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April 4, 2013

What Type of Cicada Prepper Are You?

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 5:23 pm

Are you preparing for the 2013 invasion of the Brood II Magicicada? If so, what type of cicada prepper are you?

Every type of prepper

If you’re visiting Cicada Mania, you’re probably trying to figure out when and where the Brood II cicadas will emerge. We have a page for that.

Once the cicadas arrive you’re also going to report them to Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org), right? You’re also going to upload your photos and video to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest, and Instagram, right? You’re going to tag your photos & video with appropriate tags like #BroodII, #Magicicada, and #17YearCicada as well.

Kid Scientist:

cicada kid

Kids will probably enjoy a cicada emergence more than any one group of people. Kids will want to learn, capture, collect, observe, photograph, draw, and write about cicadas.

If you want to learn about cicadas, there are many cicada websites, including Cicada Mania. There are also many books to read; ask your local library to obtain a few of them.

Capturing periodical cicadas is easy. Unlike other insects, these cicadas are slow and easy to grab when they’re on the ground on low on a tree. You can use a butterfly net if you want to catch one in flight. At night, when they first emerge, they are especially easy to catch. You can use a flashlight to spot them coming out of the ground, and shedding their skins on tree branches.

A portable butterfly pavilion is a great place to temporarily keep and observe cicadas. It’s a lot better than a coffee can with holes punched in the lid. Another good option is to use an old aquarium and turn it into a terrarium filled with natural objects, like tree branches. You can also wrap a tree branch with netting and place the cicadas inside that, and observe then in their natural habitat.

It’s good to have a magnifying glass or a camera with a zoom feature so you can observe the cicadas up close. If you have a camera, make sure you take plenty of photos and videos so you have something to remember about the cicadas.

Preparation list:

  1. Books and website links for research
  2. A flashlight to look for them at night
  3. A camera to take photos or video (a smart phone works just fine). Don’t forget to record their songs.
  4. A container or habitat to keep them in. Options include:
    1. A butterfly pavilion
    2. A terrarium
    3. A tree branch wrapped in fine netting
    4. The classic jar or tin can, for temporary storage
  5. A magnifying lens to see them up close
  6. Art supplies to draw or paint pictures of them

Amateur Cicada Researcher

Do you consider yourself a citizen scientist or amateur cicada researcher?

Prior to the emergence cicada researchers will monitor the temperature of the soil, using a ground thermometer, or a cicada tracker. They will also monitor the ground for dime-sized holes and cicada chimneys.

Each night the cicada researcher will check the ground at the foot of trees, waiting for the first emerging nymphs.

Once the nymphs start to emerge, the cicada researcher will record the location, take photos, video, and take notes on the number of cicadas observed. The researcher will also likely keep some samples of the cicada population.

After about a week, the male cicadas will be ready to sing. At this point, the researcher will record the cicada’s song with an audio recording device.

If you’re interested in collecting specimens, Bioquip has plenty of pinning and mounting, insect storage and netting supplies.

Massachusettes Cicadas has a good article on pinning cicadas.

Preparation list:

  • Measure the soil temperature: a Thermometer or Cicada Tracker
  • GPS Device: a device to tell your location, for use in mapping the emergence
  • Carry and Observe: butterfly pavilion; netting to wrap around a tree branch; a terrarium
  • Cameras: SLR cameras, video cameras, web cams, or even the camera in your smart phone
  • Computer: use your PC, tablet or smart phone to access the internet and record and report your findings
  • Pen and paper: just in case technology fails you
  • Supplies for pinning and storing specimens: get the supplies you need to preserve the specimens you keep
  • Chat with an expert: join the Yahoo Entomology-Cicadidae Group and chat with fellow cicada researchers and experts
  • Transporation: if you plan on helping to map the cicada emergence, you’ll need a bike, car or truck to travel around in. Bonus points, if the vehicle has a GPS device.

Nature Photographer:

My best tip for photographers and videographers is practice shooting at night. Most Magicicadas will emerge at night, and you don’t want to miss their emergence and amazing transformation from nymph to adult!

My trick is to point a flashlight beam at the cicada — that way the camera will see the cicada and you won’t spend a lot of time getting the camera to focus and flash in the dark.

Don’t forget your best macro lens as well, to get great up-close shots.

