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December 31, 2010

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!

September 16, 2010

Bladder Cicadas out in Sydney

Filed under: Australia | Cystosoma | David Emery — Tags: , — Dan @ 7:19 pm

Thanks to David Emery for letting us know that the Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii) are out in Sydney Australia, and for providing this photo.

Badder cicadas are emerging down the Aussie east coast starting around the Queensland -NSW border on Sept 3 (FlickR) and we heard them for the first time on Sept 10 in Sydney. A photo of one captured on Sept 12 is attached to refresh Cicadamania devotees.

Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii)

August 29, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: H

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet | Neocicada — Tags: — Dan @ 9:29 am

H is for Hieroglyphic Cicada. The Neocicada hieroglyphica a.k.a. Hieroglyphic Cicada is found in the south-eastern United States. It’s active in the late spring and early summer. There are multiple subspecies of the Hieroglyphic Cicada including the Neocicada hieroglyphica hieroglyphica and Neocicada hieroglyphica johannis, according to InsectSingers.com.

Neocicada hieroglyphica
Photo by Matt Berger.

Listen to a Hieroglyphic Cicada:

Neocicada hieroglyphica singing by Joe Green from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

  • Haemolymph is a blood-like fluid found in some arthropods like cicadas. Cicadas use haemolymph to inflate their wings when they eclose (leave their nymph form and become adults), as well as to transport nutrients throughout the cicada’s body.
  • Harvest Fly is common name for Tibicen cicadas, presumably in areas where harvests take place. I’ve heard tales that the harvest is supposed to take place a month after the last Tibicen sings.
  • Kathy Hill is a cicada researcher who is “working on descriptions of new species of cicadas from New Zealand, Australia and North America, several discovered through recognition of their unique songs” (quoted from Kathy and David Marshall’s wonderful InsectSingers.com website). Kathy is responsible for this unbelievable photo of 18 different USA Tibicen specimens.
  • Huechys sanguinea is a beautiful black and red cicada from Asia. Here’s a photo of a Huechys sanguinea: Huechys sanguinea (Photo by Huechys sanguinea by =spurdog=, on Flickr).

August 22, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: G

Filed under: Australia | Cicada Alphabet | Cyclochila | Kevin Lee — Tags: — Dan @ 9:57 am

G is for Greengrocer. The Greengrocer is the green morph of the Australian cicada Cyclochila australasiae. These cicadas can be found in south-eastern Australia. They have a large pronotal collar, and if you use your imagination, it looks like they’re wearing a tiny Pith helmet above their eyes.

Here’s a close of up of a Greengrocer (from Bron):
Green Grocer Cicada

Here’s a box of Greengrocers (from Kevin Lee):
Green Grocers

August 1, 2010

What’s in a name?

Filed under: Tibicen — Dan @ 5:57 pm

We’ve discussed, in previous posts, issues with the naming of Tibicen cicadas; first there were gender agreement issues and then the naming of Tibicen tibicen cicadas (which most people still refer to as Tibicen chloromera).

The gender issue deals with agreement of the Genus and species name. Tibicen superba, for instance, should be called Tibicen superbus since the “en” in Tibicen is male, and the ending of suberbus needs to match that with “us”.

Quoting from Bug Guide1:

“All the —a endings in the species of Tibicen need to be —us, e.g. bifida should be bifidus”, per Allen Sanborn (Barry University, Florida), pers. comm., 2008. (Note, many taxonomists working on larger groups, e.g. leps, have abandoned gender agreement, but apparently this isn’t the case with Cicadas. MQ)

The story for Tibicen chloromera is a bit different. First, chloromera needed to be changed to chloromerus because of the gender agreement issue. Then that had to be changed to Tibicen tibicen because historically this particular cicada was referred to as Tibicen tibicen before Tibicen chloromera. This could be changed, if someone found a precedent of the insect being called a Tibicen chloromera, but then still we’d have to call it a Tibicen chloromerus because of the gender agreement issue.

Quoting from Bug Guide again2:

The long-standing name for this common species, Tibicen chlormera, has apparently been changed to Tibicen tibicen based on priority. See Synonyms and references. –Cotinis 17 October 2008.

That being said, most folks on the web call the Tibicen tibicen “Tibicen chloromera” to this day. Whether this is an act of rebellion, force of habit, loyalty to other researchers who don’t agree with the name change, I’m not sure.

Taxonomic name changes discussed, lets move to common Tibicen names.

Our last post featured Elias Bonaros photo of a Tibicen auletes, which I labeled a Scissor-grinder, a common name for the insect — or so I thought. Elias was quick to point out that other resources call another cicada, the Tibicen pruinosus, a Scissor-grinder. Elias is no slouch when it comes to cicada information, and he has correctly corrected me in the past in mistakes I’ve made, but I needed to figure out where i got my possibly erroneous information from.

Bug Guide calles the T. auletes a Scissor-grinder3 as well as Northern Dusk-singing cicada, as does another IOWA State website4.

University of Florida scientists/researchers, on the other hand, call the Tibicen pruinosus5 a Scissor-grinder as does the Song of Insects6 website. The University of Florida document doesn’t provide a common name for T. auletes, but the Song of Insects site refers to them as Northern Dusk-singing Cicadas.

So… any tie breakers out there? It could be that in the South the T. pruinosus is the Scissor-grinder and in the Mid-west it’s the T. auletes.

