Cicada Mania

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

Genera of cicadas.

May 9, 2011

Look out for Magicicadas with white eyes

Filed under: Eye Color | Magicicada | Video — Dan @ 5:22 pm

Most of the periodical cicadas you’ll see have red or reddish-orange eyes. A very small number, however, have white, blue, or yellow eyes. Some even have amazing multi-colored eyes. Have you seen any white eyed periodical cicadas yet? Be on the lookout for them, and make sure you take a photo or video when you see one. Have a contest with your friends and family to see who can find the first white or blue-eyed cicada. If you have a TV station, radio show or a local website, you could have a contest for who can find the first white eyed cicada. I personally have only found one white eyed cicada (video below), so I have to guess that the odds are at least one in 10,000.

Here’s a photo of a white eyed Magicicada cicada Roy Troutman found back in 2004:

Photo of a Magicicada cicada with white eyes by Roy Troutman.

Roy took a photo of a blue-eyed cicada, and I made a t-shirt from the image (I use the mug version for my morning coffee).

This is a video of white eyed cicada I recorded back in 2007:

White eyed Magicicada by Dan from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

All photos of periodical cicadas with different color eyes.

April 24, 2011

Watch a cicada transform

Filed under: Brood XIX | Magicicada | Video — Dan @ 9:05 pm

There are many interesting aspects of a periodical cicada emergence, including the length of time they spend underground, their massive numbers, their visual appearance, their amazing songs, and the variety of reactions people have to the cicadas. One of most amazing things you can witness during a cicada emergence is to watch cicadas emerge from the earth as nymphs, crawl up a tree, shed their skins, spread their wings and become adults.

Periodical cicadas will typically emerge over a period of several days. If you discover that cicadas have emerged in your yard by finding their skins (exuvia) or adult cicadas, chances are good more cicadas will emerge later that night. Filming a night-time cicada emergence is an excellent opportunity to use your HD Camcorders, Macro camera settings, and other technology you normally don’t get to use.

Here’s a guide to finding cicadas at night and ideas for filming them:

  1. Be prepared: Get your flashlights ready. Read the manual for your camera to learn about its night time settings, HD settings, Macro settings, etc. Make sure your camera is charged.
  2. Once the sun sets, head outside with your flashlight and camera. Carefully walk around beneath the branches of trees, shining your flashlight towards the ground. Cicada nymphs live along the entire root system of a tree, so they can emerge 15 or more feet away from the trunk. Watch this video of cicada nymphs to see what to look for. Listen: you can actually hear them walk through the grass and up the bark of a tree.
  3. Once you’ve spotted nymphs, you can start filming. I usually aim my flashlight at them, and then let the flash in my camera light them up for the photo.
  4. Once a nymph crawls up the tree, and finds a part of the tree that it likes, it will emerge from its skin and become an adult. The process of completely becoming an adult takes several hours, so this is a good opportunity to make a time-lapse movie.

Here is a series of stills from a movie Roy Troutman made of an eclosing Magicicada:

Step 1: The nymph grabs hold of a leaf

Nymphs will crawl around until they find a place to grab hold of with their tiny tarsal claws. Usually, they find part of a tree branch or leaf. Sometimes they find a car tire, a brick wall or a barbecue.

A nymph grabs hold of a leaf.

Step 2: The back of the cicada splits open, and the cicada pushes itself out.

The skin of the nymph splits open along the middle of its back, all the way up to its head. The cicada then pushes itself out back-first. You’ll notice that the cicada is white in color with two black spots on its back. At this point the cicada’s body is very soft — until a cicada’s body has hardened, we call them teneral, which means soft or tender in Latin.

The cicada pushes out of the nymph skin.

Step 3: With its abdomen anchored in the nymph skin, the cicada curls back, freeing its legs and spiracles.

The spiracles are the holes through which the cicada breathes. You’ll notice fine white strands connected to the nymph skin — those were once connected to the spiracles.

The cicada curls back, freeing its legs and spiracles.

Step 4: The cicada curls forward, grabs hold of its former skin, and frees its abdomen

The cicada then curls forward, and grabs hold of its former skin

Step 5: The cicada crawls away from its old skin and prepares to inflate its wings

The cicada crawls away from its old skin.

Step 6: The cicadas wings fill with fluid and expand

The cicada inflates its wings using haemolymph, a blood-like fluid also used to transport nutrients in a cicada’s body.

