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Cicadas have three types of life cycles: annual, periodical, proto-periodical.

January 26, 2019

Brood VIII will emerge in 2019 in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia

Filed under: Brood VIII | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 8:01 am

Brood VIII will next emerge in 2036.

Periodical cicada Brood VIII (Eight) has emerged in 2019 in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and the tip of the northern panhandle of West Virginia, as well as Oklahoma (which was unexpected). The last time this brood emerged was in 2002.

  1. Look out for browning of leaves aka “flagging”, and in about a month, look for tiny cicada nymphs on branches where eggs were laid. You can still use the Cicada Safari App to report Flagging. It is available for iPhones/iOS and Android phones.
  2. If you’re on Facebook, there’s a Brood VIII Group for discussion.
  3. Read about my trip to see Brood VIII

What, when, where, and why:

What:

  • Millions of these:
    Magicicada septendecim Brood VII 2018 09
  • Cicada insects with a 17-year life cycle.
  • Some people call them “locusts” but they’re really cicadas.
  • Which species: All three 17-year species, Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini and Magicicada septendecula. How to tell the difference between the species.
  • NOT the green ones that arrive annually.

When: Typically beginning in mid-May and ending in late June. These cicadas will begin to emerge approximately when the soil 8" 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:

Cicadas @ UCONN has the most up to date maps, including this modernized Google map.

You can report cicada sightings using the Cicada Safari App, available for iPhones/iOS and Android phones. The app helps you identify periodical cicada species, take photos and add your findings to a map.

  • Pennsylvania Counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Indiana, Lawrence, Venango, Washington, Westmoreland.
  • Pennsylvania Cities: Aliquippa, Allegheny Township, Apollo, Baden, Beaver, Belle Vernon, Bethel Township, Black Lick, Blairsville, Bolivar, Brush Valley Township, Burgettstown, Center Township, Cheswick, Chippewa, Cranberry, Derry Township, Economy Boro, Elizabeth, Ellwood City, Fawn Township, Finleyville, Freedom, Gilpin, Greensburg, Harmony, Hempfield Township, Home, Homer City, Hopewell, Indiana, Leet Township, Ligonier, Midland, Murrysville, Natrona Heights, New Alexandria, New Brighton, New Florence, Parks Township, Pittsburgh, Rayne Township, Rector, Robinson Township, Rochester, Round Hill Park, Sewickley, Shelocta, St Clair Township, Stahlstown, Unity, Washington Township, West Deer, West Wheatfield Township, White Township, and more.
  • Pennsylvania parks: Keystone State Park, Blue Spruce Park, Boyce Park, Crooked Creek Horse Park, Hoodlebug Trail, Pine Ridge Park, Yellow Creek State Park
  • Ohio Counties: Columbiana, Mahoning. Trumbull, Ashtabula.
  • Ohio Cities: Boardman, Calcutta, East Liverpool, Girard, Glenmoor, Lisbon, Mineral Ridge, New Waterford, Toronto, Wellsville, Youngstown, and more.
  • West Virginia Counties: Hancock
  • West Virginia Cities: Weirton, and more.
  • West Virginia parks: Tomlinson Run State Park
  • Oklahoma: Around Lawton, and north of Tulsa. Read this article.

More Location Tips:

  • County data is from the Cicada Central Periodical Cicada Record Database and Periodical Cicadas, the Plague and the Puzzle by Gene Kritsky. Cities come from 2002 reports.
  • Brood VIII does overlap with Brood V (which emerged 3 years ago in 2016). Most of Brood VIII is east of V.
  • As a general rule, if you experienced Brood V in 2016, or did not experience Brood VIII in 2002, you won’t experience them this year.
  • Not sure? Ask someone in your community who lived there 17 years ago.

Visually, the cities mentioned above look like this:
Map

Why: Why do they emerge in massive numbers every 17-years? In a nutshell, the long life cycle has helped them avoid gaining a specific above-ground predator, and the massive numbers allow them to satiate predators in general, allowing enough to survive and reproduce.

Bonus content:

Video of newly emerged periodical cicada nymphs:

Magicicada cicada nymph mania from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

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.

