Cicada Mania

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June 8, 2013

Five days of Cicada Mania

Two Wednesdays ago, May 29th, my friends Roy and Michelle Troutman arrived in New Jersey. Roy has been a cicada enthusiast since he was a child growing up in Ohio. Roy has contributed many photos and videos to cicadamania.com over the years. We met in Chicago for Brood XIII in 2007, and I visited his home in Ohio for Brood XIV in 2008. This year it was my turn to return the favor for Brood II, and Roy and Michelle drove out to New Jersey.

Wednesday night we drove up to Metuchen, New Jersey to check out the emergence there. We met up with Elias Bonaros, at my Mother’s home. This location was fantastic for cicadas back in 1996, so it was worth trying again in 2013. My Mother’s yard was loaded with hundreds of cicada nymphs, teneral cicadas and adults.

Thursday, May 30th, was a beach day for Michelle, and a cicada day for Roy and I. Roy and I drove to Middlesex county to meet up with Elias. Roy and I stopped at Roosevelt Park along the way. The groves of trees near the Plays in the Park building were filled with chorusing M. septendecim. The base of one tree was absolutely covered with discarded cicada exuvia (shells).

A mass of exuvia and corpses by Roy Troutman
Photo by Roy.

He headed to the Thomas Edison Monument in Edison NJ. There we met Elias. At the monument, sounds of construction competed with cicada choruses, but it was easy to hear both M. septendecim and M. cassini. The burdock filled field across from the monument, was filled with teneral Magiciada.

We hit Merrill Park in Colonia next. The park had many examples of both M. cassini and M. septendecim. The highlights were the many M. septendecim with caramel colored eyes, a small pine with close to 100 teneral adults clinging to its base, and loud, synchronized M. cassini choruses.

Adult Magicicada on a pine tree by Roy Troutman
Photo by Roy.

Next we headed to a very loud M. cassini chorusing center on Guernsey Lane in Colonia. There Elias and Roy experimented with making males call and change orientation by snapping their fingers (imitating a females wing snaps). This location is where the how loud (in decibels) do periodical cicadas get video came from.

Elias used his sharp ears to locate some M. septendecula in Iselin at the corner of Wood and Willow.

We stopped by Revere Blvd in Edison, which was a hot spot 17 years ago, not much luck in 2013, but the best find was a pseudo scorpion that has hitched a ride on a cicada.

Friday, May 31st, Roy, Michelle and I drove out to Staten Island, to the Staten Island Museum. Me met Ed Johnson, and enjoyed their fantastic cicada exhibit, including the cicada timeline which features me. The Staten Island Museum has the largest collection of cicada specimens in the U.S.A., including many of the extinct Tibicen bermudiana.

Staten Island Museum 17 Year Cicada Exhibit
Just one corner of the Staten Island Museum 17 year cicada exhibit.

We took the ferry to Manhattan for a visit to the American Museum of Natural History to see an exhibit that was using some of Roy’s cicada video. Coincidentally we exited the C line Subway that had a mosaic of a cicada.

Roy Troutman and Elias Bonaros at the Periodical Cicada display at the American Museum of Natural History by Michelle Troutman
Elias and Roy examining a periodical cicada display at the AMNH.

Elias and Roy
Roy and Elias under the subway cicada mosaic.

Then it was back to the Staten Island Museum for an event called The Joy of Six Legged Sex which was about insect mating behavior, specifically cicadas. John Cooley of Cicadas @ UCONN and Ed Johnson of the Staten Island Museum spoke. David Rothenberg was also in attendance.

The Joy of Six Legged Sex event at the Staten Island Museum
A sign for the event at the Staten Island Museum.

John Cooley and Ed Johnson speaking at the Staten Island Museum Six Legged Sex event by Roy Troutman
John Cooley (left) and Ed Johnson (right).

Saturday, June 1st, Roy and Michelle left for Ohio. Later that day I met up with John Cooley, Jin Yoshimura, David Rothenberg, the New York Times, and friends. Read about that adventure: David Rothenberg, John Cooley and the New York Times.

Sunday, June 2nd, back to Staten Island to meet Chris Simon and Elias. More about that adventure in these posts:

Cicada Hunting with Chris Simon

Filed under: Brood II | Chris Simon | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 9:13 am

Last Sunday (June 1st) I met Chris Simon and Elias Bonaros in Staten Island. Chris was in Staten Island, NY to map cicada locations, and collect some specimens. Elias and I helped her find some M. septendecim and M. cassini.