Preparation list:

  1. Your camera and equipment
  2. A tripod
  3. A macro lens
  4. A flashlight
  5. Practice shooting at night

Insect Gourmet:

Yes, a lot of people eat cicadas! People add them to stews, chili, or just fry them up with spices! People even add them sweets like cookies and ice cream! I like to call them “shrimp of the dirt”.

Cicadas, like all insects, are arthropods — just like lobsters, shrimp and crabs — so you might be able to prepare them using similar spices. Buttered, spicy cicada — nummers!

My tips: 1) You do not want to eat them if your neighbor has sprayed them with insecticide first; 2) I hear they’re tastiest when they’re still recently emerged and white (teneral); 3) Consult your doctor before eating any creature that has lived underground for 17 years.

I, personally, haven’t tried to eat a cicada. I’m not squeamish; I just like them too much to eat one, and I suffer from arthropod allergies (I get gout when I eat crustaceans), so I avoid trying cicadas.

More info on eating cicadas, including recipes.

Preparation list:

  1. Courage
  2. A strong stomach
  3. Recipes
  4. All the cooking implements and ingredients you need to cook ’em up
  5. A friend to call 911 in case you choke, have an allergic reaction or are poisoned by pesticide

Nervous Gardener:

Cicada Ron Swanson

I can sympathize with gardeners who are afraid that cicadas will damage or kill their plants. The good news is cicadas are not like true locusts. True locusts (which are actually a form of grasshopper) will strip plants of all leaves, flowers, and fruit. Cicadas only damage trees when they lay their eggs in branches. Typically a few of the weaker branches of a tree will die or weaken. The leaves turn brown, which is called flagging.

Cicadas are interested in trees. They can’t kill a large elm, maple, or oak. Where they can cause damage is to weaker ornamental flowering and fruit trees.

I’ve never personally experienced catastrophic cicada tree damage, but I’ve also never owned a flowering, miniature pear tree.

Preparation list:

  1. Consult with your local tree care expert. No sense in going out and buying a bunch of stuff, if you don’t need to.
  2. Use Netting. Placing netting around the branches of small trees will help keep cicadas off them. You can buy netting online or from a local store.
  3. Insect Barrier Tape. Insect barrier tape keeps cicadas from crawling up the trunks.
  4. Foil. Again, to keep the cicadas from crawling up the trunks.
  5. Hose them down/off. Cicadas like dry and warm, not cold and wet.
  6. Manually pick them off like grapes.

I don’t recommend pesticides for three reasons: 1) collateral damage to other species of insects like honey bees, 2) I’m tired of hearing about pets that die from eating cicadas tainted with pesticides, and 3) I think cicadas are awesome, and I want to see them survive.

Clean Up Crew:

Be prepared to have to clean up dead cicadas in your yard. Depending on the number of cicadas in your neighborhood, you might need to clean them up with rakes and shovels, buckets, and wheelbarrows. They definitely stink when they start to rot, so you might want to bury them in a large hole, and cover the corpses with lime. I’ve heard of people composting their bodies as well.

Preparation list:

  1. Rake
  2. Shovel
  3. A bucket or wheelbarrow
  4. Lime
  5. A net, in case they end up in your pool

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.

Brood XIX (19) Periodical Cicadas have emerged in 2024 in Fifteen States

Filed under: Brood XIX | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 1:01 am

Brood XIX (19) periodical cicadas emerged in the spring of 2024 in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Rotten, but not forgotten, Brood XIX will be back in 2037. Relive the memories: Gene Kritsky released a new book. See what people found iNaturalist: Flagging (Brown Leaves), Brood XIX, Massospora, and Blue and White eyes. Buy a shirt.

What, when, where, and why:

What:

Millions of these cicadas:
Adult, Nymph, Molting Cicada

  • Cicada insects with a 13-year life cycle.
  • Some people call them “locusts” but they are cicadas. (Locusts are grasshoppers.)
  • Which species: All four 13-year species:
  • The last time Brood XIX emerged was in 2011.
  • NOT the green cicadas that arrive annually.

Brood XIX has a 13-year cycle. It is interesting because it features both Magicicada neotredecim and Magicicada tredecim. These cicadas are very similar in song and appearance, but in areas where they overlap, Magicicada neotredecim alters its song to a higher pitch, which allows female cicadas to determine the species of their prospective mates. Visit Cicadas @ UCONN for more info on this behavior.

