Cicada Mania

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

January 5, 2020

Brood IX (9) will emerge in 2020 in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

Filed under: Brood IX,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 1:01 am

Periodical cicada Brood IX (9) will emerge in the spring of 2020 in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The last time this brood emerged was in 2003.

What, when, where, and why:

What:

  • Millions of these:
    Adult, Nymph Molting
  • 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 (Heath, 1968). 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:

  • Virginia municipalities: Blacksburg, Bland, Callands, Christiansburg, Covington, Dry Pond, Ferrum, Martinsville, Roanoke, Salem, Vinton, and more.
  • Virginia counties: Allegheny, Bland, Franklin, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Roanoke.
  • North Carolina municipalities: Chestnut Hill, Ennice, Francisco, Hays, Kernersville, McGrady, Millers Creek, Mt Airy, North Wilkesboro, Purlear, Thurmond, Westfield, and more.
  • North Carolina counties: Ashe, Alleghany, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes.
  • West Virginia municipalities: Camp Creek , Elmhurst, Hinton, Jumping Branch, Spanishburg, and more.
  • West Virginia counties: Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, Monroe, Pocahontas, Summers.

Maps, Apps, and Tips:

More facts and fun:

August 7, 2019

Check for first instar periodical cicada nymphs

Filed under: Magicicada,Nymphs,Periodical — Dan @ 4:26 am

It’s been about six weeks since the emergence of Brood VIII in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Oklahoma. Now (first week of August) is a good a time as any to check for periodical cicada nymphs that have hatched from eggs laid in branches. Once they hatch they’ll find their way to the ground, where they’ll find and begin feeding on roots for the next 17 years.

Look on branches where cicada laid their eggs.

An illustraition of egg nests:

A nymph on a branch with adult male finger for comparison:
Periodical Cicada Nymph

Close up:
Periodical Cicada Nymph

Another close up:
Periodical Cicada Nymph

June 21, 2019

My Brood VIII Report

Filed under: Brood VIII,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 7:54 pm

This year Brood VIII periodical cicadas emerged in the Pittsburgh area, and I traveled to see and map them. Unfortunately, I only had 3 days, so I only saw the western side of the Brood.

Mating Magicicada septendecim

All things considered — including cool, cloudy weather (which cicadas don’t like as much as hot & sunny) and a very rainy spring — Brood VIII was the least impressive brood I’ve witnessed, in terms of the sheer number of cicadas. I hope no one in the Pittsburgh area takes offense to that statement — Brood VIII is your brood, and you should be proud of it. It is just that as we humans build more and more, and continue to alter the environment, the numbers of cicadas will steadily dwindle. and I think we’re seeing that happen to Brood VIII.

Here’s an impromptu map of the places I saw cicadas:

Brood VIII Mapping

And a list of places:

  • Allegheny Township
  • Apollo
  • Bethel Township
  • Black Lick
  • Blairsville
  • Blue Spruce Park
  • Bolivar
  • Boyce Park
  • Brush Valley Township
  • Center Township
  • Crooked Creek Horse Park
  • Derry Township
  • Elizabeth
  • Hempfield Township
  • Home
  • Homer City
  • Hoodlebug Trail
  • Indiana
  • Keystone State Park
  • Ligonier
  • New Alexandria
  • New Florence
  • Parks Township
  • Pine Ridge Park
  • Rayne Township
  • Round Hill Park
  • St Clair Township
  • Stahlstown
  • Two Lick Creek Dam
  • Unity
  • Washington Township
  • West Wheatfield Township
  • White Township
  • Yellow Creek State Park

And some photos:

Female Magicicada septendecim

Male Magicicada septendecim

Just a head

Video of the amazing cicada that was just a head.

A very cool Brood VIII cicada frisbee:

Cicada Frisbee

May 1, 2019

Cicada Safari app for tracking Magicicada periodical cicadas

Filed under: Citizen Science,Gene Kritsky,Magicicada,Periodical — Dan @ 9:28 pm

Mount St. Joseph University has released a new app called Cicada Safari. Its purpose is to help you identify periodical (Magicicada, 17-year, 13-year, “locusts”) cicadas, and share the location you found them. Scientists like Dr. Gene Kritsky, of Mount St. Joseph University, will use the data to determine exactly where periodical cicadas exist.

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.msj.cicadaSafari
iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cicada-safari/id1446471492?mt=8

See a map of sightings reported by the app.

Judging by screenshots of the app, it looks like you can 1) identify cicadas, 2) take a photo and share it, 3) map the location where you found it, 4) compete with other cicada scientists for the most cicadas found. Looks that way at least.

Cicada Safari App

Cicada Safari App

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:

Magicicada.org 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. See a map of sightings reported by the app.

  • 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:

Older Posts »