The cicadas wings fill with fluid and expand.

Wings expand to their final shape

Now, watch the entire video:

Magicicada nymph molting from Roy Troutman on Vimeo.

Step 7: The color of the cicada darkens and its body hardens

Once the cicada has expanded its wings, the cicadas will turn their final color and their bodies and wings will harden. Once the body and wings are sufficiently hardened, they are able to fly and sing.

The “finished product” looks like this:

Magicicada on my finger by Dan from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

I hope you have the opportunity to watch a nighttime cicada emergence! It can be a lot of fun.


April 16, 2011

The first photographed 2011 13-year cicada

Filed under: Brood XIX | Magicicada — Dan @ 7:11 am


13-year cicada – brood XIX, originally uploaded by myriorama.

The first photo I’ve seen of Brood XIX Magicicada so far in 2011. Appears to be a Magicicada tredecim.

Abbeville County, South Carolina

You can see this insect on Bug Guide as well.

Update (4/19): here’s the second photographed adult. This one is from Virgina I believe. Right now adults should be showing up here and there, but it won’t be for a few more weeks before things get crazy.

Update (4/26): there’s lots of Brood XIX photos showing up on Flickr now. I started a Brood XIX Gallery in an effort to keep track of them.

April 7, 2011

Magicicada nymph 12 day transformation before final molt!

Filed under: Magicicada — Dan @ 7:16 pm

Roy Troutman provided this video featuring a Magicicada nymph 12 day transformation before final molt. It’s an excellent view of what nymphs look like right before they emerge from the ground and become adults.

Magicicada nymph 12 day transformation before final molt! from Roy Troutman on Vimeo.

March 12, 2011

A Brood XIX Periodical Cicada Primer

Filed under: Brood XIX | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 4:45 pm

Brood XIX (19) will next emerge in 2024.

This page has last updated in 2011.

What are they?

Magicicada is a genus of periodical cicadas known for emerging in massive numbers in 17 or 13-year cycles/periods. The cicadas emerging in 2011 have 13 year life-cycles. Magicicada cicadas are also organized into broods. There are 3 broods of 13-year cicadas, and the brood emerging in 2011 is Brood XIX (nineteen).

There are 4 species of 13-year Magicicada: M. tredecim, M. neotredecim, M. tredecassini and M. tredecula. The adults of all four species have black bodies with orange markings and red-orange eyes. M. tredecim and M. neotredecim are very similar, and you can only tell them apart by their song in areas where their ranges overlap (or by looking at DNA). They are, however, larger than M. tredecassini and M. tredecula, and have a noticeably different song.

Visit this Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) species page for detailed information, including photos and audio.

Here is some video and audio of 17 year Magicicada, which look and sound remarkably similar to the 13 year variety. This will give you an idea of what to expect:

Cicada Mania, best of 2007, part 1 by Dan from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Note: some folks call these cicadas “locusts”, but they are not true locusts.

When will they emerge?

The Brood XIX Magicadas will emerge this spring. When they emerge depends on the weather. Generally speaking, once the ground temperature gets to 64º Fahrenheit (18º C) around 8″ (20 cm) deep they will emerge. There’s an emergence formula too. Brood XIX cicadas in Georgia will most likely emerge before the cicadas in Illinois, for example, because Georgia is typically warmer than Illinois.

Where will they emerge?

Historically, Brood XIX has emerged in as many as 14 states. The emergence will cover the most area in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee. Other states like Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina should have strong emergences in limited areas, and states like Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Virginia will have very limited emergences.

Important: Magicicadas won’t emerge everywhere you see on the map below. They might not exist in your town or neighborhood (particularly if there’s lots of new construction, which removes trees). The key to seeing them if they don’t emerge in your neighborhood is communication: networking with friends and family, checking the interactive maps on magicicada.org, checking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Marlatt 1907 19 Brood XIX
1907 map from Marlatt, C.L.. 1907. The periodical cicada. Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology.

States:

  1. mid to northern Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. northern Georgia
  4. mid to southern Illinois
  5. south-western Indiana
  6. west Kentucky
  7. northern Louisiana
  8. Missouri
  9. mid to northern Mississippi
  10. North Carolina
  11. western Oklahoma
  12. north-west South Carolina
  13. Tennessee
  14. random places in Virginia

Why?