Marlatt 1907 08 Brood VIII

September 7, 2018

Cicada Fun with Google Trends

Filed under: Australia | Brood X | Life Cycle | Periodical — Tags: — Dan @ 9:22 pm

Note: I originally took this article down because embedding Google Trends slowed down the loading of the page. I’m republishing without the embeds.

This article was inspired by Serious Fun with Google Trends by Simon Leather.

Google Trends is a Google website that lets you see trends in the search terms over time. When people search for “cicada” it usually means cicadas have emerged in their area at the time they search.

The following graph shows when people searched for “cicada” over the past 10 years in the United States. The largest spike, in May of 2004, coincided with the emergence of Brood X. See it on Google Trends.

Google Trends 2004-2015

You might think that periodical cicada emergences cause the largest spikes, but not always — and not just because periodical cicadas don’t emerge every year.

2004: Cicada searches spiked May 16-22, which was Brood X — Magicicadas.
2005: Jul 31-Aug 6 spike which was for Neotibicen Cicadas. No periodical cicadas.
2006: Aug 13-19, Neotibicen Cicadas. No periodical cicadas.
2007: May 20-26, Brood XIII — Magicicadas.
2008: Brood XIV Magicicadas emerged (spike Jun 8-14), but the largest spike was Jul 29-Aug 2, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2009: Aug 16-22, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2010: Aug 8-14, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2011: May 29-Jun 4, Brood XIX — Magicicadas.
2012: Jul 29-Aug 4, Neotibicen Cicadas.
2013: May 5-11, Brood II — Magicicadas.
2014: Brood XXII — Magicicadas had a relatively small spike May 25-31, compared with Aug 24-30 for Neotibicen Cicadas (late season due to cool weather). There was also a teeny bit of a spike around January of 2014 due to the “cicada 3301” meme/game.
2015: Brood XXIII & IV Magicicadas emerged (spike around Jun 7-13), but the largest spike was around Aug 9-15 for Neotibicen Cicadas.

Which cities had the most cicada searches over the past 14 years? Nashville, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Arlington, Washington, Alexandria, Pittsburg, St. Louis, Columbus, and Chicago. Time to move to Nashville.

Australia

In Australia, searches for “cicadas” peaks in December (summertime in Australia). It looks like there is a year-over-year pattern arising as well, with peaks every 4 years (2009, 2013, 2017) particularly, if you drill down to New South Wales.

Australia Google Trends

Japan

In Japan, searches for “セミ” peaks in August.

Google Trends Japan

Other countries

  • Argentina peaks in March for cigarra.
  • Brazil peaks in October and April for cigarra.
  • France peaks in July for cigales.
  • Mexico peaks in May or June for chicharra, but October for cigarra.
  • New Zealand peaks in February for cicadas.
  • South Korea peaks in July for 매미.
  • Spain peaks in July for cigarra.

Now I know when to visit these countries. 🙂

Try it yourself.

July 31, 2018

New paper: The periodical cicada four-year acceleration hypothesis revisited and the polyphyletic nature of Brood V

A new paper about periodical cicadas! View it: https://peerj.com/articles/5282/

“The periodical cicada four-year acceleration hypothesis revisited and the polyphyletic nature of Brood V, including an updated crowd-source enhanced map (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada)”

Authors: John R. Cooley​, Nidia Arguedas, Elias Bonaros, Gerry Bunker, Stephen M. Chiswell, Annette DeGiovine, Marten Edwards, Diane Hassanieh, Diler Haji, John Knox, Gene Kritsky, Carolyn Mills, Dan Mozgai, Roy Troutman, John Zyla, Hiroki Hasegawa, Teiji Sota, Jin Yoshimura, and Chris Simon.

Abstract:

The periodical cicadas of North America (Magicicada spp.) are well-known for their long life cycles of 13 and 17 years and their mass synchronized emergences. Although periodical cicada life cycles are relatively strict, the biogeographic patterns of periodical cicada broods, or year-classes, indicate that they must undergo some degree of life cycle switching. We present a new map of periodical cicada Brood V, which emerged in 2016, and demonstrate that it consists of at least four distinct parts that span an area in the United States stretching from Ohio to Long Island. We discuss mtDNA haplotype variation in this brood in relation to other periodical cicada broods, noting that different parts of this brood appear to have different origins. We use this information to refine a hypothesis for the formation of periodical cicada broods by 1- and 4-year life cycle jumps.