M. tredecim also have more orange on their abdomen than M. neotredecim.
Compare 13 year decims

When: Typically beginning in mid-May and ending in late June. These cicadas will begin to emerge approximately when the soil 8 inches beneath the ground reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit. A nice, warm rain will often trigger an emergence.

Other tips: these cicadas will emerge after the trees have grown leaves, and, by my own observation, around the same time Iris flowers bloom.

Where:

View the live maps on iNaturalist.

  1. Alabama counties: Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Choctaw, Clarke, Colbert, Crenshaw, Elmore, Etowah, Greene, Lawrence, Limestone, Lowndes, Monroe, Montgomery, Russell, Sumter, Tallapoosa, Wilcox
  2. Alabama cities: Huntsville, Lowndesboro, Talladega
  3. Arkansas counties: Boone, Futon, Howard, Izard, Lawrence, Marion, Montgomery, Pike, Scott, Searcy, Sevier, Sharp, Washington, Yell
  4. Georgia counties: Bibb, Bleckley, Butts, Columbia, Elbert, Greene, Harris, Houston, Jasper, McDuffie, Monroe, Muscogee, Oconee, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Richmond, Stephens, Taliaferro, Troup, Waren, Wilkes
  5. Georgia cities: LaGrange, Lincolnton, Rome, Washington.
  6. Illinois counties: Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Champaign, Clark, Clay, Coles, Cumberland, De Witt, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hancock, Iroquois, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Pope, Saline, Shelby, Vermillion, Washington, Williamson
  7. Illinois cities: Charleston, Decatur
  8. Kentucky counties: Allen, Caldwell, Christian, Trigg
  9. Louisiana parishes: Caddo, Claiborne, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Washington, Webster. Parish information comes from older literature, and might not be as accurate as recent information.
  10. Maryland counties: St Marys
  11. Missouri counties: Adair, Boone, Callaway, Carter, Clark, Cooper, Dent, iron, Jackson, Knox, Louis, Lincoln, Macon, Maries, Marion, Montgomery, Morgan, Oregon, Osage, Pettis, Phelps, Ralls, Reynolds, St. Carles, St Francois, St Louis
  12. Missouri cities: Columbia, Gerald, Manchester, Pevely, Poplar Bluff, St. Louis, Troy
  13. Mississippi counties: Kemper, Newton
  14. North Carolina counties: Buncombe, Cabarrus, Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Durham, Gaston, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Orange, Randolph, Rowan, Stanly, Union, Wake
  15. North Carolina cities: Apex, Baldwin Township, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Harrisburg, Mebane, New Hill, Pittsboro, Raleigh, Waxhaw
  16. Oklahoma counties: McCurtain
  17. South Carolina counties: Abbeville, Aiken, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Edgefield, Greenwood, Lancaster, Lexington, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Saluda, Union, York
  18. South Carolina cities: Chester, Little Mountain, Rock Hill, Saluda, Tullahoma, Winnsboro
  19. Tennessee counties: Blount, Cheatham, Clay, Coffee, Davidson, Grundy, Hamilton, Jackson, Loudon, Macon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Putnam, Rutherford, Sequatchie, Smith, Stewart, Summer, Williamson
  20. Tennessee cities: Gallatin, Lebanon, Nashville, Spring Hill
  21. Virginia counties: Caroline, Glouchester, Halifax, James City, King and Queen, King William, Middlesex, New Kent, York
  22. Virginia cities: Alexandria, Stafford, Williamsburg

More Location Tips:

Why: Why do they stay underground for 13 years? The prevailing research suggests they’ve evolved a long, 13-year lifecycle allowing them to avoid predators that would sync up with their lifecycle & emergence. Why are there so many?! Research suggests that their huge numbers allow them to overwhelm predators, so enough of them will live on to breed and perpetuate the brood.

More facts and fun:

1907 Map from Marlatt, C.L.. 1907. The periodical cicada. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology.

See a modern map or the Live Map from the Cicada Safari app.
Marlatt 1907 19 Brood XIX

What happened in 2011? Here’s some old blog posts with comments:

What happened in 1998? Here’s our message board from then:

  1. Cicada Mail from June 1998
  2. Cicada Mail from May 1999

April 2, 2013

The most interesting 17 year cicada facts

These are the 17 most interesting 17-year cicada facts (IMHO). All these facts apply to 13-year cicadas as well.

