Cicada Mania

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May 7, 2007

It’s on: Highland Park, IL

Filed under: Brood XIII | Magicicada — Dan @ 7:40 am

Earlier than expected, here’s some pictures of emerging cicadas in Highland Park, IL.

May 22nd is the date they were predicted to emerge, but thanks to warm weather and other factors…

May 5, 2007

Color a Magicicada

Filed under: Brood XIII | Cicada Arts | Magicicada — Dan @ 4:00 pm

Somebody asked for a picture of a cicada they can color with Crayons. Here you go: Magicicada Coloring Sheet PDF. You need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it on Windows, and Macs will display it without an extra plug-in.

Here’s what it looks like when you print it out:

Cicada Coloring PDF

April 28, 2007

Magicicada Database

Filed under: Brood XIII | Magicicada — Dan @ 9:33 am

If you’re looking for historical information about previous brood emergences try Cicada Central’s Magicicada Database. Click on the link that reads Magicicada Database and then follow the instructions (hint: search for the 13 (XIII) brood and the year 1990).

April 24, 2007

The first Brood XIII sighting (sort of)

Filed under: Brood XIII | Magicicada — Dan @ 10:20 am

Rene reported ]that she saw Magicicada nymphs in holes in a friend’s garden in SE Elmhurst Illinois.

We’re currently expecting the emergence to start on May 24th, but the hot weekend might have roused the cicadas to an early start. We’ll see.

April 21, 2007

Return of the Cicadas

Filed under: Magicicada — Dan @ 10:05 am

The Return of the Cicadas 17-Year cicada documentary will be airing on PBS in the Brood XIII emergence area soon. As soon as next Thursday, 4/26. Set your Tivo/DVR to record it!

Periodical cicadas are among the most unique creatures in the animal kingdom. After spending 17 years underground as juveniles, they emerge for a brief, cacophonous population explosion aboveground, where they transform into adults, mate, lay eggs and die off after only a few weeks.

WFYI presents Return of the Cicadas, an original local documentary produced in association with the Indiana University Research and Teaching Preserve. Producer Samuel Orr followed the life cycle of Brood X, which made its momentous ascension in the spring of 2004. It accounted for one of the largest insect outbreaks on Earth. Many different broods exist, on unique 17-year schedules. Brood XIII is due to arrive in northern Indiana this May.

Through stunning close-up video and time-lapse photography, Orr and others offer an amazing glimpse at the lives of these enigmatic insects. The documentary was made possible by the research of IU biologist Keith Clay through grants provided by the National Science Foundation. The NSF and Science Magazine recognized the production with a national award for a short 5-minute film on the Brood X outbreak.

April 7, 2007

Broodmaps with Google Maps

Filed under: Magicicada — Dan @ 10:46 am

In my spare time (not a lot lately) I’ve been working on Google maps for plotting Magicicada Brood maps. I came up with a brood map for 2004 Brood X, but in it’s current state it’s very processor-intensive because it loads an XML file with about 300 entires, and each entry requires a call to Google. It’s not ready for “prime time” (still alpha, not even beta). I’m going to recode it to work off of longitude and latitude, and that should improve performance.

Hopefully people will mail us their 2007 Brood XIII sightings so I can build a Brood XIII map as well. I might even set up a form that lets people find their location on a map, and then submit it as longitude and latitude rather an actual address (for privacy reasons).

2004 Brood X map.
brood x map

March 29, 2007

Magicicada Audio

Filed under: Magicicada | Sounds — Dan @ 8:26 pm

Here’s an audio clip of Magicicadas:

March 15, 2007

Cicada Emergence Formula

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

You could try this with northern Magicicada periodical cicadas, but I would avoid it for southern states like Louisiana (because you’ll get negative numbers, which will be confusing). Also, do not use temperature data from past years, because the weather is wildly variable and you’ll get a useless number.

Gene Kritsky was nice enough to send a paper he wrote with a formula for predicting the emergence date. E = (19.465 – t)/0.5136, where E = emergence start date in May and t = average April temperatures in °Celsius. His formula worked like a charm for predicting the Brood X emergence in Cincinnati. 80% of his sites had begun the emergence on the predicted date of May 14th of that year. Also when the ground temperature reaches a consistent 18° Celsius that is another good sign the emergence is about to begin.

Try it out:

Average Mean Temperature in Celsius in April: (hint: use a site like Weather Underground to find this info)

The date should be:

Updated: we updated the form to accept 3 numbers past the decimal in case you have super-precise temperature information.

To find the Average Mean Temperature in Celsius on the Weather Underground site:

  1. Go to the site
  2. Enter your zip code in the box labeled “Find the Weather for any City, State or ZIP Code, or Airport Code or Country”
  3. Find the section of the page labeled “History & Almanac”, and click the “April Calendar View” link.
  4. Then scroll to the top of that page and you’ll find the info you need.

Thanks to Roy Troutman and Gene.

March 3, 2007

More Brood XIII News

Filed under: Brood XIII | Magicicada — Dan @ 12:40 pm

Cicadas in Illinois, 13 or 17 Year “Locust”? — this page features a brood map of Illinois that shows you the general area where they’ll appear.

March 1, 2007

First News Story About Brood XIII Emergence

Filed under: Brood XIII | Magicicada — Dan @ 9:48 am

CicadaMobile hits the road, and article in the Daily Herald by Mike Zawislak. The Lake County Forest Preserve District has hired a cicada expert to travel around, educating people about cicadas. Awesome.

Starting April 16, the forest preserve district’s Cicada Mobile will be motoring to schools, festivals, farmers markets and other community gatherings through July. The program is free.

Thanks to Roy Troutman for passing this along.

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