Here’s my list of references:

  1. Genus Tibicen http://bugguide.net/node/view/5949
  2. Species Tibicen tibicen http://bugguide.net/node/view/6966
  3. Species Tibicen auletes – Scissor-grinder http://bugguide.net/node/view/6968
  4. What is a Locust http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/node/1936
  5. Cicadas (of Florida), Neocicada hieroglyphica (Say), Tibicen, Diceroprocta and Melampsalta spp. (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cicadidae) http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in602
  6. Song of Insects http://www.musicofnature.com/songsofinsects/iframes/specieslist.html

July 28, 2010

Tibicen auletes aka Northern Dusk-singing Cicada

Filed under: Elias Bonaros | Megatibicen — Tags: — Dan @ 9:01 pm

New Tibicen auletes photos from Elias Bonaros.

The Tibicen auletes aka Northern Dusk-singing Cicada is the largest of the Tibicen cicadas in the U.S.A.

Auletes by Elias

July 8, 2010

Hot weather means cicadas emerge sooner? Most likely.

Filed under: Neocicada | Tibicen — Dan @ 7:56 am

Temperature is a factor influencing when cicadas will emerge from the earth and enter the adult phase of their lives. Cicadas like warm weather (as do most insects) and so once the soil & air reaches a temperature that pleases the cicadas, they will likely emerge. There are other factors of course, but hotter weather usually means cicadas will emerge sooner than later.

The spring and summer of 2010 have been HOTTER than usual in the mid-Atlantic area of the United States, and so species of cicadas are emerging earlier than expected. Since June first, I’ve witnessed, 32 days above 80F(27C), and 11 days above 90F(32C), in New Jersey, which is warmer than usual.

Annual cicada species like the Tibicen species and Neocicada hieroglyphica have been emerging sooner than expected. Cicadas.info has reports of Neocicada hieroglyphica, Tibicen lyricen and T. tibicen (T. chloromera) emerging sooner than expected. I’ve been hearing T. linnei in New Jersey since June.


Massachusetts Cicadas
is reporting a slow start for Tibicen. Massachusetts is a New England state and is typically cooler than Mid-Atlantic states like New Jersey, but that might not be the only factor at work here. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

What else…

The temperature will also affect when a cicada will sing: if it’s too cold cicadas won’t sing, and if it’s too hot the poor over-heated cicadas won’t sing. This is why you won’t hear some annual cicadas singing on a cool day, or when it’s near 100F(38C). This depends on the species too; some species like it HOT, and some like it cool.

I’ve also heard that temperature can affect the frequency of a cicada’s song, however, there is not a formula that allows to you determine the temperature based on the pauses in a cicada’s call like there is for crickets.

July 1, 2010

Okanagana rimosa nymph skins

Filed under: Elias Bonaros | Okanagana | Proto-periodical — Tags: — Dan @ 10:20 pm

The Okanagana rimosa, also known as Say’s Cicada, is a cicada that can be found in the USA in northern states east of the Rockies, like New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and all New England states. Say’s cicada can also be found in the Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba provinces of Canada.

Say’s Cicada is black and orange; orange legs, orange markings on its mesonotum, and orange bands around most segments of its body. Here’s a photo of an adult:

Okanagana rimosa photo by Natasha from 2005.

A few weeks ago Elias Bonaros sent us some photos of the exuvia (shed skins) of Okanagana rimosa nymphs that he found while searching for cicadas in Western Massachusetts with Gerry from Massachusetts Cicadas. It’s interesting that the black bands that appear around the segments of the nymph’s body are where we see orange bands in the adult form.

Side view

Say’s cicada has a fantastic call that needs to be heard to be appreciated. Visit the Insect Singers website to hear the call of a Okanagana rimosa.

An interesting note about the Okanagana rimosa, it has been showed to have a 9 year life cycle, and appears to be protoperiodical:

“Soper et al (112) showed experimentally that Okanagana rimosa had a life
cycle of 9 years, and that in the field during a 9-year period (1962 to
1970) it was extremely abundant in 4 years and scarce or absent in the
other 5. Heath (32) also studied cicadas of the genus Okanagana and
found several species that appear to be protoperiodical.”

Source.

Magicicada Discussions from 2010

Note: no major broods emerged in 2010.

I wanted to mention that I heard several Periodicals(cassini) in blue springs around the first week of June. Maybe a total of about 15 0r 20 in 2 trees.

Comment by Steve Karan — July 1, 2010 [AT] 2:01 pm

Heard a cassini singing in the trees for about 45 minutes today in Loveland. It was finally sunny and warm enough for it after 7 days of cool weather.

Comment by Roy Troutman — May 22, 2010 [AT] 6:15 pm

May 15, 2010 M cassini, Milford, OH (Cincinnati)

Comment by Jennifer Taylor — May 14, 2010 [AT] 7:53 am

I forgot to mention that the greenway is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. The largest concentration of cicadas was observed between the 3-mile and 3.25-mile markers (between Johnston Rd and Hwy 51). Also, several adults had the Massospora cicadina fungal disease.

Comment by Lenny Lampel — May 11, 2010 [AT] 6:05 am

I observed a small emergence of one year early stragglers of Brood XIX on Monday, May 10. There were several dozen calling along a one mile stretch of the Lower McAlpine Greenway. The emergence appeared to be entirely Magicicada tredecassini. Interestingly, the emergence occurred in a floodplain forest. Good numbers of exuviae were observed on wetland shrubs and grasses and numerous live adults were on the ground and flying between trees. Several grackles were seen eating the cicadas and yellow-billed cuckoos and great-crested flycatchers were also in the area and were extremely vocal.

Comment by Lenny Lampel — May 11, 2010 [AT] 5:59 am

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