Enjoy these videos of the Brood II Magicicada emergence from 2013.
Magicicada septendecim ovipositing
Periodical Cicadas in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ
Either a Magicicada cassini or septendecula
A calling Magicicada septendecim
Dedicated to cicadas, the most amazing insects in the world.
Cicadas have three types of life cycles: annual, periodical, proto-periodical.
Enjoy these videos of the Brood II Magicicada emergence from 2013.
Last Thursday Roy Troutman, Elias Bonaros and I traveled around central New Jersey, looking for cicadas. They were not hard to find. Elias found a location in Colonia that had a particularly loud Magicicada cassini chorusing center. Using my camera and Extech 407730 40-to-130-Decibel Digital Sound Level Meter, I recorded the calls of these cicadas and how loud they can get. The quality of the video isn’t the best because it’s a camera, not a video camera, but it is good enough.
Magicicada cassini chorusing center peaking at 85db (on Vimeo):
Elias and Roy used finger snaps, mimicking the wing snaps of female cicadas, to trick the males into singing:
Magicicada cassini responding to fingersnaps (on Vimeo):
We placed the M. cassini directly on the microphone and got calls as high as 109 decibels, in this video:
There were a few M. septendecim in the area as well. A Magicicada septendecim goes from a Court II to Court III call as soon as it crawls on the decibel meter, in this video.
The cicada choruses in Central New Jersey have no doubt gotten louder since last week. Hopefully, on Sunday I’ll get back out to Central Jersey or Staten Island and make some recordings.
Are you interested in participating in a cicada citizen science project? Check out: Urban Buzz: A 17-Year Cicada Citizen Science Project.
The folks behind the Your Wild Life website are hoping people will collect cicadas and send them to them for a science project to see how Urbanization impacts periodical cicadas.
They want samples from forests, from cities, from suburbs, from farms — in other words, across a gradient from low to high urbanization.
They have instructions on their site as to which cicadas to collect and where to send them.
Time is wasting though. The 17 year cicadas will only be around so long, so you have to act fast.
Stop the killing of cicadas! Help us fight back!
John Cooley of Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) let me know that The Home Depot has large Ortho stands that advocate the destruction of periodical cicadas. Here is his tweet on the topic.
This is the Ortho Display at Home Depot.Please do your best to contact Home Depot and Ortho, and encourage them… fb.me/V0m4UCZa
— Team Cicada (@Magicicada1317) June 3, 2013
I went to Lowes to check there as well and they had Sevin brand pesticides with hangtags that specifically mention cicadas. When I saw that in person it took all my willpower not to flip out and make a scene.
How can we stop these companies from advocating the destruction of cicadas? We can call, Tweet, and leave posts on their Facebook pages.
Call your local store and demand they remove signage that advocates the destruction of cicadas. Go to their websites, find their contact us pages, and call and email them.
If you see such displays in other stores, let them know how you feel as well. I will personally boycott these stores and sell any stock I have related to them.
Reasons why destroying cicadas is ridiculous:
Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) has a periodical cicada FAQ that features compelling reasons not to destroy these animals.
Here are my reasons:
I can go on and on…
Please help. Use social media to voice your disgust. Call your local store to ask them to take down anti-cicada signage.
Here’s a video of a female Magicicada septendecula found in Woodbridge Township, NJ (near Metro Park).
Here is a still photo:
This is a male Magicicada septendecula:
Update: Here is the show that featured the finished cicada songs: http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/51182
Are you a musician? Would you go out in the field ( or your yard ) and jam with some cicadas? WFMU DJ Kurt Gottschalk wants you to send him your duets with cicadas!
Visit Send Me Your Insect Duets! WFMU 17-Year Itch Special Forthcoming! to learn more about Kurt’s appeal to musicians.
I want to hear you sing with the cicadas! They’re out in DC and starting to emerge in Jersey. From what I’ve been able to discern there’s little agreement about where they’ll be in NYC.
My friends form the band Blithe Doll are already planning on contributing their cicada collaboration.
Speaking of musicians who have jammed with cicadas, here is David Rothenberg jamming with some 17 year cicadas:
David also has a new album called Bug Music featuring his collaborations with insects!