July 4, 2018

Are cicadas safe to eat?

Filed under: Eating Cicadas | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 1:01 am

Update (July 2018): A company called Meat Maniac sells cicadas in a can. Don’t know which species, but they have a “nutty flavor”.

Also, send me a box of these cicadas from China… um, I mean Chinese City Tells Citizens to Fight Bug Infestation By Eating Them.

Meat Maniac cicadas in a can

Also, read this amazing story about how Brood VII cicadas helped kept the Onondaga Nation alive during a time of famine.

The original article from 2006:

[WARNING:] Cicadas, 17-year cicadas at least, are well-known bioaccumulators of mercury. If consuming mercury is a concern, you should not eat cicadas.

Dogs, cats, squirrels, fish, and people can’t stop eating cicadas. Are they crazy, or “crazy like a fox”? (Foxes will eat them too.)

Pets and other domesticated animals

This is a cartoon of a dog about to eat a cicada

People want to know: “is it safe for my pets to eat cicadas”. The truth is in most cases your pets will be fine if they eat a few cicadas, however, you still need to be cautious and keep a close eye on your pets. Watch them for odd behavior, and don’t let them gorge themselves. Be cautious: the Humane Society has warned: “Cicadas Dangerous to Pets” [the original link is gone].

Pet-related concerns:

  1. Pets can choke on the rigid wings and other hard body parts of the cicadas.
  2. Pets will gorge themselves on cicadas, and possibly become ill and vomit.
  3. Pets who consume cicadas sprayed with copious amounts of pesticide can and will die.
  4. Pets might have an allergic reaction to the cicadas just as people do.

Bottom line: play it safe, and don’t let your pets eat cicadas if you can help it.

People:

Whether they’re curious, hungry, or doing it for the shock value, people are eating cicadas. Asian peoples have eaten cicadas for centuries, and there are records of Native Americans eating cicadas. People joke that they’re Atkins friendly [also no gluten]. I’ve heard they taste like asparagus, popcorn, minty shrimp, and piney shrimp — YUMMY PINE.

A man in Bloomington Indiana had an allergic reaction to cicadas after eating 30. He was also allergic to seafood — both cicadas and shrimps are arthropods so this makes sense.

[Note to self, “Do it, Dan, don’t be a wimp!”]

People related concerns:

  1. Cicadas are well known bioaccumulators of mercury.
  2. You could choke on their hard body parts.
  3. You could have an allergic reaction. If you’re allergic to seafood, don’t think about eating them.
  4. Do you really want to eat something that’s been marinating in lawn fertilizers,
    pesticides and other chemicals for the past 17 years?
  5. If you get the gout, it makes sense to avoid them.

People related links:

  1. National Geographic: National Geographic News :Low-Fat, High Protein Cicadas: New Health Snack
  2. Stephanie Bailey’s Internet insect cookbook has tips on how to prepare insects for human consumption! [note that the link now goes to an article by Stephanie about eating insects in general.]

Bottom line: You’re not a contestant on Fear Factor [a reality TV show in the 00s]. Why eat cicadas when you can choose from many of the fine menu choices at Applebees [a chain restaurant]?

Fish, turkeys, squirrels and everything else

If a creature has a mouth or some other mechanism to digest cicadas, it likely will try to eat them. Cicadas make great fish bait. Squirrels (yes, they’re nuts for cicadas too), birds, possums, raccoons, foxes, other insects, fungi… they all love cicadas.

Bottom line: let nature do the dirty work and clean your yard one bite at a time.

Tom, Cicada Gormandize:
Tom eats a cicada


June 23, 2018

Brood VII, the Onondaga Brood, Will Emerge in New York State in 2018

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

Brood VII will return in 2035.

Update (June 17th): I just got back from Onondaga county and I can report that the emergence is in full swing. Lots of chorusing and mating. The best locations are around the Onondaga Nation reservation. If you visit, please do not trespass into the reservation — there are plenty of cicadas outside of it. John Cooley of Cicadas @ UCONN said there are also reports of cicadas in the Green Lakes State Park.

Here’s a video montage:

And a gallery:

Brood VII Magicicada septendecim 2018 Syracuse.