Elias Bonaros (left) Chris Simon of Uconn (middle) Dan Mozgai (right) looking for cicadas
Elias (left), Chris (middle), Dan (right).

Chris Simon leads the Simon Lab at the University of Connecticut. From her biography: “Chris Simon is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut and Adjunct Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.” “Recent projects in her laboratory focus on the systematics, biogeography, evolution of cicadas worldwide, the application of information on molecular evolutionary processes to the improvement of tree-building, speciation and its relationship to past climates and landforms, evolution of periodical life cycles, the role of song in the evolution of insect species, and molecular evolution of the secondary structure of ribosomal RNA.”

A Magicicada with Pink Eyes held by Chris Simon of UConn. Brood II. 2013.
Chris Simon holding a pink eyed Magicicada.

Brood II Magicicada photos from Montclair, NJ

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical | Photos & Illustrations — Tags: — Dan @ 8:44 am

Enjoy these photos of Brood II Magicicada from Montclair, NJ by Claudine Ohayon.

Click each image thumbnail for larger versions:

Magicicada exit holes in Montclair, NJ by Claudine Ohayon:
Magicicada exit holes in Montclair NJ by Claudine Ohayon

Magicicada exuvia and adults in Montclair, NJ by Claudine Ohayon:
Magicicada exuvia and adults in Montclair NJ by Claudine Ohayon

Magicicada exuvia and corpses in Montclair, NJ by Claudine Ohayon:
Magicicada exuvia and corpses in Montclair NJ by Claudine Ohayon

Magicicada in Montclair, NJ by Claudine Ohayon:
Magicicada in Montclair NJ by Claudine Ohayon 2

Magicicada in Montclair, NJ by Claudine Ohayon:
Magicicada in Montclair NJ by Claudine Ohayon

Magicicada septendecim from Montclair, NJ by Claudine Ohayon:
Magicicada septendecim from Montclair NJ by Claudine Ohayon

Mating Magicicada in Montclair, NJ by Claudine Ohayon:
Mating Magicicada in Montclair NJ by Claudine Ohayon

More Cicada Photos from Westfield, NJ by Jim Occi

Filed under: Brood II | Jim Occi | Magicicada | Periodical — Tags: — Dan @ 8:35 am

Here are more Magicicada photos from Westfield, NJ by Jim Occi.

Click the images for larger versions:

Adult Magicicada:
Adult Magicicada in Westfield Nj by Jim Occi

Ant feeding on Magicicada stuck in exuvia:
Ant feeding on Magicicada  stuck in exuvia in Westfield by Jim Occi

Ant feeding on Magicicada stuck in exuvia:
Ant feeding on Magicicada  stuck in exuvia in Westfield by Jim Occi

Ant feeding on Magicicada nymph:
Ant feeding on Magicicada nymph in Westfield by Jim Occi

Ant feeding on Magicicada nymph:

Close up of a teneral Magicicada:
Close up of a teneral Magicicada in Westfield NJ by Jim Occi

Magicicada exuvia and corpses:
Magicicada exuvia and corpses in Westfield NJ by Jim Occi

Magicicada molting:
Magicicada undergoing ecdysis in Westfield NJ by Jim Occi

Magicicada with incomplete ecdysis and tymbal visible:
Magicicada with incomplete ecdysis and tymbal visible in Westfield NJ by Jim Occi

Teneral Magicicada:
Teneral Magicicada in Westfield NJ by Jim Occi

Teneral Magicicada:
Teneral Magicicada in Westfield NJ by Jim Occi

Brood II Magicicada photos from Scotch Plains, NJ

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical | Photos & Illustrations — Tags: — Dan @ 8:32 am

Enjoy these Brood II Magicicada photos from Scotch Plans, NJ from Judy Lanfredi.

Click each thumbnail image for larger versions.