#1. Names for cicadas

People call these cicadas “locusts” but they are not true locusts — real locusts look like grasshoppers. The phrase “17-year cicada” indicates that they arrive every 17 years. The name “periodical cicadas” indicates that they arrive periodically and not each and every year. The scientific name for the Genus of these cicadas is Magicicada, and there are 3 types of 17 year Magicicadas: Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini and Magicicada septendecula.

This is a true locust:
Locust

#2. There are 13-year cicadas too

There are 13-year cicadas too! There are four species of 13-year cicadas: Magicicada tredecim, Magicicada neotredecim, Magicicada tredecassini, and Magicicada tredecula. Broods XIX, XXII and XXIII feature these cicadas.

Here’s a video that will help you identify the various species.

#3. Many Eye Colors

Most 17-Year Cicadas have red eyes, but they can also have white, gray, blue , or multi-colored eyes.

Yellow-White Eyed Male Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ

#4. Fungus

The Massospora cicadina fungus infects Magicicadas, destroying their abdomen and ability to reproduce. Often, their entire abdomen will fall off. The cicadas spread the fungus throughout their local colony via mating. The Massospora fungus is a cicada STD!

Male Magicicada septendecim infected with Massospora cicadina fungus

#5. They will land on you if you are using a power tool or lawn mower

Cicadas think the sounds made by power tools and lawn maintenance equipment are made by cicadas. They get confused and will land on the people using the equipment! Pro-tip: cut your lawn in the early morning or near dusk when the cicadas are less active.

guy with cicadas

#6. Cicadas have five eyes

Cicadas have two, obvious, large, compound eyes, and three ocelli. Ocelli are three jewel-like eyes situated between the two main, compound eyes of a cicada. We believe ocelli are used to detect light and darkness. Ocelli means little eyes in Latin.

5 Eyes

#7. People eat them

People eat them. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There, uh, cicada kabobs, cicada creole, cicada gumbo, panfried, deep fried, stir fried. There’s pineapple cicada, lemon cicada, coconut cicada, pepper cicada, cicada soup, cicada stew, cicada salad, cicada and potatoes, cicada burger, cicada pizza, cicada sandwich… that’s, that’s about it.

Cicada Ice Cream

#8. Animals eat them

All wild animals and domestic pets will eat them. Dogs will gorge themselves until they choke. Squirrels will eat them like corn on the cob. Wild turkeys will grow fat and juicy on the cicada feast. Fish go crazy for them too — you can use them as bait, or use lures that mimic them.

#9. Cicadas “eat” tree fluids

Cicadas don’t eat solid foods like leaves or fruits. Instead they use their slender, straw-like mouth parts to drink tree fluids.

#10. Cicadas pee

Yes cicadas pee, so wear a hat when walking under trees if that sort of thing bothers you. Cicadas drink tree fluids and then expel the excess fluid they do now need. People call it “honeydew” or “cicada rain”.

#11. How cicadas make their sound

Only male cicadas make the loud sound they are famous for. Males have organs on their abdomen called tymbals. Muscles pop the tymbals in and out, which creates the sound we hear. Males make different calls for different reasons, and each species has a unique sound. Females can make sound too: they flick their wings to respond to males.

tymbals

#12. There are billions of them

There are literally billions, if not trillions, of 17-year cicadas. Why? One theory suggests that a large number of cicadas overwhelms predators, so predators are never able to eat them all and cicadas, and many always survive to mate. This is a survival strategy called “predator satiation”.

#13. They damage wimpy trees

The biggest concern about 17-year cicadas is their potential to damage young trees. The truth is they will damage limbs on the wimpiest of trees, so if you have weak, pathetic, wimpy ornamental trees in your yard you should consider placing netting around the trees if the cicadas visit your yard. Also, you can try hosing them off with water, placing insect barrier tape around the trunk of the trees, or picking them off like grapes! Or, plant strong, beefy American trees — that’s what I would do. Cicadas actually benefit the health of trees by aerating the soil around the roots and trimming the weak or damaged limbs.

#14. Stragglers

Periodical cicadas that emerge in years before they are supposed to emerge are called stragglers.

hipster cicada

#15. 17 and 13 are prime numbers

Scientist speculate that one reason why these cicadas emerge in 17 or 13 year cycles is because those are prime numbers. The fact that 13 & 17 are relatively large* prime numbers makes it difficult for predators to synchronize with them. (*Relative to the average lifespan of an animal.) Annual cicadas (cicadas that arrive every year) often have wasps specialized to prey on them; periodical cicadas have no such wasp because no wasp could evolve to synch with it.