Magicicada septendecim Brood VII 2018 09

About Brood VII

Periodical cicadas (Magicicada septendecim, people call them “locusts”) will emerge in the Finger Lakes area of New York state in 2018.

This group of cicadas is called Brood VII (7) and is known as the Onondaga Brood. This brood is shrinking, and will likely be the next periodical cicada brood to go extinct

A pair of Magicicada septendecim:
A pair of Magicicada septendecim; Brood II

More details:

  • What: Brood VII is the smallest periodical cicada brood in the U.S., and is isolated in the Finger Lakes area of New York State. Only one species of cicada belongs to the brood: Magicicada septendecim (click link for sounds, video). This cicada has a 17-year life cycle. Sadly, Brood VII will likely be the next Brood to go extinct.
  • When: June, but perhaps May if it’s a very warm year. Magicicada cicadas typically emerge in the spring, once the soil underground where they live reaches approximately 64 degrees Faraihneght.
  • Where: the Finger Lakes area of NY State.
    • Where they appeared (last) in 2001: Onondaga and Livingston.
    • The following counties have had these cicadas in the distant past: Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wyoming, York.
  • The Onondaga Nation survived starvation one year by eating these cicadas

Further reading / viewing / listening:

Papers about Brood VII

  • The Historical Contraction of Periodical Cicada Brood Vii (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada by John R. Cooley, David C. Marshall and Chris Simon. J. New York Entomol. Soc. 112(2—3):198—204, 2004.
  • Decrease in Geographic Range of the Finger Lakes Brood(Brood Vii) of the Periodical Cicada (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Magicicada Spp.) by Cole Gilbert and Carolyn Klass. J. New York Entomol. Soc. 114(1—2):78—85, 2006.

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

Marlatt 1907 07 Brood VII

May 23, 2018

Brood X Stragglers Emerge in Ohio

Filed under: Brood X | Gene Kritsky | Magicicada | Periodical Stragglers — Dan @ 9:59 pm

Gene Kritsky, author of Periodical Cicadas. The Plague and the Puzzle, let us know that many of what are likely Brood X cicada stragglers have emerged around the Mount St. Joseph University campus, in Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s likely that cicadas are emerging elsewhere in the Cincinnati area.

This is significant because Brood X cicadas should not emerge until 2021.

This is a photo of a Magicicada periodical cicada emerging on the MSJ campus, courtesy of Gene:
2018 MSJ nymph

Quick facts:

  • Gene Kritsky is a periodical cicada expert and Dean of the School of Behavioral and Natural Sciences and Professor and of Biology at Mount St. Joseph University. Read more.
  • Brood X is a massive brood of Magicicada (the genus) periodical (the lifecycle type) cicadas that are set to emerge in 2021 in 15 states.
  • A straggler is a periodical cicada that emerges off-schedule, often a few years before or after the rest of its Brood.

May 17, 2018

Periodical cicada season starts, with a straggler

Filed under: Brood XXIII | Magicicada | Periodical | Periodical Stragglers — Dan @ 7:59 pm

Update: in addition, two Brood X stragglers were reported on 5/21 in Bloomington, Indiana (thanks Rhonda and Leah).

Original post:

Cicada researcher John Cooley has received the first cicada sighting of the year — a Brood XXIII straggler in western Tennessee!! 3 years later than expected.

So, what’s a straggler? A straggler is a periodical cicada that emerges sooner or later than it is expected to emerge. In this case, a cicada with a 13-year lifecycle emerged in 16 years — 3 years off.

January 6, 2018

New paper about Brood XXII Magicicadas

There is a new paper out about Brood XXII, titled Evolution and Geographic Extent of a Surprising Northern Disjunct Population of 13-Year Cicada Brood XXII (Hemiptera: Cicadidae, Magicicada). I helped with the field work for this paper, traveling through Ohio and Kentucky with Roy Troutman, recording the locations of periodical cicadas.

Brood XXII, a brood of Magicicada periodical cicadas with a 13-year lifecycle, exists in Louisiana & Mississippi, and Ohio & Kentucky with no geographic connection between them (the two groups are geographically isolated). The paper discusses the similarities and differences between the two groups.

You can read and download the paper for free.