Why do Magicadas wait 13 years and why do they emerge in such large numbers? There are many theories why, but the primary reason could be that they’re trying to beat the predators. Since they emerge only once every 13 years, no species can anticipate their emergence (except man), and emerging in large numbers ensures that at least some of them will survive to reproduce.

Who?

People have many reactions to Magicicada including: fear, disgust, panic, mild curiosity, fascination, and fanaticism. We hope that YOU will find them fascinating, and get involved by helping to map the emergence, upload your cicada photos and videos to sites like YouTube and Flickr, and participate in discussions on Twitter and discussion forums.

More information:

January 11, 2011

Mecklenburg County Brood XIX Magicicada Monitoring Project

Filed under: Brood XIX | Magicicada — Dan @ 9:29 pm

Brood XIX 13 year cicadas will be emerging this year in the USA, and folks are already making plans for the emergence.

Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator for the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Conservation Science Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, is organizing a “Cicada Watch” / Brood XIX Magicicada Monitoring Project. Read an article about Cicada Watch in the Charlotte Observer: Cicadas return – and you can make it count.

If you live in the Mechlenburg County area, and are interested in participating in Cicada Watch, here is more information:

Cicada Watch
Mecklenburg County Brood XIX Magicicada Monitoring Project

Brood XIX, a 13-year brood (or year-class) of periodical cicadas, is set to emerge in 2011. Known as the “Great Southern Brood”, this emergence of cicadas is expected to appear in portions of 15 states. In North Carolina, the cicadas should emerge across much of the piedmont region, including the greater Charlotte
area.

Periodical cicadas appear to be declining in parts of their range throughout the eastern United States, and some broods are now thought to be extinct. Impacts such as development, habitat changes and climatological factors may be contributing to these declines.

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s Division of Nature Preserves and Natural Resources will be collecting data on the emergence of Brood XIX in Mecklenburg County in the Spring of 2011. The help of volunteers and local residents is needed to obtain baseline data on emergence locations and areas of activity within the county. Some of these areas will be monitored throughout the emergence period and can be re-visited in future emergence years to determine whether or not local populations are stable. Data collected during this Cicada Watch will help us to understand the status and future of Brood XIX in Mecklenburg
County.

Volunteers Needed!

Cicada Watch volunteers can assist in any of the following activities:

1. Observe their property and neighborhood for periodical cicada activity and report findings to staff
2. Survey areas of the county where emergences may be expected
3. Collect routine monitoring data from active locations throughout the emergence period
4. Follow up on leads of periodical cicada activity, such as reports of exit holes, emerging nymphs, shed skins, or active adults

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, please contact :
Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator
Phone #: 704-432-1390 E-mail: lenny.lampel@mecklenburgcountync.gov

Cicadas from Japan

I re-scanned some old (10+ years old) photos from Osamu Hikino.

Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata:

Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata

Platypleura kaempferi (Fabricius, 1794):

Platypleura kaempferi (Fabricius, 1794)

Amazing camouflage!

A male Tanna japonensis:

A male Tanna japonensis

A male Auritibicen japonicus:

Male Auritibicen japonicus (formerly Tibicen japonicus, Lyristes japonicus)

A male Auritibicen japonicus:

Male Auritibicen japonicus (formerly Tibicen japonicus, Lyristes japonicus)

December 31, 2010

Cicada Mania: Y

Filed under: Australia | Cicada Alphabet | Cyclochila — Tags: , — Dan @ 6:46 pm

Y is for Yellow Monday Cicada. The Yellow Monday cicada is the yellow form of the Cyclochila australasiae (the green form is the Green Grocer). Yellow Monday Cicadas lack a turquoise pigment that normally combines with the yellow pigment to form a green color. Visit the Scribbly Gum website for a photo and more information about Yellow Mondays.

A Yellow Monday photo by Tom Katzoulopolopoulous:

Yellow Monday (Cyclochila australasiae) photos by Tom Katzoulopolopoulous.

Cicada Alphabet: Q

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet | Quesada | Video — Tags: — Dan @ 10:08 am

Q is for Quesada gigas. The Quesada gigas, aka Giant Cicada, is a giant cicada with giant range, spanning South, Central and North America, reaching as far north as Texas. Read more about the Quesada gigas.

Video of a Quesada gigas song:

December 10, 2010

Multi-color Cyclochila australasiae

Filed under: Australia | Cyclochila — Dan @ 1:59 pm

Found on Flickr.



Addition to the display, originally uploaded by mgjefferies.

Red, orange, blue and green!

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