#16. They use their color to warm up

Cicadas need to be warm to sing and fly around. Their dark skin absorbs the heat of the sun, which helps to warm them up.

#17. 17-year and 13-year broods co-emerge every 221 years

Cicada Broods usually don’t overlap geographically, and it is very rare when they emerge in the same year. In 2024, Brood XIX and Brood XIII are both emerging.

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If you have 18 minutes to spare, watch the video version of this article.

March 16, 2013

Tettigarcta tomentosa aka Tasmanian Hairy Cicada

Filed under: Australia | Tettigarcta — Dan @ 2:46 pm

There are two families of cicadas, Cicadidae (most cicadas) and Tettigarctidae (only two species). The two species in the Tettigarctidae family are Tettigarcta crinita, of southern Australia, and Tettigarcta tomentosa, of Tasmania. Cicadas of the family Tettigarctidae have ancestral morphology, similar to fossilized cicadas1. They are known for their hairy appearance.

Here are some morphological differences between the two cicada families:

family Tettigarcta Cicadidae
Tymbal (Makes the cicada’s noise) poorly developed in both sexes well developmed in males
Tympana (listening apparatus) no yes
Pronotum (covers the dorsal area of the thorax) expands over mesonotum ends at pronotal collar
Pronotal collar (separates pronotum from mesonotum) no yes
Cruciform elevation (an X-shaped structure on mesonotum) no yes

1See Allen F. Sanborn’s document Overview of Cicada Morphology for more information.

Here’s a photo of the Tettigarcta tomentosa from different angles (click the image for a closer view):

Tettigarctidae sp.

Tasmanian Hairy Cicada sightings on iNaturalist.

February 4, 2013

A day at the Staten Island Museum

Filed under: Edward Johnson | Hemisciera | United States | William T. Davis — Dan @ 10:51 pm

I spent most of the day at the Staten Island Museum. The Staten Island Museum has North America’s largest collection of cicadas — over 35,000 specimens!!! Most, if not all the specimens came from William T. Davis’ personal collection. Davis was a naturalist and entomologist located in Staten Island, NY, who was active in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Read more about the collection.

The museum is currently working on a huge cicada exhibit and many cicada events throughout the year. The They’re Baaack! Return of the 17-year Cicada Family Day event will happen in a few weeks.

Here’s a few shots of the museum and the collection I took with my camera phone:

Part of their giant Wall of Insects:

Wall of Insects

Number 39 in that photo is Hemisciera maculipennis, aka the “stop and go cicada”. When alive the cicada’s coloring is green and red, like a traffic signal. Here is a photo of a live H. maculipennis.

Tibicen and Cicada Killer Wasps:

Tibicen and cicada killer wasps

Tacua speciosa detail:

Tacua speciosa

A giant light-up cicada outside the museum:

Light up cicada Staten Island

Just part of the Staten Island Museum’s cicada collection

stacks of cicadas

Thanks to Ed Johnson, Director of Science, for showing me many of amazing specimens in the museum’s collection.

Bonus: You can download a copy of William T. Davis’ document North American Cicadas. It’s free!

January 30, 2013

KEEP CALM they’re only 17-YEAR CICADAS

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Memes | Periodical | Pop Culture — Dan @ 5:55 pm

Get it on a shirt! Guys & Gals

Keep Calm, they're only 17-Year Cicadas

Here’s my entry into the popular KEEP CALM meme. “KEEP CALM they’re only 17-YEAR CICADAS”.

January 20, 2013

Orange-speckled green cicada (Lembeja sp nov)

Filed under: Indonesia | Lembeja — Dan @ 11:45 am

A pretty green speckled cicada from North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

If you can identify the species, let us know.

January 19, 2013

The “Butterfly Cicadas”

Filed under: Ambragaeana | Becquartina | Gaeana — Dan @ 6:39 pm

The cicadas belonging to the tribe Gaeanini (Ambragaeana sp., Gaeana sp., and Becquartina sp.)1 are among the world’s most beautiful cicadas. These cicadas have broad, multicolored wings. Their wings beat slowly rather than vibrate quickly, allowing them to flutter like butterflies. Michel Boulard calls them “Butterfly Cicadas” 2. Watch the video of a Gaeana festiva in flight:

Behold the beautiful “Butterfly Cicadas”:

Ambragaeana ambra

ambragaeana ambra photo by Michel Chantraine
photo by Michel Chantraine.