Citation for the paper:
Gene Kritsky, Roy Troutman, Dan Mozgai, Chris Simon, Stephen M Chiswell, Satoshi Kakishima, Teiji Sota, Jin Yoshimura, John R Cooley; Evolution and Geographic Extent of a Surprising Northern Disjunct Population of 13-Year Cicada Brood XXII (Hemiptera: Cicadidae, Magicicada), American Entomologist, Volume 63, Issue 4, 12 December 2017, Pages E15—E20, https://doi.org/10.1093/ae/tmx066

December 10, 2017

The World Cup Cicada, Chremistica ribhoi

Filed under: Chremistica | India | Periodical | Sudhanya Hajong | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) — Tags: — Dan @ 1:01 am

Update: this cicada has a Leap-Year Brood (2024) as well as a World-Cup Brood (2026)! Both have 4-year year life cycle.

cicada soccer

Chremistica ribhoi Hajong and Yaakop 2013 is a cicada that lives in the Ri-Boi district of India. C. ribhoi is known as the World Cup cicada because it emerges every four years in synch with the World Cup association football (soccer) tournament.

C. ribhoi is known locally as Niangtasar. It only lives in a very small area: Saiden village (25°51’37.1″N 91°51’16.3″E) and Lailad/Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary (25°55’09.7″N 91°46’25.0″E) situated on the northern part of the state of Meghalaya. The cicada can be identified by the presence of two white spots on either side of the anterior abdominal segment.

Researcher Sudhanya Hajong is gearing up to study these cicadas since this is the year they will emerge. Ri-Boi area locals use these cicadas as a food source and fish bait. These cicadas are threatened by deforestation (cutting down forests for agricultural purposes). Sudhanya plans to educate locals about conserving them and protecting their habitat.

Photos of Chremistica ribhoi.

Most of the facts in the post come from the following document: Hajong, S.R. 2013. Mass emergence of a cicada (Homoptera: Cicadidae) and its capture methods and consumption by villagers in ri-bhoi district of Meghalaya. Department of Zoology, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong – 793 022, Meghalaya, India.

Thanks to Chris Simon of The Simon Lab at UCONN for providing the information that made this post possible.

Note: the image in this article is not an accurate depiction of C. ribhoi. 🙂


There’s also a brood of C. ribhoi that emerges during Leap-years.

November 4, 2017

Fiji 8-year periodical Nanai aka Raiateana knowlesi

Filed under: Fiji | Periodical | Raiateana | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) — Dan @ 1:25 am

Fiji $100 note

This cicada will next emerge in 2025.

Update (11/4/2017): from Facebook, it looks like folks are finding them. Here’s an image.

Update (9/13/2017): the Nanai have begun to emerge! This cicada last emerged in 2009 in Nadroga-Navosa and Serua Provinces, and now again emerge in 2017. People in Fuji will be able to report sightings to nanai-tracker.herokuapp.com.

Notes from Chris Simon:

Early this morning I got the first Reports of the 8-year periodical Nanai emerging in Navosa, Fiji! Some people in that area had them for dinner.

This confirms earlier reports of the eight-year periodicity. There was some uncertainty because the original specimens were dated (1906) a year later than they would be if on the current 8-year schedule.

Duffels and Ewart (1988, The Cicadas of the Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga Islands, their taxonomy and Biogeograohy) noted that “Until recently the present species is only known from three males collected in “Fijii” in 1906 by C. Knowles.” Duffels was not able to describe them when he first saw the specimens because they were missing the male genitalia. After obtaining, “a series of females and two males” from Dick Watling and Andrew Laurie in 1986, Duffels was able to assign it to the genus Raiateana. There is one other species of Raiateana in Fiji, R. kuruduadua (two subspecies in Fiji and one in Samoa) but it is not periodical as far as we know.

You might be familiar with American periodical cicadas (Magicicada) and the World-cup synchronized Chremistica ribhoi of India, but Fiji has a periodical cicada too: the 8-year periodical Nanai cicada aka Raiateana knowlesi.

It also appears on Fiji’s $100 note.

There’s even a local legend about the cicada.

More information:

Thanks to Chris Simon of the University of Connecticut for this information.

More shots of the Fiji $100 note and the folder it comes in:

Fiji $100 note

Fiji $100 note

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