Last night at the Judson Church in NYC I opened David’s “Richard Robinson: Song of the Cicada (World Premiere), Insect Music, based on the calls, chirps and clicks of various insects” event with a presentation about the 17 Year cicadas. David’s film and music were extraordinary. Here is a review of the event.
Want to sponsor what could be the greatest cicada documentary of all time? Samuel Orr has a Kickstarter to fund the production of his 17 year cicada documentary Return of the Cicadas.
Rewards for backing the project include cool stuff like the film (download, dvd or bluray depending on your pledge amount) and a fine art photo print.
Just watch Samuel’s trailer for the film. You will want to back this film after seeing the trailer:
More information about Samuel and the Kickstarter:
I’m a natural history filmmaker and time-lapse photographer (http://www.motionkicker.com/time-lapse/), and have been following and filming the various broods of periodical cicadas since 2007 (there are multiple groupings of cicadas called broods that come out in different years across the eastern U.S.). I’ve got 200+ hours of footage, and am working towards an hour documentary that focuses on the 17-year varieties as well as cicadas in general. This film is anticipated in 2014, and will be broadcast on PBS afterwards.
Roy Troutman, Gene Kritsky and his wife Jess witnessed a Magicicada emergence in Finneytown Ohio tonight. It is believed that this could be an acceleration of a new Brood VI, or an eight year acceleration of Brood X.
We had an unexpected emergence in parts of the Cincinnati area last night & I got some pics with my new Canon t4i. Gene [Kritsky] & his wife Jess came out to witness it as well. I would say hundreds emerged in a very small suburb of Cincinnati called Finneytown. This could be 4 year acceleration of the new brood VI that Gene has been talking about verifying in 2017 or 8 year acceleration of Brood X.
Photos of these cicadas by Roy:
When photographing adult Magicicadas, particularly if you are interested in identifying their species and gender, it is important to photograph them from multiple angles: ventral (bottom) and lateral (left or right) particularly near the head. Please take photos of the dorsal (top), anterior (front), posterior (hind) and other angles, however ventral and left or right are the best sides to help identify the species.
We also encourage you to clean your fingernails and include an item which can be used to determine the size of the insect, like a ruler.
The ventral view allows us to determine the species and sex.
The following photo features a male (left) and female (right) Magicicada septendecim (Linnaeus, 1758). Note the orange striped abdomen, characteristic of the M. septendecim. Also, as with other cicada species, note that the female’s abdomen comes to a point, and the male’s abdomen is thicker and ends with a “blocky-shaped” structure.
The following photo features a female (left) and male (right) Magicicada cassini (Fisher, 1851). Note the lack of distinct orange stripes on the abdomen, characteristic of the M. cassini. Their abdomens are nearly completely black. Also note that the female’s abdomen comes to a point, and the male’s abdomen is thicker and ends with a “blocky-shaped” structure.
Both these images were taken by the same photographer (Osamu Hikino) and we can use the size of his fingertips (nice clean nails) to compare the size of these two species. The M. cassini is relatively much smaller than the M. septendecim, which is why M. cassini is also known as the “dwarf cicada”.
I don’t have a good photo of the third species, the Magicicada septendecula Alexander and Moore, 1962 [view a photo of M. septendecula on another website]. The M. septendecula is similar to the M. cassini in size (hence smaller than the M. septendecula), but it has orange stripes like the M. septendecim, which is why it is important to get a photo of the left or right side of the insect so we can see the color of the pronotal extension.
The pronotal extension is an extension of the pronotum that lies between the Magicicada’s eye and its wing (outlined in green in the photo below). M. septendecim have orange coloring in that area, which gives us a key way to visually distinguish them from M. septendecula.
If you want to learn more about diagnosing the species and gender of cicadas (all species, not just Magicicada sp.) using photographs, track down the document Overview of Cicada Morphology by Allen F. Sanborn of Barry University.
I don’t want to discourage you from taking amazing photos of cicadas in every position and angle possible using all your fancy macro lenses and whatnot. All cicada photos are awesome, but only a few angles help us identify the insect.
My friend Nicole DiMaggio sent us these photos of adult Magicicadas taken in Iselin NJ. The emergence is just getting started in New Jersey, and will really kick off next Tuesday when the temps hit the 80s.