Distinguishing features: Brown forewings with white/cream colored spots. Black hind wings with white/cream colored spots/markings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Gaeana cheni

Gaeana cheni
photo by Michel Chantraine.

Distinguishing features: Black/Brown forewings with chartreuse/yellow spots. Black and mint-green hind wings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Callogaeana festiva

Callogaeana festiva festiva (orange)
Orange form of Gaeana festiva

Callogaeana festiva
White form of Callogaeana festiva

Callogaeana festiva festiva
Orange & White form of Gaeana festiva

A photo of a living C. festiva.

Distinguishing features: Gaeana festiva come in an amazing variety of color variations. Colors include orange, yellow, white and pale green; fore and hind wings are often different colors as well. G. festiva, as Michel Boulard speculates, might be a periodical cicada, as it emerges in very large numbers 2. They might he proto-periodical as well.

Habitat: India, Southeast Asia3

Gaeana hageni

A photo of a Gaeana hageni specimen.

Distinguishing features: Chartreuse-green forewings. White hind wings. No spots (unlike most Gaeana).

Habitat: Malayan Archipelago3

Gaeana maculata

Video of a Gaeana maculata:

Gaeana cheni

A photo of a living G. cheni.

Distinguishing features: Black wings and body with yellow spots. (Maculata means spotted.)

Habitat: India, China3

Gaeana sulphurea

Mating Gaeana sulphurea from Bhutan taken by Jeff Blincow
Mating Gaeana sulphurea from Bhutan taken by Jeff Blincow

A photo of a Gaeana sulphurea specimen.

Distinguishing features: Black and yellow wings & body.

Habitat: India3, Bhutan

Becquartina electa

Becquartina electa by Michel Chantraine
Photo by Michel Chantraine.

Distinguishing features: Dark brown forewings with striking yellow lines forming a triangle-like shape. Dark brown and yellow hind wings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Becquartina versicolor

Becquartina versicolor Boulard, 2005
Photo by Michel Chantraine.

Distinguishing features: Dark brown forewings with red veins and striking yellow lines, sort of in the shape of the number 7. Black hind wings with white markings.

Habitat: Southeast Asia

Note: there are

References:

  1. Sanborn, Allen F., Phillips, Polly K. and Sites, Robert W. The Cicadas of Thailand (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). p 1.
  2. Boulard, Michel. 2007. The Cicadas of Thailand, General and Particular Characteristics, Volume 1. p 66,72, Plate 30.
  3. Distant, W.L. 1892. A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae. The Order of the Trustees of the Indian Museum of Calcutta. p 104-108.

January 15, 2013

Tibicen or Lyristes

Filed under: Lyristes | Tibicen — Tags: — Dan @ 8:50 pm

A Tibicen by any other name would still sound as sweet…

I always wondered why Lyristes plebejus is also called Tibicen plebejus.

It seems that there is a dispute as to whether the genus Tibicen should actually be called Lyristes. A petition was made (back in the 1980s) to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, to change Tibicen to Lyristes. I learned this from the wonderful new book, The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of North America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath (order it). I checked the ICZN website, and the petition appears to fallen off their docket of open cases. I also noticed that on European and Japanese websites, they use Lyristes.

I personally hope the genus name doesn’t change for North American species — I would have to make a lot of changes on this website. Going through the name change from Tibicen chloromera to Tibicen chloromerus to Tibicen tibcen, was bad enough.

The root of the word Tibicen is flute player, and the root of the word Lyristes is lyre — both referring to musical instruments. (Frankly I think most Tibicen sound like power tools — I don’t know Latin for Black & Decker).

BTW, this is a Lyristes plebejus (from Spain):
Lyristes plebejus photo by Iván Jesús Torresano García
Photo by Iván Jesús Torresano García.

And this is a Lyristes flammatus (from Japan):
A. flammatus
Photo by Osamu Hikino

And some day, this might be a Lyristes auletes (from North Carolina):
Neotibicen auletes found in Winston-Salem, NC by Erin Dickinson. 2011.
Photo by Erin.

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