A teneral Magicicada in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
A teneral Magicicada in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Adult Magicicada on a leaf in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Adult Magicicada on a leaf in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Adult Magicicada on a telephone pole in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Adult Magicicada on a telephone pole in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Adult Magicicada septendecim in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Adult Magicicada septendecim in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Crippled Magicicada in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Crippled Magicicada in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Magicicada on a flower in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Magicicada on a flower in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Magicicada on a leaf in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Magicicada on a leaf in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Magicicada on an iris flower in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Magicicada on an iris flower in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Magicicada septendecim and exuvia in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Magicicada septendecim and exuvia in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Magicicada undergoing ecdysis in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Magicicada undergoing ecdysis in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Mating Magicicada septendecim in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Mating Magicicada septendecim in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Mating Magicicada septendecim in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi 2

Teneral Magicicada and exuvia in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Teneral Magicicada and exuvia in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Teneral Magicicada in Grass in Scotch Plains NJ by Judy Lanfredi
Teneral Magicicada in Grass in Scotch Plains NJ by Judy Lanfredi

Teneral Magicicada in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Teneral Magicicada in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Teneral Magicicada on a flower in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Teneral Magicicada on a flower in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Teneral Magicicada on a stick in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi
Teneral Magicicada on a stick in Scotch Plains by Judy Lanfredi

Brood II Cicada Video from 2013

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical | Sounds | Video — Tags: , , — Dan @ 6:21 am

Enjoy these videos of the Brood II Magicicada emergence from 2013.

Magicicada septendecim ovipositing

Magicicada septendecim ovipositing.

Periodical Cicadas in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ

Periodical Cicadas in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ.

Either a Magicicada cassini or septendecula

Either a Magicicada cassini or septendecula.

A calling Magicicada septendecim

A calling Magicicada septendecim.

June 6, 2013

How loud/noisy (in decibels) do periodical cicadas get?

Filed under: Brood II | Elias Bonaros | FAQs | Magicicada | Periodical | Roy Troutman | Sounds | Video — Tags: , — Dan @ 5:17 am

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 YouTube):

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):

Magicicada cassini responding to fingersnaps from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

We placed the M. cassini directly on the microphone and got calls as high as 109 decibels, in this video:

Magicicada cassini calling at 109db in Colonia NJ from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

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.

Magicicada septendecim court 3 from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

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.

June 5, 2013

Urban Buzz 17-Year Cicada Citizen Science Project

Filed under: Brood II | Community Science | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 7:00 pm

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.

June 4, 2013

Stop the killing of cicadas! Help us fight back.

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | News | Periodical — Dan @ 5:18 am

Stop the killing of cicadas! Help us fight back!

red white and blue eyes

John Cooley of Cicadas @ UCONN 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.

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 has a periodical cicada FAQ that features compelling reasons not to destroy these animals.

Here are my reasons:

  1. How often does an event occur that is as strange, sublime, and fascinating as a periodical cicada emergence? Very rarely. Maybe when a comet arrives. Four or five times in a lifetime, at most.
  2. You don’t want to rob future generations of the experience of a periodical cicada emergence, do you? You want your grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be able to experience these amazing creatures.
  3. Urbanization and other stresses are already shrinking Magicicada broods. Why accelerate their demise? Do you want the periodical cicadas to have the same fate as the dodo or passenger pigeon?
  4. It’s unpatriotic to kill periodical cicadas. Why? They’re only located in the U.S.A. They should be the official insect of the United States of America.
  5. Pesticides can cause collateral damage to other insect species like honey bees. Like to eat fruit? How about honey? Well, good luck if you help contribute to the acceleration of the death of honey bees. Read more about this topic. I think it would be ironic if a farmer sprayed to kill cicadas, but killed the pollinating insects as well.
  6. Can cicadas damage or kill small and fruiting trees? I’ve never seen it happen, but it is possible. Did you know that you can net these trees instead of drenching your neighborhood with pesticides? You can. The Magicicada FAQ has a picture of the netting.
  7. Pets and people love to eat cicadas. Do you want to poison your pets and kids when they eat a cicada treated with pesticide? I hope not.
  8. Probably the worst part about a periodical cicada emergence is cleaning up their rotting corpses. If The Home Depot and Lowes were smart, they would be selling Shop Vacs instead of chemicals.
  9. Using pesticides won’t help reduce the amount of time you have to spend cleaning them up. The corpses will pile up either way.
  10. Cicadas don’t eat fruit and vegetables. Unlike other insects, cicadas lack the mouthparts to chew vegetable matter. Unlike a caterpillar or grasshopper, they won’t eat your tomatoes or other garden vegetables.

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.

May 30, 2013

Female Magicicada septendecula

Filed under: Brood II | Elias Bonaros | Magicicada | Periodical | Video — Tags: — Dan @ 9:45 pm

Here’s a video of a female Magicicada septendecula found in Woodbridge Township, NJ (near Metro Park).

Here is a still photo:

Female Magicicada septendecula

This is a male Magicicada septendecula:

Male Magicicada septendecula

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