Hieroglyphic cicadas (Neocicada hieroglyphica aka Hieroglyphic Cicada) are present in most of southern New Jersey, particularly the Pine Barrens area which has sandy soil (pure sand in a lot of places) and many pine and oak trees. This area is historically prone to fires because of the dry sandy soil and sappy pines. The fact that at least some Hieroglyphic appear every year and spend many years underground probably helps them circumvent minor fires.
Here’s a photo of a Hieroglyphic and Northern Dusk-Singing Cicada exuvia (shed skin). Quite a difference! Brendan T. Byrne State Forest.
- Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. Website. This is the best location I’ve found. Pine & oak forests with huckleberry undergrowth. Sandy soil. A good place to record and study their calls, as there is minimal interference from the general public. Exuvia of Hieroglyphic, Northern Dusk-Singing Cicada, and Neotibicen cicadas were easily found. Hieroglyphic Cicada choruses were very loud in the middle of the month (7/10-15), but by 7/31 very few were audible — look for them late June, early July.
- 1900 NJ-70, Manchester Township, NJ. This is a strip mall with a good pizza restaurant (Pop’s), a bar, and a breakfast restaurant. The mall is surrounded by pines and oaks and is a good place for hearing Hieroglyphic and Northern Dusk-Singing Cicadas, as well as some Neotibicen.
- 1936 Wildland Firefighter Memorial. 151-195 Greenbush Rd. Little Egg Harbor Twp, NJ. An interesting park that features the ruins of some buildings, and the typical combination of sandy soil, pine, oak, and huckleberry. Hieroglyphic cicadas were heard calling on pine trees. I believe this location is within Bass River State Forest.
- Batso Village. Website. 31 Batsto Rd, Hammonton, NJ 08037. Batso Village is a large recreating of the Batso Village which produced iron and glass in the 18th century. It offers 3 or 4 trails that feature groves of pine trees inhabited by Hieroglyphic cicadas.
- Franklin Parker Preserve. Website. Chatsworth Lake Entrance, 1450 County Rd 532, Chatsworth, NJ 08019. Some blackjack oak and sassafrass, but the forest is mostly pine. Hieroglphic cicadas are present and audible. The exuvia of small Neotibicen were present, and either N. canicularis or N. davisi are audible (I wouldn’t tell which).
All these areas are heavily infested with ticks, deer flies, and in some cases, mosquitos. Take precaution.