cicada chimneys on May 10th.
  12. Giving a presentation about cicadas at musician/naturalist/philosopher/professor David Rothenberg’s “Richard Robinson: Song of the Cicada (World Premiere), Insect Music, based on the calls, chirps and clicks of various insects” event in New York City.
  13. Finding and photographing Magicicada septendecula, thanks to Elias Bonaro’s keen hearing.
  14. My sister’s chihuahua discovering a cicada nymph.
    chihuahua cicada
  15. Cicada tracking in New York state.
  16. An interview with Sonja Beeker of the German radio program Neonlicht.
  17. The Oklahoma Brood II emergence. A lot of us didn’t expect it, but Oklahoma residents did. Add another state to the Brood II map!
  18. Shooting lots of cicada video for the site
  19. Observing the Magicicada cassini’s “musical chairs” calling and flying routine, captured in this photo by Roy Troutman.
  20. Having Roy and Michelle Troutman visit New Jersey (I think Michelle enjoyed the beach more than the cicadas).
  21. Going cicada hunting with Roy Troutman and Elias Bonaros
    Elias and Roy
  22. The Joy of Six Legged Sex event at the Staten Island Museum, featuring John Cooley and Ed Johnson. Roy, Michelle, Elias and David Rothenberg were also in attendance.
    John Cooley and Ed Johnson speaking at the Staten Island Museum Six Legged Sex event by Roy Troutman
  23. Going cicada hunting in Staten Island with Elias and Chris Simon.
  24. Going cicada hunting with John Cooley, David Rothenberg, and a crew from the New York Times, and ending up at my folk’s place in Metuchen.
  25. Fighting back against companies that sell pesticide to kill cicadas.
  26. Discovering that the periodical cicadas along the shore of Staten Island survived Superstorm Sandy.
  27. Meeting cicada filmmaker Sam Orr.
  28. All the reports, comments, Tweets, and cicada photos sent to us by Cicada Mania readers. You make it all worthwhile.
  29. The Finneytown, Ohio acceleration… technically not Brood II, but…
  30. All the cool cicada community science opportunities presented by magicicada.org, the Simon Lab, the Urban Buzz Project, Gene Kritsky and Radiolab.

I’m looking forward to the Brood III and XXII emergences next year, but I don’t know if they’ll be as fun as Brood II 2013.

17 year cicadas y u no?

October 10, 2013

Masked Devil aka Cyclochila australasiae

Filed under: Australia | Cyclochila — Dan @ 4:37 am

Lozang Y. posted this image of a Masked Devil aka Cyclochila australasiae on our Facebook page. The photo was taken in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

Masked Devil

These cicadas are currently out and singing in the New South Wales area.

The green form of this cicada is called a Green Grocer, the yellow form is called a Yellow Monday, and the Blue Form is called the Blue Moon. The Cyclochila australasiae might have more color variations than even the Gaeana festiva of Southeast Asia.

More info about Cyclochila australasiae from L.W. Popple’s website.

September 22, 2013

Cicada Season has begun in Australia

Filed under: Australia | Cyclochila | Cystosoma | David Emery | Pauropsalta — Dan @ 8:40 pm

David Emery wrote to let us know that cicada season has begun in parts of Australia:

After some 50mm of rain on 16-17 Sept and the warmest winter on record on the east coast, the “masked devil” morphs of Cyclochila australasiae were in good voice in the mountains west and south of Sydney, Australia on 22nd Sept. The bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii) are also rattling in Metro Sydney. These are about 2 weeks early this year as are several of the smaller grass cicadas and Pauropsalta species. Roll on summer!

Cheers, David.

Masked Devil cicada (Cyclochila australasiae):
Masked Devil cicada (Cyclochila australasiae)

More information about Cyclochila australasiae.

Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii):
Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii)

More information about Cystosoma saundersii.

Bottle Cicada (Chlorocysta sp.):
Bottle Cicada

More information about Bottle cicadas.

August 9, 2013

August is a great time to look for Tibicen cicadas in North America

Filed under: Canada | Tibicen | United States | Video — Tags: — Dan @ 9:33 am

Now is a great time to look and listen for Tibicen cicadas in North America. Tibicen are the medium to large sized annual cicadas. Typically they are well camouflaged – with colors like black, white, green & brown.

During the day you can listen for them, of course, and spot them that way. Try Insect Singers for cicada songs. You can also look for their exuvia (skins), and if you’re lucky you can catch on on a low branch.

Last night I started looking around 10pm and found three Swamp Cicadas (T. tibicen tibicen) shedding their skins on trees around the yard. I also collected about 30 exuvia (skins). All in a quarter acre yard. Take a look at this video:

Swamp Cicada shedding its nymphal skin from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Swamp Cicada

Teneral Swamp Cicada

July 30, 2013

Megatibicen auletes in Manchester, NJ

Filed under: Elias Bonaros | Megatibicen | Tibicen | Video — Tags: , — Dan @ 8:44 pm

Last night I went on an exploration of Manchester, NJ looking for Megatibicen auletes (Germar, 1834) with Elias Bonaros and his friend Annette.

M. auletes, are known as the Northern Dusk Singing Cicada. As their name suggests, M. auletes calls at dusk, around sunset. Their call is amazing – visit Insect Singers to hear their call.

Luckily I found a (deceased) female and an exuvia (nymph skin). Elias and Annette found many exuvia and a live nymph. We were able to watch the nymph undergo ecdysis (leave its exuvia, and expand its adult body).

Here are some images of the cicadas we found last night (click the first two images to get to larger versions):

Neotibicen auletes nymph

Ventral view. Neotibicen auletes female Manchester NJ

Dorsal view. Neotibicen auletes female Manchester NJ

Neotibicen auletes female Manchester NJ

Some (blurry) video:

Dan and Elias netting a M. auletes exuvia. Photo by Annette DeGiovine-Oliveira:

Dan and Elias netting a T. auletes exuvia. Photo by Annette DeGiovine-Oliveira:

July 16, 2013

Help identify these cicadas from India

Filed under: Identify | India | Macrosemia | Raghu Ananth — Dan @ 5:46 am

Raghu Ananth sent us these photos of cicadas from India. If you can identify them, let use know.

UPDATE: David Emery provided use with these ID’s, in Order from Top to Bottom:

Macrosemia umbrata. Platypleura capitata, Platypleura sp and Pomponia linearis.
Macrosemia umbrata Cicada Found in Arunachal Pradesh, India by Raghu Ananth

Click the images for a larger version:

Cicada Found Near Mysore, India: Platypleura capitata
Platypleura capitata by Raghu Ananth, taken near Mysore, India:

Cicada Found in Kukke Subramanya: Platypleura sp

Cicada Found in Kukke Subramanya, Karnataka, India by Raghu Ananth

Cicada Found in Bhagamandala, Coorg, India: Pomponia linearis

Pomponia linearis Cicada Found in Bhagamandala, Coorg, India by Raghu Ananth

Cicada Found in Arunachal Pradesh_ India by Raghu Ananth
Cicada Found in Arunachal Pradesh_ India by Raghu Ananth 2

June 29, 2013

Where’s the cicadas?

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 12:57 am

At this point in the 2013 Brood II emergence, all the cicadas that will emerge, have emerged. I’m sorry to say that if periodical cicadas have not emerged in your yard/neighborhood/town, they won’t. This is frustrating for people who heard that the cicadas would emerge in their state or those who looked at a brood map and assumed their neighborhood fell within the area shown on the map.

People in Pennsylvania, for example, heard that cicadas would arrive in their state, but unfortunately, the cicadas only occupy a small banana-shaped region in the east of the state:

Pony tail on New Jersey

If you look at one of the older maps for Brood II, it looks like the state of New Jersey is covered, however, each dot might represent only one sighing in one specific area. These old maps are useful, but they can be misleading (more on maps later in this article).

map example

Back in 2004, after Brood X emerged, I wrote an article called: What Happened: the Magicicada No-Show of 2004. The information in that article is relevant for Brood II as well.

The truth is periodical cicadas do not occupy every square acre of a state in which they are expected to emerge. Even in towns where they do emerge, they are rarely present in every acre or block of those towns. Why? Well, either they were eliminated in the areas where they once were found (due to urban sprawl, pesticides, weather-related events, etc), or they simply were never there in the first place. New threats like extreme weather (flooding and tree destruction by tropical storms) and tree-destroying invasive species (like the emerald ash borer) will continue to shrink cicada habitat areas.

It is important, for future emergences, that the press/media and cicada websites provide more accurate information about the location of the cicadas. The cicada sighting information people provide to Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) is very important because it will lead to better maps and more accurate sighting information.

One thing I’m glad that I did this year was to provide a page that listed specific towns in New Jersey where cicadas could be expected. I wish I did one for every state in the Brood II area [but Cicada Mania is not my day job, and there are only so many hours in a day].

That said, we never want to discourage people from looking for periodical cicadas in areas we don’t expect them to exist. Last year unexpected Brood I cicadas emerged in Tennessee. This year periodical cicadas unexpectedly emerged in Oklahoma. A lot of us were hoping cicadas would show up in Central Park in Manhattan, but they didn’t (however, I didn’t personally walk every acre of the park).

So, what can you do to help?

  • If you’re a member of the press/media (yes that includes bloggers and tweeters), make sure you get precise locations from cicada experts.
  • Report cicada and flagging sightings to Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) so we have better records of the emergence.
  • Help cicada research by participating in a cicada community science project.
  • Help preserve the current cicada habitat. Preserve trees. Avoid pesticides. Don’t wipe out another forest to add yet another redundant giant store.

A consolation for people who missed out on the 17 year cicadas: there are about 160 species of annual cicadas in North America. They’re usually harder to find and catch, but you can still hear and capture them if you put some time and effort into it.

« Newer PostsMore »

Cicada T-shirts